25 signs to scare you into selling a used car right now


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Do you know you could be managing your old car until it's too late to sell it? These are signs to scare you into selling a used car. Be guided by this naijauto expose right now!


There is nothing as devastating as driving an old car you ought to have sold. The numerous breakdowns and high repair costs to poor performance and irregularity scooting around in a subpar ride can be out-and-out frightening.

While buying a new car will cost you, using a car past its prime is even more so.


Certain signs when stocktaking should signal the end for your car

Below are definite signs to scare you into selling a used car at once.

1. You’re afraid its resale value won’t last

One thing that should scare you is when you find out your car no longer holds a respectable resale value, and it is devastating if it no longer does. When given enough time and the driver finds out that it no longer does, the sell option becomes unavoidable for most car owners.

So if you are holding on to your car for too long, find out what the car is worth and bear in mind that it probably won’t be more treasured than it is today. Getting rid of one of the cars with the worst resale value is no child's play.

2. You are hearing strange noises

You need to pay attention to the strange noises coming from your car because this is the car talking to you. The screeching coming from your car when you press the brake means that the brake pad indicator is rubbing against the blade. Also, the squealing under the hood indicates a worn or loose meandering belt.

A car can make a lot of sounds when trouble is on the horizon and none of them is good; your car might just be yelling “sell” because strange noises are your car’s way of communicating to you. Pay attention!

3. You are nearing the 100,000-mile mark

When a car hits 100,000 on the odometer, it used to be a milestone that downgraded cars to the senior citizenry of the autos in the country. This simply means that the car is running on borrowed time. This modern times, vehicles are allowed to live well beyond 100,000 miles but that often means that you are taking extra care of the car.

As a rule of thumb, once you are at this point, think of offloading.


After 100, 000 miles, it's all downhill for a car

4. You have learned your car has a lousy safety rating

If you didn’t check your car's rating before you bought it, now is the time. What you discover could compel you to either keep on driving or to sell your car. The choice is yours.

>>> Do you know the 5 stages of car buying customer journey and how car sellers can take advantage?

5. The tire’s treads are wearing unevenly

Premature tread wears and uneven tread wear can both, from time to time, be caused by underinflated or overinflated tires. This could signal big problems in the suspension which are harder and more expensive to fix. If that’s the case, it might be the best time to sell it.

6. Your fuel costs are terrifying

If your gas receipts are beginning to terrify you, it might be the right time to consider swapping it.

7. You see rust

One of the fears of a car owner is seeing his car rust. This is because oxidation is persistent and troubling, and it spreads like a rash. It can be removed and mitigated but once it starts to spread, it is hard to contain.

Rust can attack everything from the doors and the exhaust to the suspension and the vulnerable undercarriage. This is one of the first things savvy used car buyers try to spot. When you see rust begin to surface, it is time to consider whether you should discharge your car while you still can.


Seeing rust should be taken very seriously in any used car

8. You were rattled by a near miss

A near miss might scare you into taking a second look at your existing car. You can ask yourself why you almost crashed, was there a blind spot? Did your rear wheels fishtail? Did you hydroplane?

How did your car perform during the occurrence in terms of braking distance and driver’s control?  This gives you a good opportunity to assess your vehicle’s weakness in an instinctive but enlightening real-world test of how your car behaves when you need it most.

9. Your safety systems are outdated

Forbes recently developed a list of valuable modern car safety features. Some of them include captive cruise control, automotive emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, and rear views cameras.

If you are without these modern features because when you bought your car they were unavailable, you might have a measure of healthy fear about the car you are driving.

10. The “Check Engine” light keeps coming on

Few self-propelled indicators are more threatening than the harbinger of doom that is the 'check engine' light. The meaning behind its brightness could be something as benign as a loose gas cap or as important as a failing engine.

If an ignited check engine light becomes the basis of your display, resurfacing after each visit to the mechanic, you might want to consider how attached you are to your car.

11. You are constantly putting money into it

We know that it’s cheaper to repair an old car than to buy a new one. So you can repair it once or several times but when it gets to the point that it seems like continuous repairs are your new normal, it's time to take stock.

This could be exhausting what could have been money saved for your next down payment and so it makes more sense to sell your car in Nigeria, and start afresh.

12. The hits start coming in groups

When you think you need one small repair only to find out that there are two or more things to repair, it’s time to worry. If you trust your mechanic or if a second opinion approves that mechanical failures are beginning to come in groups, it is time to sell the car.

13. Getting stranded has become the norm

If your car breaks down and leaves you stranded on the regular, you have some serious decisions to make especially if you have to call your friends to pick you up when this happens. One quality of a good car is that first, it is reliable. Once a car is not reliable, it is time to pick up your checklist to sell your car online in Nigeria or offline.


Does your car dump you on the roadside frequently? Might be time to let go

14. You have constant 'starting' anxiety

Worry starts even before you get into the driver’s seat and turn the key. When you wonder if your car will start the next morning, that's a red flag. It's worse when you do try only to have nothing happen.

Also, if your car’s battery and electrical system are giving you a problem, it is time to get a new one which you will get with a new car.

15. You need to use physical force to get things to work

When your car requires you to bang it, tap it, kick it, etc., it's an indication that you should start saving for a down payment.

16. You have reached your repair-cost threshold

If a repair costs more than half the value of your car, you should never repair it. The money is better spent on a new reliable vehicle, and you just have to be honest with the new owner during the sale.

17. Your mechanic gives a dire warning

When you visit the mechanic for regular servicing or a minor repair and he calls your attention to an unavoidable break, sell the car before the mechanic’s forewarning comes true. Also, be honest with the new owner about the car, and if all else fails, sell the vehicle for parts.

18. You’re seeing signs of transmission trouble

A broken transmission is worse than engine failure. Untraceable noises in neutral, crashing of the gears, fluid leaks, a burning smell, poor shifting response, and clunking and whining sounds are all signs of forthcoming transmission trouble.

This is when to sell, sell, sell.

19. You’re losing gas mileage

If you notice that you have to stop for gas more often than you did when your car was in its prime, you might have issues with your engine’s compression state. You can try a fuel cleanser, and if it doesn’t work, take the car to your mechanic to run engine diagnostics and brace yourself for the bad news. It might be time to sell.

20. You’re afraid that you are outgrown it

Maybe you bought the car when you got a promotion or received it as an inheritance but now it feels unsuitable. If you have reached the point where it no longer matches the person you have become, swap it, or sell it. It’s proof of growth so no need to fret over this.

21. You’re afraid that your family has outgrown it

Your family has outgrown your car if you are trying to cram an adult passenger between two child car seats in the middle back seat of your car. It is uncomfortable and unsafe.


When your car can't keep up with your family numbers...

22. You are scared to lose a good offer

If you have received an offer from a private seller, or a dealer offering a trade-in and you are wondering if you will ever get such a good offer again, it might be time to reach out and accept the offer.

23. You are afraid of losing the war of attrition

If the only reason you are still with your car is that you have sworn to drive it until you can’t possibly drive it anymore then you are in it for the wrong reasons. It's ok to sell it.

24. It pains you to look at it

You should love or at least be able to bear the look of your car but if you get a sinking feeling every time you glance at your car maybe it’s time to get a new car.


This car has seriously seen better days, right?

The video below will further guide you on selling your used car:

How To Sell Your Used Car | 4 Basic Steps


Driving an old car especially when it has developed issues can be humiliating. Find out which warning sign from above applies to you. it might be time to consider selling a used car when it checks these boxes.

>>> Enjoyed this? You can get other auto buying and selling tips here

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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