To repair or not to repair?

There are obviously a bunch of things to take into account when deciding whether to replace a vehicle or simply repair it. Other than the sentimental value people inherently place on something that belongs to them, sometimes the actual value of the car is worth more than just a quick fix. Let’s see what can be done:

Make sure you have all the necessary numbers

It’s important not to make any assumptions when deciding whether to replace a car or fix it. Make sure you know the value of your car, the maintenance cost, the repair cost, and the replacement cost.

There are a bunch of third party tools to help you figure out the actual value of your vehicle. Kelley Blue Book is a popular one we recommend because they give you an immediate estimate based on the current market.

Then, you should figure out the cost of repairs – we recommend that if the cost of repairs is more than half the car’s total value, then it’s not worth it.

Keep both past and future repairs in mind

It’s not just about how much you’ve already spent, it’s about how much you WILL spend in order to maintain your car. The longer you’ve had a car, the older the parts are, the more the car will break down. It’s best to get your car inspected by a mechanic and determine which repairs are necessary immediately, which you’ll definitely have to get done later, and the estimated cost of everything.

New car costs

Again, if the amount you’re estimated to pay in repairs is more than half of the car you’re interested in, just replace it. Don’t forget, the repairs are only going to be more and more frequent as your car ages and it’ll end up being more expensive than just replacing it altogether sooner rather than later.

Basically…

Go to a mechanic, ask him to estimate the cost of current/projected repairs – if it’s more than half of the car you’re looking to replace it with, then just replace it. If not, then don’t.

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