Repair Your Car or Buy a New One

This question is often asked when something goes wrong and you’re faced with a high repair bill. It’s always nice to get a new car, but it’s certainly not always the smartest decision.  There could be several factors that will influence your decision, and the answers to this question can vary, so here is some information that may help you make a more informed decision.

Reasons to Fix Your Current Ride

Here are some reasons you may want to fix your car instead of buy a new one:

  • It is almost always less expensive to repair a car than to buy a new one.
  • Even though something as big as blown engine or a failed transmission can run several thousand dollars to replace, it may still not be enough reason to buy new car. (It’s great to have a nice down payment, but then there are the monthly payments to consider.)
  • Insurance and registration fees are higher on a new car.
  • New cars almost always lose an estimated 20 percent of their value the minute you drive it off the lot. Your current vehicle has already taken that depreciation hit.
  • Repairing your car now will keep it on the road longer and give you additional time to save up and get your finances in order.
  • You may have a sentimental attachment to your car.  Was is your first car, a gift from someone,  or a dream car you were finally able to buy. Buying a new car might mean giving up an old friend.

Reasons To Buy a Brand New Car

There are times when it’s best to purchase a new vehicle.  Here might be some reasons for it:

  • You may not want to worry about future breakdowns, because your mechanic told you more things would likely go wrong.
  • You don’t have time to keep going back to the repair shop.  While some things are fixed the first time around, others need constant attention requiring both time and money. Either way, it’s keeping your from being productive in your work, and takes you away from your family.  
  • You’re just tired of your old car. Maybe it doesn’t fit your current profile, embarrasses you,  or affects your self esteem.  Maybe you look at the neighbor’s car and long for something new. That’s perfectly normal.  But, if you can’t fit it in your budget, it’s a not a good idea. Take a good hard look at your finances and make an honest assessment based on reality and your current  financial situation.
  • You want something safer. Your old car is just not as safe to drive as you would like. 

When Is It Time to Buy Another Car?

A good rule of thumb to estimate when it’s time to buy a new car,  is when the cost of repairs is greater than the value of the vehicle or the total of one year’s monthly payments and increased insurance costs.

Get Honest and Complete Information

The best way to make the smartest and most accurate decision, is to know what to expect.  Ask your mechanic to do a full inspection of the vehicle and tell you what it will really take to run as you need it to.