Before you splash out on a new car, consider these factors when deciding whether to fix up your old car or get a new one.
Ensure that your car is of the right age and is safe
Your decision to repair or replace a vehicle that was built in the early-to-mid 1990s should take safety into account. In the past 20 years, safety standards have changed a great deal, and switching to a newer model could make a big difference if you were to suffer an accident. This is especially true for families who use older cars. With new cars, it’s much easier to properly install car seats, for example, which can make parents’ lives much easier.
Consider rust as a serious issue
Taking care of surface rust on the frame of your car doesn’t necessarily mean that it will become a problem, but your mechanic will let you know if it has rusted to such a degree that driving the car has become dangerous.
Find an online forum for your make and model
Forums can actually save you money. Find one that covers your vehicle and you can ask questions of people who own one like yours or have owned one in the past. Ask questions about your specific repair. There is a good chance that someone else has experienced the same issue on the same car, and they will be able to tell you exactly how much more driving time they were able to get, thanks to the repair.
Some cars have known issues that crop up as they age, and you can also check out the forums to see if you have any of those problems with your specific car. If you bought your car used, you may not be aware of recalls or other issues, so you should check these forums out.
Analyze cost versus value
Is the cost of a repair worth it to you? Simple subtraction simplifies the decision for insurers. Insurers will total a vehicle if the repair costs exceed Kelley Blue Book value. You may find this simple equation helpful if you are considering buying a new car.
The value of a car may not be as straightforward as this. You will have a harder time deciding whether the repair is justified if you own your current car free-and-clear and cannot afford a car payment. It’s a good idea to buy a new car if the repairs would require more than a year’s worth of car payments – but to keep the old one if it’s cheaper.
If your old car needs repairs, you might be able to trade it in for a nicer one. You may have to work harder to sell or trade in a car in need of major repairs, but it may be worth something and will help you buy something newer or more reliable.
So, sell or repair?
It is impossible to tell for sure if you have made the right decision when making a decision such as this regarding repair or replacement. However, in order to decide whether it is better for you to repair your car or to buy a new one, you must collect as much information as possible about your car’s safety, its common problems, and its value.