Repair or Replace Your Car: 10 Questions to Help You Decide


Aug 14th, 2020

Repair or Replace Your Car: 10 Questions to Help You Decide

At some point in every car owner’s life, he or she will struggle with the question, “Should I repair or replace my car?”. There is no easy answer to this question. Choosing to repair a car also means having to repair or replace car parts for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, replacing the vehicle means having to go through the process of finding a buyer for the old car, getting a reasonable price, and making the sale. Oh, and then there’s the issue of getting a new car, which is a subject for an entirely separate article.

How Do You Know When to Stop Fixing Your Car?

Someday, you’ll have no choice but to get rid of your car. Still, it’s tough to figure out when you should stop fixing your car and start looking for willing buyers. This is a very personal decision, and there are no right or wrong answers. So, to help you make that tough decision, here are ten questions you need to ask yourself before deciding whether to repair or replace your car

How Much Will Future Repairs Cost?

The longer you keep your ageing car, the more you’ll have to spend for repairs. Like I said before, keeping your vehicle also means deciding whether to repair or replace car parts when they eventually stop working. For many, this is a labour of love.

The longer you keep your old car, the more honestly you should assess if the car is worth repairing. Some people will spend only for the bare minimum repairs needed to keep their cars running, while other car owners will be more inclined to keep the car in mint condition and spend more for car repairs and upkeep. Depending on which type of car owner you are, your future repair costs could be a lot higher or lower than someone else’s in the same situation. You’ll get an idea of how much parts cost from our article on some of the most expensive auto parts to replace.

Is the Car Worth More Than What You Pay to Maintain It?

Over time, a car's value decreases. In financial terms, your car is a 'depreciating asset'. Still, no matter how old your car is today, it has some cash value, nonetheless. Find out what that value is, then compare that figure with how much you pay each year for car repair and maintenance. You might find that you're paying a whole lot to keep a car that isn't worth as much.

But of course, for some people, the value of their car isn’t merely about the dollars. So, keep reading. 

Is the Car Still Safe to Drive?

Now, you need to ask yourself if your car is still safe to drive. This is a particularly important question to ask if you use it a lot to drive your family around. If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t be asking whether to repair or replace the car. Aside from faulty parts, an ageing car also has problems like rust to deal with as well. A newer car would not only have working safety features, but they'll have more modern ones as well.

Is My Car Still Efficient Enough?

Another factor that separates older cars from newer models is fuel efficiency. These days, car manufacturers compete in terms of their car’s efficiency and eco-friendliness. Depending on how old your car is, it’s probably a petrol guzzler. If you’re concerned about money flushing down the drain, then you should probably start looking at how much you’re spending on fuel monthly.

Does This Car Suit My Lifestyle?

People's lifestyles change over the time. People need more spacious and safer cars when they start a family. Or, they buy fancier cars when they start moving up in the world. People also downgrade their vehicles when their lifestyle has done the same. You need to be honest with yourself by asking if your car is suitable for the life you have right now. If you're about to become a family man, for example, the old two-seater you drive right now will soon outgrow its usefulness.

Is There Any Sentimental Value to This Car?

For many car owners, they don’t measure the value of their car with numbers. Instead, a car’s value might come from the memories tied to it. That’s what ‘sentimental value’ is all about. Maybe you spent a lot of time with your dad building and fixing that car. Or, perhaps that’s the car that you drove when you first dated your partner. 

When you consider the value of your car, these things matter. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

How Much Is This Car Worth?

Now that we've asked the essential questions let's move on to the rest. This is the part where we consider the market value of the car. How much would another person pay for the vehicle that you have now? You may or may not be able to get that full price when you sell it. Still, it's an important number to know because it gives you an idea of approximately how much you could get for it on the open market.

What Will A New Car Cost Me?

If you do decide to sell your car, odds are you'll want to buy a new one straightaway. That's the second half of the process. Before you do anything, try and estimate how much a new car will cost. Remember: the new car should be a realistic match for your current lifestyle. So, selling your old car is a practical way to pay for part of the new vehicle. 

Are There Any Incentives, Rebates, Or Promotions for A New Car?

Car dealers are always putting together new deals and promotions. Sometimes, you might even get incentives for trading your old car in when you buy a new one. Do some window shopping and find out what kind of incentives, rebates, or promotions you could get for a new car. 

How Much Will Insurance Cost If I Got A New Car?

Never forget that a car also has other operating costs associated with it. Good examples of this are insurance, taxes, and so on. You might be used to paying a different amount for insurance on your old car. Be sure to consider what the insurance costs might be on the new one!

Is My Car Worth Repairing?

After thinking very carefully about these ten questions, now it's time to circle back to the main issue, "Is it worth spending on car repairs? Or should I get a new one instead?" If your car costs too much to keep, then it might be time for an upgrade. These days, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to new vehicles. Newer models now have so many new features that weren't around just a few years ago. You'll get better safety, comfort, and entertainment with a newer model. And if you care about the environment, a more modern model will be much more eco-friendly as well.

Best of all, manufacturers and dealers will compete for your attention with attractive features and promotions. And don’t forget, you get some time off from car repairs with a new car.

What to Do with A Car That’s Not Worth Repairing?

After going through the ten questions above, you’ve probably decided whether to repair and replace car parts on your old car or change the vehicle entirely. If you've decided that your car is not worth repairing, what's the next step? Well, you could trade it in with a car dealer when you buy a new car. Or, you could sell it to car wreckers or other parts buyers. Of course, you can check out to put your car up for sale! 

By Ray Hasbollah