Fix it Up or Trade it In: Deciding When to Buy a New Car

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Should you repair or replace your car? When you get to that point of car ownership, it can be a tough decision.

You want to make that decision well in advance. You don’t want to be put in a position where you’re forced to buy new in an emergency because you decided to run your car into the ground.

That will only limit your decisions and stretch your budget. Take the time now to consider if it’s the right time to sell or replace your car.

Want to know when to buy a new car or repair the one you have? Read on to find out.

Benefits of Fixing Up Your Car

There are some benefits to fixing up your car. It’s usually much less expensive to repair your car vs. replacing it.

You’re also dealing with a known quantity. In other words, you know exactly what you’re dealing with. You know the history of your car and you should be able to predict when your next repairs are.

Other benefits of fixing up your car are your insurance costs don’t change. You also don’t have to spend energy on selling your car. You fix up quickly and you’re back on the road again.

Benefits of Buying New

When you’re buying a new car, you can have maintenance included in your car package. Your car is likely to come with certain warranties, too.

Cars that are new or a few years old will have better features on standard models and they tend to last longer.

When to Buy a New Car

It’s hard to know when to buy a new car vs. repair it. You have to weigh your options and do a little bit of math to make the right decision for you. Here are some tips to consider.

Mileage on Your Current Vehicle

What’s the mileage on your current vehicle? How old is it?

The average car lasts about 11.5 years. If you find that it’s at the end of its lifespan, then it’s probably a good time to replace it.

Should your car be on the newer side, you want to see if there are repairs still covered by your warranty. You’ll also want to know the average lifespan for your make and model. Some cars are known for hitting the wall at 120,000 miles and others have a reputation for lasting 200,000 miles.

Maintenance History

This is a very important piece to consider. Car owners who have been diligent in keeping up with regular maintenance can be confident that their car will last longer.

 If you’re one of those car owners, you’ll have a detailed maintenance history of their car. They’ll know when the belts need to be changed, when the brake pads should be replaced and when it’s time to change the oil.

These are the things that will make a car last over 200,000 miles.

On the other hand, if you’ve neglected your car over time, you’re paying for it now. Delays in getting the oil changed, waiting until the engine light comes on to do something on your car, or ignoring basic care will lead to major repairs.

If you’re in the latter category, you are going to be better off replacing your car. Let this be a lesson in car care.

What’s the Current Sales/Trade-In Value?

Let’s do some basic math. You’ll want to weigh a few things before deciding when to buy a new car or repair it.

You have a repair that needs to be done now. How much does that repair cost? Now, look at the Blue Book Value of the car if you were to trade it in or sell it privately.

In cases where the repair costs more than the value of the car, then it’s time for a new car. It’s not always that simple. In some cases, you’ll have to look at how many more repairs will have to be done. If there are more expensive repairs and maintenance that needs to happen, then you should replace it.

Can You Do Some of the Work Yourself?

For those handy enough to do car repairs on your own, you can save a lot of money and keep your car longer.

Let’s say you have a Dodge Neon and you have the repair manual. You just need to get to work. Some repairs are simple enough to do on your own. Others will require the expertise of a mechanic.

Finding a Good Mechanic to Do the Repairs

Did you decide that you’re better off keeping the car? Now, where do you go to get it repaired? If there are some repairs that you can’t do on your own, you need to find a mechanic that you can trust.

That starts with finding someone that has an outstanding reputation and can work on your specific vehicle.

If you have a high-performance car, you don’t want to leave it to just anyone. A company like MTech Car Servicing would be a good fit.

You also want to check their reviews to make sure that they’re a legitimate car repair shop. Reviews will tell you a lot about how different companies work.

Car Replacement Tips

Replacing your car brings a new set of challenges. You’ll have to find financing for your car if you don’t have money set aside for a purchase.

You’ll want to weigh your options between buying new vs. used, too. Buying used has a lot of financial advantages, though you’re still going to need to get a car loan for the purchase.

Replace or Repair Your Car

Depending on your situation, it might make more sense to replace your car rather than repair it. By using these tips presented here, you can easily evaluate when to buy a new car or when to repair it.

You then have the flexibility to plan ahead and make sure that you have money set aside to buy a new car or make the necessary repairs to keep your car going for years to come.

Want some more great car tips? Check out these tips for fuel system maintenance.