It’s only natural to become pretty attached to your car. After all, it often means so much more to you than just four wheels and a metal frame. Think about all of the memories that you’ve made in your car. The road trips, the long conversations, blasting your favorite songs at full volume. A car is more than just a way of getting from A to B. Which is why it can be a pretty upsetting experience when something happens to your car. Perhaps it broke down, or maybe your mechanic found a problem during a routine service. Either way, no one likes the idea that there’s something wrong with your beloved vehicle can be pretty worrying. Not least because it tends to bring about a rather important question. Repair or replace? There are a lot of different factors that can influence the decision you make, but it’s important to think about it carefully so that you don’t end up regretting it soon afterward. With that in mind, here are some factors that might influence your decision to either get your car repaired or replace it entirely.
What’s wrong with it?
There are hundreds of different things that could be wrong with a car, and it’s important to be aware of how serious they are. Some situations are pretty cut and dry. If you’ve been in a serious crash, then it’s likely that your car is only good for scrap but something small like an oil leak or some faulty wiring isn’t exactly going to call for getting rid of the whole thing. Talk to your mechanic and find out how serious the problem with your car actually is, as well as getting a quote for what fixing it will cost. That way you can make the most informed decision possible.
What’s your budget?
Once you know what it’s going to cost you to get your car repaired, you can start thinking about what the best decision is for you. Figure out what you can actually afford. If it looks like the repairs fall easily within your budget, then it might be a better idea just to get it repaired, but if it seems like paying a mechanic is going to put you in the red then it might be better to sell up and hope that exchanging your car makes up some of the cost.
What is your car worth?
Finding a new car can be tricky enough on its own, but it’s especially difficult if you’re working with a limited budget. Part exchanging your car can help, but it’s not going to do much good if it’s so beaten up that it’s no longer really worth anything at all. Look around to find the best possible quote for your car. It might even be the case that your best option is to have it repaired and then sell it. That way any problems with it aren’t going to drag its value down. Part exchanging your car is a great way to offset costs but if it’s not going to make any kind of dent in the cost of something new then it might be worth sticking with it until you’ve got a larger budget available to you.
How often are you having it repaired?
A trip to the mechanic here and there isn’t such a big deal, in fact, it’s pretty much par for the course of owning any car, especially one that’s getting on in years a little bit. But if you’re turning up to the garage every couple of weeks with a new problem then that might be a pretty clear sign that your car is about ready to give up the ghost altogether. It might seem like buying a car is a bigger financial commitment than taking your current one to a mechanic but it’s important to remember that little expenses here and there have a nasty habit of adding up much more quickly than you might expect. Keep an eye on how much you’re actually spending on your car on a monthly basis and ask yourself is i really worth it?
Is your car safe anymore?
One thing that’s more important than anything else is the safety of yourself and anyone else in your car. Even if it’s more cost effective to keep your current car rather than buy a new one, that shouldn’t make a difference if it’s not actually safe to drive. This is particularly important if you have a family or small children in the car. It might technically be safe enough to be out on the road, but the last thing you want to do is sacrifice the safety of the people most important to you in order to avoid making the extra financial sacrifice of getting a new, safer vehicle.
The most important thing to remember is that you do not want to make this decision based on how you feel about the car. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it; it’s about looking at the facts. If you love your car, then you might well be tempted just to keep repairing it over and over. The problem there is pretty obvious, it’s going to get pretty expensive pretty quickly, and you’ll reach a certain point where you’ve had so many parts of the car replaced that you’d be better off with something completely new. Of course, there are also problems with taking the opposite attitude. Perhaps you’re not very attached to your car; you might even hate the thing! Because of that, you might be tempted to get rid of it at the earliest opportunity. But don’t forget that selling and replacing a car isn’t always an easy task and can come with its own share of pretty significant costs. Don’t let your attitude towards your car push you into making a rash decision when it wouldn’t have been that much of a problem to repair. Thinking about things in terms of simple numerical facts instead of letting any emotional attachment get in the way is the most important thing that you can do when deciding whether your car needs to be repaired or replaced.