Sometimes we just have to give up on our faithful car. It’s been in the shop more times than you care to count and your wallet is a lot lighter than you anticipated it being because every repair seems to cost a fortune.
But how do you know when it is time to let it go…other than it completely giving up on you…yes, I’ve been there before.
So how can you figure out if it is time for a change?
How long should your car last you?
First of all let’s look at how long cars are supposed to last these days. Take these numbers with a grain of salt because we can’t cover every senario possible but here are the basics.
Many cars are designed to last for 10 and 300,000.
If you take care of your car and properly maintain it can last for a long time. You may have some routine work or normal repairs but going back to the financials will help you make your decision. This routine work and normal wear and tear repairs can be frustrating but budgeting it into your plan and keeping on top of it will help keep your car running with a minimum number of repairs needed.
A new car can require repairs even though it is new. Yes, new cars come with warranties but they are relatively short compared to the life of the vehicle. Even a large repair like replacing an engine can still be worth doing based on the financial benefit.
It’s all give and take even with new cars or cars that you feel should last longer than the amount of time you’ve had them. Yes, this has happened to me too…
First off take a look at the finances. You don’t have gobs of extra money lying around to throw at new cars all the time. You’ve got kids to feed, school activities that require a new t-shirt what seems like every 3 months, and other unexpected expenses.
The finances of the situation are going to be a major factor in deciding if you are going to repair or replace your car.
Here is how to do that
- Check out the residual value of your vehicle.
- Then Subtract the cost of the repair. Now you can compare that number with the cost of a new car.
- Now you can compare that number with the cost of a new car.
Be sure to compare apples to apples here if you really want to know how your car compares.
Comparing a small compact car with the cost of a new super duty truck is going to put your estimates off. At least during this stage keep the car make and model as similar as possible so that you can get an accurate idea of how the repairs cost to replacing it with a new car.
Many times the cost of repairs may not be the biggest factor.
I spoke to a friend last weekend and we were talking about the new car their family purchased. While they were repairing the car with a higher frequency than they would like the biggest factor in their decision was reliability. The husband, who drove this particular car, was driving 2 hours on average a day to his job then had to repeat the trip home.
Going into winter they didn’t want him to get stuck on the side of the road or have to worry if he got to work but then was unable to make it home. They have two small children and stopping everything in their routine was not going to work so they decided to replace their car with a new one.
You may get frustrated at repeatedly having to take the car into the shop and deal with all that goes along with it. Or if you need to rely on your car to take you long distances and it may not get you there.
Your situation maybe similar to my friend’s experience but bottom line we expect our car to get us from A to B without a problem and if it can’t handle that reliably it’s probably time for a change.
As long as we are being financially responsible, it is OK to trade the car in before its useful life has expired.
If you take good care of your vehicle it can last up to 200,000 miles or better. Just because something has broken doesn’t mean that it is time to get a new car right away.
Take some time and review all the information you gathered, look at your finances, and look at what the cost of new car costs and take some time to think it over.
Often, people act too quickly.
Vehicles today are designed to last 200,000 miles or better. In fact, many cars are designed for 10 years and 300,000 miles life. If we take good care of our cars, they will last substantially longer than most people are comfortable. Yes, you will have some routine and normal repairs. But again, buying a brand-new car always has a large depreciation day you take it off the lot.
Even a large repair like replacing an engine can still be worth doing based on the financial benefit.
Do you have questions about your car and its longevity? Ask our experts!
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Don’t feel pressured into or at the mercy of what the mechanic says “needs” to be done. We are here to help give you the best-unbiased advice possible!
Now it’s your turn!
Let us know what the biggest factor for your family is when it comes time to make that crucial repair or replace decision? Let us know in the comments!