Repair Your Old Car or Buy a New One
For the vast majority of Canadian consumers, owning a car to get from point A to point B is a necessity. But unfortunately, like most necessities in life, owning a car is expensive and often comes with a lot of decisions. One of the toughest being whether to repair an old car or replace it with a new one. Weighing the cost, convenience, and trade-in value can seem like a difficult task, but the good news is we have all the tips and advice you need to make the best decision for your unique needs.
First, Ask Yourself These Questions
There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should repair your old car or simply buy a new one. This will differ from person to person and situation to situation. When struggling with this decision, there are a few very important questions to ask yourself. These include:
● What will the repairs cost me?
● How old is my car?
● Will the repairs help my car last longer?
● Do I use my car enough to warrant repairing or replacement?
● Do I have enough available for a decent down payment?
● Can I handle a new monthly car payment, or will it put too much strain on my finances?
Asking these types of questions can help you truly learn and understand your situation and see what makes the most sense for you.
The last thing you want to do is pump a lot of money into a car that barely has any time left. But if the repairs are affordable and will extend the life of your vehicle, oftentimes it’s a better financial decision to continue to drive your current vehicle. The choice is ultimately yours, and will depend on your responses and consideration of questions like the ones listed above.
However, not all situations will be as straight forward. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of both repairing your old car and purchasing a new one.
Benefits of Repairing Your Car
There are many benefits of repairing your car. The first and most obvious benefit is that this option is often less expensive. Getting a new car can often cost you tens of thousands of dollars, while most repairs are only around a few hundred dollars or less. In addition to being less expensive, repairing a car is quicker and easier. Searching for a new car can take weeks, while most common repairs can be completed in less than a week.
Also, if you opt to repair your car, your insurance will remain the same, as you are not switching cars. This can save you money in many cases, as well as time since you won’t need to make a call to your insurance provider. Repairing your car, if it’s paid off, also won’t add a monthly recurring payment that you will almost certainly require a few changes to your budget.
Benefits of Replacing Your Car
Similarly, there are also benefits when you decide to replace your car. Replacing your car can greatly reduce the amount that you spend on maintenance. Also, most new cars come with some sort of warranty package, so many repairs, fixes or other common costs will be taken care of (check out this article to learn more about choosing a warranty for your car). This can save you in many cases from spending a lot of money.
Also, the number of times you need to take your car into the shop should see a steep reduction. No one likes their car being in the shop as it can be incredibly inconvenient and often time consuming. Also, you can’t put a price on the peace of mind you get when you are driving a reliable vehicle.
If you’re driving around your family or your commute to work is longer than average, a reliable vehicle can provide peace of mind. Not having to worry about the reliability of your car can reduce a lot of stress and free up your mind to focus on things that actually matter.
So When is it a Good Idea to Replace Your Car?
While this is ultimately your choice, there are some ways to determine which option makes more sense for you.
When Repairs are Frequent and Expensive
If your repairs are frequent and you’re spending more time than you would like at your local garage or if the cost of the repairs ends up being more than the value of your vehicle, you are likely better off putting that money toward a new car.
When All Convenience is Gone
Remember, one of the main benefits of owning a car is the convenience it provides. If you live in fear of breaking down or you’ve had to go to work late or leave early to pick up or drop off your car at the garage too many times, then any convenience or reliability your car provided is gone. If you can’t rely on your car, what’s the point?
When You Can Afford The Payments
Of course, make sure you only buy a car that you can afford the payments on. If you miss payments or make them late, it has the potential to negatively affect your finances. So if your old car is on its last legs, you need a vehicle you can rely on, and you can afford the monthly payments, getting a new car is likely the best option for you.
Whether you’re in charge of carpool, trying to get to work on time, or making frequent road trips to visit family, a reliable vehicle is a cornerstone in the life of most Canadians. If your current vehicle has outstayed it’s welcome and causing too many issues, a new or new to you car could be the best decision for both your finances and your day to day life.