Is Your Car Worth Repairing?

December 3, 2013 - Posted By Vets Vehicles

abandoned car

The average age of a car in America has reached an all time high of over 11 years. This means that people are holding onto their vehicles for much longer and facing needed repairs to keep them on the road.

All of us will likely face the question of whether we should keep our car and repair it, or junk it for a newer ride. While it might seem easier to just get a new car in the face of a costly repair, consider the following questions before you decide to junk your car.

1. How much does the repair really cost?

Many times, car owners will replace their broken cars before getting a formal diagnosis from a mechanic. Don’t assume costs – visit or call your mechanic and describe the symptoms of your problem and ask for a minimum/maximum range for the cost of the repair.

2. What’s the difference in your vehicle’s cost with and without the repair?

Get a rough estimate of the value of your car with the repair using Kelley Blue Book and compare to the value of your car as-is. If the cost of the repair is more than the car’s worth, it might make more sense to sell it.

3. How much will your new car payments be?

Compare the price of the repair with monthly payment amounts for a new car. If your new car payments are going to be $300 more each month for 4 or 5 months, you might consider making the repair on your existing car.

4. How long will the repair extend the life of your car?

Will this one repair add years to your car’s life? If so, then it makes sense to fix it and keep it. However, if your foresee that this one repair will only be one in a series of repairs to keep your car running, then replace it for a newer ride.

5. Have you recently replaced other major components of your car?

If you’ve just replaced an other major component of the car (for example, the transmission) with a newer model, then that’s one less fix you’ll have to make in the future. If the car is old but made up of newer and more reliable component parts, then consider keeping it.

If you do decide to replace your car, consider donating it to Vets Vehicles. We give all proceeds from donated vehicles to top-ranked, vetted veterans charities in the United States.