Should I Repair or Replace My Old Car?

Deciding to get rid of your current car can be a hard decision to make, especially if it’s one you’ve had for many years and have formed memories in.  However, when deciding upon the best option for you, it’s important to take a look at the maths, and work out whether the repairs are costing you more than a finance agreement for a new car would, and whether your personal situation can afford the potential new cost.  Which option is best isn’t always as clear cut as it may seem, so we have provided some advice below that should helpfully make the decision easier.

How Much is Maintenance Costing You?

The first thing you need to consider is how much it’s costing you to maintain your current vehicle.  Even a couple of hundred pounds a month is more than the cost of a new car on finance would be.  Plus, you can pick up a pretty good second-hand car for a couple of grand.  You also need to think about things like the MOT and insurance, which are usually much larger for older cars than they are for newer.

One thing to consider here is whether you can complete any of the maintenance your current car needs yourself.  Replacing air filters and changing spark plugs is something most car owners can do and will be cheaper than visiting a mechanic.  The same goes for checking your fluids, refilling the oil, etc.  If you are able to do some of these tasks yourself, the maintenance costs could be far lower than expected, making keeping your current car worth your while.

At the end of the day, finance should play a huge part in the decision of whether to repair or replace.  So, working out the figures for maintenance and the annual costs should be a key part of the decision-making process.  It is only with these figures in hand that you can truly make an informed decision.

How Much Are Repairs Costing You?

It’s not just maintenance you need to worry about when you own an old car, repairs can be just as costly, if not more.  While some mechanics do try and upsell to car owners, if your car is forever breaking down, or things just aren’t working as they should, it’s likely you spend a lot of time – and a lot of money – at your local garage.

With repairs, you’ll again need to take a look at your finances and how much they are costing you.  If you only have to visit the garage once a year, and the repair costs you a couple of hundred pounds, it may be worth sticking with the car you currently have.  If your repairs, however, are costing you over £1,000 and you need to take your car in a couple of times a year, it may be a better option to replace it altogether.

It’s also important to consider how much of the car’s market value the repair is costing you – anything over 50% is a good candidate to be replaced.  And, you’ll also want to consider how much extra life you’re getting out of the vehicle with each repair that’s performed.  Repairs that add a few extra years of life are definitely more worth it than those that will only tide you over for a few months.

How Much is Peace of Mind Worth to You?

While there are no guarantees that a new vehicle won’t break down and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere, there’s a much smaller chance of this happening than there is with an old car.  So, another thing to weigh up here is how much you rely on your car and how important it is for you to get to where you need to go without problems.  This will be less of an issue for drivers who only take a short trip once a week than it will for drivers who need their vehicle for work.

Can You Afford a New Car?

The final thing to consider is whether you can afford a new car.  Depending on your current car’s condition, you may be able to sell it and recoup a little bit of money to put towards a new vehicle.  You may also be able to scrap your car and recoup some cash through a service like the Scrap Car Network.  You can visit their website for an instant quote, and if you decide to go ahead, they’ll pick it up from your location for you, saving you the hassle of dropping it off.

A new car can cost as much or as little as you want it to.  A reliable second-hand car can be found locally for as little as £2,000, while a brand new car on finance could cost you as little as £100 a month.  Newer cars also tend to be much cheaper to run and insure, and also don’t require an MOT for the first three years of their life.

Are you going to repair or replace your car?  Let us know in the comments.


* This is a sponsored/paid for collaboration.

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