It’s never convenient to deal with car maintenance. It’d be nice if a car could get you from Point A to Point B without any issues. However, a car requires oil changes, tire rotations and so much more. Unfortunately, even with all of that maintenance, there will come a time when you have to make a decision regarding the value of keeping the car.
When you’ve had the car for a few years, you’ll want to consider whether it’s worth fixing or getting rid of. Sometimes, car repairs are so costly that it’s not worth the fix. If you’re contemplating whether your old family car is worth the cost of the repairs, it’s best to consider a few key points.
1. Consider the Cost of Repairs.
Most people have one or two trusted mechanics who take care of their vehicles. It’s important to listen to the advice of your mechanic. However, if your gut is telling you that you can find a way to get the job done for a lower price tag, it’s okay to shop around.
According to Legacy Auto, a provider of car repair services in Boulder, Co, there are plenty of car repair places to choose from. Don’t just make a budget because you feel pressured to do so. If you find a price that suits your budget, talk through the details with your partner.
2. Look at the Family Budget.
One of the main reasons why it’s important to talk it over with your partner is because every dollar counts. Even though car repairs might not seem like a big deal to some, the wrong choice can set the family back tremendously. That’s why budgeting and family finance meetings are essential. Be transparent about your thoughts regarding the pros and cons of getting the repairs versus getting a new car. Be open to your partner’s concerns as well.
3. Look at the Mileage on the Car.
While proper maintenance will help you extend the life of your car, it won’t make it last forever. A time will come when you have to purchase a new car. One of the main determining factors is mileage. When a car is well-maintained, it can get to over 150,000 miles.
Many cars last 200,000 miles. In terms of the number of years, it depends on the car. If you can get a car to last you eight years, you’re doing really well. That’s why it’s best to think about the mileage when you’re considering if you need to buy a new car or just get it repaired.
4. Look at the Financing Options for a New Car.
If you don’t have stellar credit, you’re going to get a higher interest rate on the loan for your car. The higher your interest rate is, the more money you’re going to spend throughout the lifetime of the loan. Take a cold, hard look at your credit score. If it could use a lot of work, it’s important to actively work on that score since a better score will save your family a lot of money.
If you’re able to pay for a new car with cash, that’s another ideal option. When you don’t have a car note, that’s the most ideal option. Knowing this, if the current car is paid off and only requires minor repairs, hold off on getting the new car.
5. Consider Your Short-Term and Long-Term Financial Goals.
If you and your family want to move from your apartment into a single-family home in the next two years, consider whether or not you’ll want to shoulder the new debt that a car note will bring. When mortgage companies consider giving out loans, they look at major purchases and how frequently people swipe their credit cards.
This is one of the reasons why it’s wise to closely look at the family’s short-term and long-term financial goals. If it makes more sense to invest in a new family car, you all will be able to make a sound decision because you’re fully informed. Every family is different. The expenses within each family are different as well.
When you factor in all of these elements, it’ll be a lot easier to make a sound decision that honors the family’s needs. Since a car purchase is such a major expense, you don’t want to do so lightly. If repairs will extend the life of your car until you’re ready to purchase a new one, it might be worth it.
Just be sure that you’re making the decision based on what your family needs instead of a desire to impress others. Many people purchase vehicles to impress people who don’t have to pay for the car note. Ignore the opinions, and avoid the temptation to keep up with the Joneses’. Do what’s the healthiest for your family, and you won’t regret it in the long run.