Repair or Buy? When You Should Buy a New Car

Repair or Buy? When You Should Buy a New Car

Your car is hood-up on the side of the road again, and you’re dreading the repair bill. If you’re not sure whether to fix your old car or spend the money on a new one, this guide should offer advice on how to make the most practical choice for your needs, with the help from financial and automotive experts.

When should you spend money on repairs?

It’s usually less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one, making budget reasons the top choice for repairing the car. Other reasons a repair may be a good choice include:

Insurance and registration fees will be higher on a new car.
You love your car. Sentimentality is not the most practical argument for fixing a car up, but it’s a real one.

When is buying a new car the answer?

If you feel like your car is a ticking time bomb, you’re better off ditching your car before it ditches you. Doing so while the car still has some value gives you some extra money towards a new car by selling it or trading it in. A new car is the answer if:

You want peace of mind. An older car can go out at anytime, even after an expensive repair, for unrelated reasons.
You want something safer. Backup cameras, electronic stability control, multiple airbags, driver assistance packages and blind-spot monitoring are more commonly standard options in new cars.
You want more fuel efficiency.

Can you really afford a new car?

A quick way to decide is by doing the math. A good rule of thumb is if the cost of repairs is greater than one year’s worth of monthly payments, it’s time to consider a new car.

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