Should You Fix Your Car Again or Buy a New One?

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 24, 2019

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March 28, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

If you’ve owned your car for a number of years, you probably love it, and would hate to part with it. You’ve probably also spent plenty of money to keep the car well-maintained over the years, including purchasing everything from new brake pads to new tires, and a lot more. At this point in time, as much as you might love your car, you’re likely wondering if it’s worth keeping. Here are some signs that it’s a better idea to buy or lease a new car than fix your old car yet again.

Tally up the total amount of cash you’ve spent on maintenance and repairs this year, as well as previous years. If the total is only a few hundred dollars, you may be better off keeping the older car, since new car payments can total at least that same amount each month. However, if you’ve spent much more, or somewhere close to what it might cost you monthly to purchase a new car, then it would undoubtedly be a better idea to buy or lease a new car.

If you’re still making monthly payments on your car, then you have to add those costs to the costs of your maintenance. If the amount you’re spending over the course of the year doesn’t seem worth it, it’s a better idea to lease or buy a new car. Although you may have higher monthly payments to make with a newer car, the vehicle will also probably be under warranty for a number of years. Having general maintenance and repairs under warranty can save you a lot of money.

If your car is worth a decent amount, you can trade it in and put the money towards the purchase or lease of a new car. This can significantly lower your monthly payments, and the money you’ve put into maintaining the older car won’t have been completely lost.

It may cost more and more each year to keep your car running efficiently. At some point, your car may become unreliable or require more repairs and maintenance, and it might also not be worth enough to make a trade-in worthwhile.

Peace of mind is also an important factor in a decision such as this. Consider the facts carefully, but also consider how comfortable you might feel with a new car purchase or lease, and you’ll be better able to make your decision.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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