Deciding when to repair or replace your car

Deciding to repair or replace your car is not an easy one, especially when you’re attached to your ‘old faithful’. But, when the monthly repair bills start piling up and causing a significant hole in your pocket, it could be more trouble than it’s worth.

How do you decide if it’s time to replace your car? Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to continue repairing your car, or buying a new one.

How much are you paying for repairs?

This is perhaps the most important question you should be asking. On average, a vehicle can cost us about $1,000 a year and that’s for regular maintenance and small repairs, such as replacing tyres and lightbulbs. If your car consistently needs larger repairs that cost more than it’s worth, it’s probably time to consider getting a new car.

Research your car’s market value

Finding out how much your car is worth can help you with the decision-making process. You can do this using Redbook. If your 20-year-old car is worth less than $1,000 and the repairs cost more than its value, it might be time to consider selling it or sending it to the wrecker’s yard.

Is your car safe?

Cars are designed to become consistently better, with more safety features becoming standard. An old car simply can’t keep up with the latest safety features and parts start becoming more challenging to obtain. Think about whether your car would be safe in an accident and if it would protect you and your passengers. If the answer is no, it’s time for an upgrade. Check the safety ratings on cars through Rightcar or ANCAP.

Get quotes from different mechanics

Before deciding on whether to repair or replace your car, don’t be afraid to get quotes from different mechanics – even if you’ve found a mechanic you trust. It would also be worth asking for their opinion on whether it’s worth going through with repairs or replacing your car. Getting multiple sources of feedback can help you make this big decision more accurately.

How much will it cost to get a new car?

Think about your budget and whether you can afford to get a new car. Remember that even new cars can come with unexpected repair costs now and then. You might find it’s more cost-effective to go with the repairs if it prolongs your car’s life for another year, so you can use that time to save up for another one.

There are plenty of things to consider when you’re deciding on whether it’s best to get a new car or not. Whatever you decide, be wary that a new car will still cost you money in repairs and maintenance. Consider getting comprehensive car insurance to protect yourself from accidents, unexpected repair bills, a shortfall in loan repayments and get access to 24-hour roadside assistance.

Autolife offers Mechanical Breakdown Insurance – get a free quote today