When to know if your old car is worth fixing or selling

If you’re a young adult or have an old car, without much car knowledge or experience, it may be a mistake to get continual engine repair if for the same cost you can get a reliable used car. Today, I’ll go over my experience in this regard and my hope will be that this blog post can help you decide if you should get costly car repairs or sell your car for scraps and get a new one.

The first thing you want to do, even if you have a feeling that selling your car is the way you’ll be going, is to get a simple diagnosis, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $120, depending on the mechanic, so that you’ll know exactly what’s wrong with your car and how much it’ll cost to repair.

Then, if you find a car for sale that only costs $700 but your repairs will come to $1,200, then what would be the logical decision to make? Sentimental value and how much you can afford might play a role in your decision. Also, you should be sure on how reliable that $700 car will be because a month after you buy it it might need further repairs. That’s usually the way for old cars.

Cars from the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s will always need to be maintained, often with unexpected issues that arise as a consequence of regular use. So you have to ask yourself if, just to save a few hundred dollars in the short term, is it worth selling the car you love for another used one that you’re not as fond of.

In my case, when I was in my mid-twenties deciding what to do with my old car from 1982, I loved my car so much, had developed so many memories with it, that I didn’t hesitate to pay over $2,000 in various repairs even though I could’ve probably find a used car for much less than that. This ended up being a huge mistake, however, because the repairs kept adding up and just a year later, when a new engine repair bill would cost a further $1,300 on a car I had only paid $700 for, I decided to give up and I sold my beloved 1982 car for scraps for a measly $250 and bought another used $700 car.

As you’ll guess, even this newer but used car ended up needing costly repairs just a year later. I decided to learn from my mistake and instead of paying another $1,200 to fix it, I sold it for scraps and got another used car. I ended up doing this every few years until I could finally afford to buy a brand new car. Brand new cars, by the way, don’t require expensive repairs liked used ones will, because, well, they’re new and typically come with good warranties.

So just remember that if your goal is to save money that you’re probably going to end up having to repair any used vehicle down the road. So you can either keep repairing a car that you love or buy and sell used cars every few years until you can afford a brand new one. If you can afford a brand new one, the upfront cost might be scary but if you can make it last you over 10 years then you’ll find that you saved a lot of money in the long run depending on the price of the car. I hope this information helped.

Good luck!

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