New cars are expensive. That’s one of the primary drivers behind the increasing average age of car ownership. In the last few years, reports show that Americans are keeping their cars for an average of 11 years before investing in a new vehicle purchase.
However, your car’s age is not the only factor to consider when weighing repair vs. replacement. The cost of repairs compared to the cost of a car payment may indicate it’s time for a new ride.
There is a time when vehicle repairs are not the most cost-effective option. One way to know if you have reached that point is to know your car’s current market value.
Websites like Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds have calculators that show you what your car would be worth for private or dealer sale. With that figure in mind, you can calculate the repair cost as a percentage of your car’s total worth. For example, let’s say that the blue book value of your car is around $2000. A fix that equates to $800 equals to 40% of the total value of your vehicle.
Whenever repairs approach 30% of your car’s value, it may be time to consider investing in a newer car. The repairs you are considering now are likely to be followed by more repairs soon down the road. You can quickly spend more than the value of your existing car just trying to keep it running.
If you have questions about your car’s value or what maintenance and repair costs you can expect soon, talk to the mechanics at Quanz Auto Body. We can look up your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and calculate costs of routine maintenance that may come due in the next year. We can also inspect your vehicle to give you a better idea of your car’s health and expected useful life (assuming no accidents and routine maintenance is completed, of course).