Keeping a car for many years will save you the time and expenses that buying a new one can bring.
Old cars, as long as they’re well taken care of, can last many years, but sooner or later they’ll need to be repaired or get new parts.
Old cars can save you tons of money, provided that you take good care of them.
High-quality trucks and cars that have been treated well can live well past the 100,000 miles mark.
Keeping it will save you monthly payments on a new and expensive car or truck, as well as keep your insurance premiums low.
Depending on where you live, you might also get lower property taxes and registration fees.
But once the car or truck gets too old, the bills will be higher every time, and finding the needed parts will become harder to find for your mechanic.
Eventually, the costs might be so high that you could afford a new car.
As all models and makes are different, as are all owners, we cannot determine a default time at which the car or truck should be replaced.
Luckily, we can give you some tips that will help you decide if it’s time to say goodbye and get a new car or if there’s still hope for your old vehicle.
Know the true value of your car
Knowing how much your car or truck is truly worth will be determining in this process.
Without being sure of the vehicle’s value, the decision might end up being the wrong one, which could hurt your economy and cause you more and more expenses.
The easiest way to be certain of your car’s or truck’s value is to contact an auto valuation site.
They’ll request some information about the vehicle, such as the year, model, make, mileage, past repairs, planned repairs, etc.
Every detail will help them value your car.
You will usually receive three values for the car or truck.
For the purpose of deciding whether you should sell or not, we’ll use the trade-in value; that is the lowest.
To give you an idea of what this value is used for, if you went to a dealer to get a new car and used your old car in the deal, the trade-in value is the amount you’d receive.
Cost of keeping the car or truck on the road
If you’re considering keeping your old truck or car you should visit your mechanic and request a rundown of every big repair that the vehicle would need to keep running, other repairs that can be done no later than the following year, and any major maintenance the car will need in a year based on its mileage.
Any major and costly repair should be included in this rundown: from engine repairs or replacements to new tires, suspension parts, brakes, etc.
Basically, anything that would signify a big investment on the car or truck.
For reference, you can check the manual of the vehicle or go to a manufacturer’s to see the recommended maintenance schedule and how much it would cost.
These are repairs that might cause the car or truck to break down if they are neglected or postponed, often resulting in even bigger costs.
Make sure you and your mechanic take into account anything that is or will be essential to keep the car functioning properly.
Time to do some math
Once you know the cost of the repairs that your car or truck would need, the next step is to add up all the costs.
Once you have the total cost, compare that number to the trade-in value of your vehicle.
If the cost of keeping the car or truck on the road one more year exceeds the value of the vehicle, then it’s not worth it to keep it and you’d be better off investing that money on a new vehicle.
Make a recalculation with past repair bills
Comparing the costs of maintenance and the trade-in value is not the final step; you also need to take more things into account, especially if the difference is not that big.
As good as a mechanic might be, they can’t predict for sure what your car will need in the future; they can only give you an educated guess. But in the end, your car might need more than predicted, less than predicted, or maybe just completely different repairs.
What you can do is draw from experience!
Consumer reports and reliability guides can be great resources for this; they keep records of the specific problems each model and make consistently presents with age.
Looking at these records, you’ll be convinced that the older a car or truck is, the more maintenance it will need.
Look at consumer reports, dig up old repair bills, and try to estimate the amount of money you’ve spent on non-maintenance repairs in the last year.
Add this number to the cost of major needed repairs and maintenance, and you’ll get the answer to all your questions.
If the sum of the repairs is still higher than the trade-in value, then it’s definitely time to say goodbye to your old vehicle.
Trust your instinct
The numbers might still be pretty similar, which might make your decision harder.
Do take the time you need to evaluate your options and do what you think is best for you and your wallet.
Try to recall how the car feels, how it responds on the road, as well as any issues you’ve had with it in the past.
A short trip down memory lane is usually enough to clear your thoughts and see the light in this situation.
Trust your judgment and try to determine is the car is really worth keeping.
It’s no good keeping a car or truck that not only makes you feel unsafe but that also causes you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repair every other month.
A rule of thumb you can follow is comparing the monthly car expenses against your income; you should not be spending more than 8% of your salary in your car or truck.
Getting a loan to buy your new car or truck
Newer cars don’t usually require as much repairs as an old one, provided that it comes in good condition.
But you should also keep in mind that repairing a new car will be more expensive than repairing an old one; most parts will be more costly for new vehicles.
Also consider the initial cost of the car and the possibility of getting a loan to cover the expenses.
Loans can be very useful if you know exactly how to handle them in order to get the most of them and end up paying less.
Pay in cash
All payments in cash reduce your expenses as the interest is eliminated on the loan.
Before doing this, consider what else you could do with the money and potential earned interest if you don’t spend it on a new truck or car.
Remember: it’s all about a cost-benefit comparison.
Pay low interest rates
Low interest rates are your friends and will save you money.
However, keep in mind that even with a 0% rate, it might be cheaper to keep the old car or truck.
Don’t buy a new vehicle, buy a used car or truck
This is a new option if you want to reduce repair expenses without spending too much on a new vehicle.
You can find a car that’s newer than your current one and that’ll give you a few years to spare before buying an actual new car or truck.
Just make sure you check if the car is a certified used vehicle or certified pre-owned vehicle.
You can find these with a local car dealer; they should have warranties that can protect you from the repairs and maintenance you’re running from.
Certified vehicle programs differ from one make to another, but most of them offer one.
Most of these programs include:
- 100,000 miles or less mileage limit
- Refurbishing of the vehicle after an inspection with 100 to 300 inspection points
- Vehicles no older than five years
- Vehicles without major body word from previous accidents
- Extension of the warranty for new cars
Considering the benefits the certified vehicle programs include, they are considerably more expensive than regular used cars.
However, you’ll be protected in many instances and the extra cost can be worth it.
Selling your old car or truck
These tips are based on financial parameters; we’ve tried to help you determine if your old car is still affordable or will soon become a huge liability to you and your family.
But the financial aspect is not the only one that matters.
Before making your mind up, you should also consider what you want and need.
This is where comfort, safety, style, convenience, and reliability come into the picture.
You might have a cheap car, but is it really safe for you and your family?
Is your current vehicle’s size enough to cover your company’s or family’s needs?
Do take this into account before deciding.
But no matter what you do, make sure it’s a choice you’re 100% comfortable and happy with.
Aga Auto Inc. junk car buyers purchases any year, make, and model or used cars and trucks in Chicago.
Call 773-668-7071 to get your quote today!