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No matter how much you may love your old car, once it becomes a money pit, you may consider junking it for good. How do you know whether it’s time to repair your old car yet again or finally unload it? Read on.
How much is your monthly car repair budget? Add up all of the repairs you’ve spent money on in the past year, including basic maintenance like oil changes. The only thing you should leave out is how much you spent on gas. Divide the total number by 12. Consider this your car “payment.” Then, figure out how much you’d pay for a new or almost new car that doesn’t need such frequent repairs. If you’re spending more per month fixing an old car than you would on a new car, it’s time to junk your ride. Many places, like U Pull & Pay, offer cash for old automobiles, even if they don’t work.
Find out how much a big repair will cost. Maybe your car hasn’t had a lot of problems; maybe it has one big problem that you need to have fixed. Even so, one big problem can sometimes cost more than the car is worth. Bring your car to a professional who will diagnose the problem and give you a fair price. Then figure out how much the car is worth overall. If the price of the repair outweighs the value of the car, you may be better off getting a new one.
If you’re on the fence about junking your own car but there isn’t an immediate need to get rid of it, look at insurance costs. You’ll likely pay quite a bit more for insurance if you get an upgraded car. Look at your total monthly budget and decide if this is a good time to add more to it.
How much do you really need a reliable car? If you have a long commute every day or your car is the primary vehicle your family uses, it needs to be reliable. However, if you don’t drive too often and you have an emotional attachment to your car (maybe it was your father’s, or it’s been in the family for a while), there isn’t necessarily a rush to be done with it.
It’s not possible to see into the future and figure out if you’re truly making the right choice. Weighing the pros against the cons and crunching the numbers can certainly help you make a decision, though. Ultimately, it’s best to do the right thing for your safety, not to mention your budget.