When It Does Not Make Sense to Fix Your Car

During these hard economic times, we are all trying to stretch a dollar. One way we are doing that is by keeping our cars longer. That of course means we now have to make repairs to a car that we may have simply replaced a few years ago. That puts many of us into the uncharted waters of car repair. So, when does repairing the car fall into the category of throwing good money after bad? The answer depends on a lot of things and is different for everyone.
Obviously, one major contributor to that decision is the cost of the repairs. If the cost of those repairs is more that the car is worth, is does not make much sense to fix it. If you do not know the value of your car, you can find out from the Kelly Blue Book. The Kelly Blue Book only goes back twenty years. If your car is older than that, you can find out its value from The NADA Guides classic car section.
If the costs of repairs are less than the value of the vehicle and you are fairly handy, you may be able to save the labor costs by doing the repairs yourself. If you cannot do the repairs yourself, there are many things to consider when deciding what to do with the car. If your car has high mileage, is very old, has been giving you a lot of trouble or is generally in poor condition, it simply may not be in your best interest to repair it. Ultimately, the decision will come down to you level of comfort with your car.
If you do decide to replace your car, you then have to figure out what to do with it. You can trade it in. However, most car buying guides suggest that you are likely to get a better deal without a trade in. Also, the car dealer will probably not give you much for it because it needs repairs. For the same reason, it may be hard to sell it privately. Most car buyers do not want to purchase a car that needs repair, particularly if it does not run.
You can sell it to a junk yard. They might give you a couple of hundred dollars for it. They will then sell all the workable parts from it for a lot more money than you received, then crush it and sell the scrap metal.
You can decide to dismantle your car and sell the parts yourself. That will cost you a lot of time along with some money for advertising. Then you have to decide what to do if someone claims the part you sold them does not work. You also have the problem of disposing of the left over parts and the carcass of the car. And, many communities will not allow you to have a dismantled car on your property.

Leave a Reply