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When is the Repair Not Worth the Money?

Upset mechanic standing in auto repair shop

Some cars seem to be taking up more money than they’re worth in repair bills. Others become severely damaged in an accident and you’re left with a decision to make: do you invest in repairs or simply buy a new car? There are a few things to consider before choosing.

Will These Repairs Extend the Life of Your Car?

Cars last a decade or more on average, longer if you’re meticulous about maintenance. But machines break down, and excessive wear and tear can cause repairs that may cost you more than you expected. If these repairs will add years to the life of your car, they’re saving you the cost of down payments, car payments, increased insurance and more.

Is the Cost of Repair Less than Half of the Car’s Value?

The current value of your car can give you a good baseline when it comes to deciding on repairs. If the repair quote is less than half of your car’s value, the repairs are going to save you money. However, if your car is older and has depreciated in value, repair bills can actually outweigh the price of your car and cost you money in the long run when you need to get a new car regardless.

Are You Paying Excessive Amounts for Maintenance?

Oil changes, brakes, spark plug replacements and standard vehicle maintenance is part of owning any car. If yours is causing you to return to an auto shop time and again, however, the cost of maintenance may outweigh what you’d pay in car payments. You could end up paying far more than needed just to keep an older car running.

When deciding on repairs, keep in mind that you’re paying for peace of mind. If the repairs aren’t going to guarantee you can drive your car worry-free for a year and the cost is more than half of your car’s value, it’s probably time for a new vehicle. If your car is only a few years old and has moderate body damage, then you’re investing in the vehicle’s longevity and you’ll get more out of it if you get repairs done.