Car needs repairs – should I repair it, or buy a "new" car?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
2783 posts
Sugar bee

@CakeyP:  you need to buy a new car. There’s no point in putting that amount mod money into a car that’s worth so little. The mechanic might even buy it from you. That happened to me once, because he could fix it for SOOOO little on his own time ya know.

Post # 4
Member
3635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

At that point, I would get rid of it. You think that once that’s fixed it will run great for a while, but there’s always something else once major stuff starts to go. 

Start looking ASAP, and I would probably trade it in to a dealership just to get a few $100 for it and not feel guilty about selling a broken car to someone. 

Remember you don’t have to finance the whole cost – you can just finance $1000 if you want to build some credit, and pay it off over a year or less. 

Post # 5
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@CakeyP:  It sounds like repairs are going to cost as much as the car is worth so it’s generally not worth it to fix.  So it looks like it’s time to get a new (or new to you) car.

Post # 6
Member
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’d get rid of it. No point spending exactly what it’s worth on repairs. 

Yay new car shopping! You should totally get a Mustang… 

Post # 8
Member
2179 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

I’d trade it in and put that on a new car. It seems like even if you fix the issues, it’s still an older car with something else that will go wrong eventually.

I’d trade in, get a new car, finance it and pay if off early. It will help your credit, you’ll get a newer safer car and it will be paid off relatively quickly.

Post # 9
Member
3777 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I just made this decision myself a few weeks ago. I had a 1999 Jeep that needed new tires and some repairs. I decided it was time for a new car instead of paying almost what the car was worth into repairs. I’m very happy with my decision!

Post # 10
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Two things you have to think about: 1) How much more life could you reasonably get out of the car if you fixed it? 2) What is the probability of other costly repairs in the near future?

Going off of what you’ve told us, my advice would be to get the best car you can reasonably afford. That will probably mean taking out a small loan, but you will be better off in the long run. If your car was worth a bit more, I would tell you to sell it and just use that cash. But you’re not going to be able to buy much for what you’d get out of your current vehicle. This is where Dave Ramsey and I butt heads (and it’s not because my dad is a car dealer, either)–buying a car with cash is all fine and dandy if you have enough cash to buy something reliable. But if not–I wonder if Dave has ever been stuck on the side of the interstate multiple times with an overheated car while 18-wheelers speed by? The key here is reliability, and you’ll probably need to spend about $6k for that, which is well within your $10k budget. I was in the exact same position as you with my previous car; every time I turned around something was broken and I think I ended up replacing every part under the hood…and it *still* had problems. I was debt-free and I hated the idea of a car payment, but if you can pay it off fairly quickly and have the luxury of not having to wonder whether your car will be able to withstand a 10-mile journey across town, it’ll be money well spent.

Post # 11
Member
2184 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

I had a ’95 Corolla since high school… I loved that car. She was great. She never gave me any problems at all… until early last year when it seemed she just gave up. The mechanic actually told me I should keep her and repair because she still had a lot of life in her, but we chose to buy a new car. 

With older cars… it’s likely that things will keep breaking. Look around and see what you can find in your price range. We ended up getting a brand new Civic– for super cheap because it had been used as a demo car, so it had 2,000 miles on it. We were still able to get the whole new car warranty. 

Post # 12
Member
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@CakeyP:  New car for sure. I went through the same thing a year ago…it wasn’t worth it to fix my old car because every other month some other problem would pop up.

Post # 13
Member
2783 posts
Sugar bee

@CakeyP:  good idea to switch the tires..I’m sure your sis would appreciate that!!!!

Post # 14
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I just sold my ’99 Cavalier with 120K miles last year! I got $900 (as a private sale, engline light on, no major problems)

It’s definitely worth it to get the newer car.

Post # 15
Member
761 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I literally just had this issue 2 months ago and I opted to purchase a new car. I am paying less on my new one than I was on my old one, including insurance, and it’s reliable. How could I say no to that. I traded that sucker in and never looked back. I love my new car.

Once major things start going to crap, more things will turn to crap and that car will end up sucking away at your finances. You will probably end up spending more in repairs than just getting something newer in the long run.

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