Have you already got a car that your parents gave you or that you bought from your first job saving up? Has it reached that point where you either put in more money to save it from the scrapyard or put that money and more towards a better car? Well. Let’s look at the stats…
How much would your car be worth if you sold it today? Honestly!!! Get an estimate from your trusted mechanic as to the total cost of bringing it up to standard, and ask them how much actual value it will add to the car (spending over $2,500 on replacing an engine is only worth doing if you plan on keeping the car, as a car is harder to sell with a reconditioned engine and the speedometer doesn’t equal the actual mileage). I’ve seen many cars with reconditioned engines for sale that sit online for month after month, even longer, and having to reduce the price many times to get some bites. If you aren’t in a hurry to sell or you want to keep it, then by all means go down this road. You have to expect to spend money on common things like brakes or tires, but when it gets to the more costly expenses like the transmission or engine, then you need to think about whether getting another car would actually be better for you and your bank balance in the long run.
If you know of the problems with your current vehicle and how much it would cost to fix, then you need to think about doing one of the following three options:-
Option 1. Sell your current car ‘as is’ for a lower price (to recover some money), where you list it with faults and all so the buyer knows exactly what they are getting themselves into
Option 2. Keep the car if you are attached to it, want to keep it for a few years, and happily put the money into getting your beloved car up to tip-top condition again, or…
Option 3. Get the car repaired, and then sell, hoping you will fetch a higher price than not getting it repaired at all.
Option 3 is a risky choice as you don’t know that after you have handed over your hard earned savings to get the car repaired, that you will recoup any of that money back. Most of the time, this doesn’t happen. So you are left with the first two options.
There is however another option –
Option 4. If you aren’t concerned about getting any money back for your current car (or can’t be bothered going through the hassle of listing it for sale and dealing with time-wasters and ‘no-shows’) and just want to see the back of it, you could donate it to a charity approved auction that donate any sales proceeds to helping either teenage homelessness or another such good-will fund. Alternatively, you could research the internet and find a local mechanics training college looking for donated cars to work on.
Decide whether you feel more attached to your current car, or feel it’s time for a change. Checking how much your car is really worth may help you sway one way or another. The Kelley Blue Book valuation website can help you get a rough idea, as well as looking at used car websites with similar models, similar condition, and similar mileage for sale in your area and around the country. While you are looking, check out what you could buy within your decided budget if you did either sell or get rid of your current car. Also check if you could get that little extra on finance if you are desperate to get yourself into an updated car. If you already have money owing on your current car, then you need to work out (with or without your current finance company) how much it would cost if you changed (or traded) cars today. You need to get an idea and crunch figures to see what it would take to buy another car, or if you can’t afford another car, but can afford to repair yours and keep it and you on the road.