Should I Repair My Vehicle or Buy a New One?

There comes a time when you own a car that you find yourself asking if you should make the necessary repair to keep the vehicle running or purchase a new vehicle. If you are not sure which choice you should make, there are two things worth considering.

1. Cost of the Repairs

The repair cost will play a significant role in determining if you want to repair or replace the vehicle. Like replacing a transmission, some major repairs can cost over $3,000. A new engine can cost $10,000, and engine work can run anywhere in between.

Even if the repair is affordable this time, you will have to ask yourself if this repair indicates potential future problems. For instance, a damaged suspension system may be a somewhat inexpensive repair but has that broken part caused damage to your frame, alignment or caused other issues that may have to be repaired in the near future.

You will also need to weigh the difference between the value of the vehicle and the cost of the repairs. If you are facing a $5,000 repair, and the vehicle is only blue book valued at $6,000, it will probably be in your best interest to invest that $5,000 into a new vehicle depending on your financial circumstances.



2. Cost of Buying Another Car

As with any purchase, there are additional factors that must be considered before opting to buy another vehicle instead of making repairs. Both new and used vehicles have many costs associated with their purchase.

When you purchase a new car, you will have to pay for:

  • New title and registration
  • Transfer of license plates or new plates
  • Monthly payments (if financing)
  • Full comprehensive coverage insurance (if financing)
  • Mechanic checks (if buying an uncertified, used vehicle)
  • Additional state fees (some states have fees or tests that must be conducted prior to a title transfer)

These costs may still be less expensive than making a repair on an older vehicle. Make sure that you look at these costs while making your decision.

Make Sure You “Know” The Car You Are Buying

If you decide you are going to replace your vehicle instead of making repairs, make sure that you “know” the car you plan to buy. If the vehicle is used, even if it is a certified used vehicle being purchased from a dealership, you will want a vehicle history report.

If you are buying from a lot that does not sell certified used vehicles, or you are buying from an individual, it is even more important to have a VINsmart vehicle history report to review prior to making the sale.

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a history of registration and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


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