It may sound crazy, but we all know that cars can feel like part of the family. You’ve been through college road trips, harrowing blizzards and countless other momentous life events together. But, like with all great adventures, there comes a time when your car’s journey reaches its end. It’s always tough to tell your car goodbye, but here are some things to consider so you know when that time comes:
Consider the cost of current repairs. A couple small repairs are easy to stomach, but when your car’s problems start to take a hit at the pocketbook, that’s when it’s time to make decisions. Here are a couple good rules of thumb to follow:
- Is the cost of repair less than half the market value of your car?
- Is the cost of repair less than a few months’ payment on a new car?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, it’s probably more cost-efficient to go ahead with the repairs versus buying a new car.
Consider the cost of anticipated future repairs. If the repairs are a one-time deal, you don’t mind dropping the cash. If the current repairs are only the beginning of a long list of anticipated repairs, that may mean it’s time to turn in the keys. Ask your mechanic what repairs are predicted for the next six months, and if the cost rises above half of the car’s market value, it’s time to think about getting yourself a new set of wheels.
Consider the car’s overall safety. This is especially true for vehicles that are a couple of decades old. Newer cars are manufactured with more safety concerns in mind, and some old cars lack basic safety features, such as airbags or stability control. We recommend asking your mechanic about the safety of your vehicle and its risk for breaking down.
Consider the car’s fuel efficiency. Even if large repairs are not a problem, you may be paying far more on gas than necessary. The older the car, the lower the fuel efficiency. Calculate your gas mileage by dividing the miles traveled by the number of gallons it took to fill up the tank, and if you find your mileage rate is steadily decreasing, it may be time to trade it in.
Consider your current living and financial situation. Lifestyle changes are a huge influencer when it comes to saying goodbye to your car. Do you have young children whose safety takes top priority? Did you take a new job that requires a long commute? Did you just score a promotion that can go towards a new vehicle? All of these factors should play an important role in your decision making.
Houska is here to help through every moment of your car’s lifespan. Talk to our mechanics to get a clear idea of your car’s repair costs and safety outlook so that you can make an informed choice about its fate. Call us at 970-818-5687 to set up an appointment today.