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Should I Fix My Older Car or Buy A Newer One?

Can fixing my older car save me money? Doing expensive repairs on your older vehicle can save you money in the long run. At AutoPro Auto Service, we want to show you various repair and replacement options and what they cost per month.

To use these guidelines, insert your current car make and model in the newer used or brand new vehicle columns. Knowledge is power, and it could help you avoid unforeseen costs when considering the repair or replacement of your vehicle. At AutoPro Auto Service, our goal is to assist you in making the right choice for your vehicle needs, so we hope you find this information useful.

Step One: Look at the cost to repair your current vehicle.

Let’s assume you have no added sales tax, additional insurance costs, purchase price, or license costs because you are only repairing your current vehicle. The chart below assumes that your current car needs approximately $3000.00 in repairs today. It is still an older car and will need about $1000.00 in repairs next year and the year after. If you sell it after 36 months, your cost per month should come out to only $111.11 per month in repair costs.

Repair Current Vehicle

Current repair       $3000.00

Sales tax @ 7%       $0.00

Repairs year 2       $1000.00

Repairs year 3       $1000.00

Added insurance       $0.00

Added license fees       $0.00

Total Spent       $5000.00

Sell after 36 months       $1000.00

Cost over 36 months       $4000.00

Cost per month       $111.11

*36 month table used based on 36-month nationwide transmission warranty.

Step Two:

Consider the cost of a newer vehicle that is about 4 years old.

When you purchase a newer used vehicle, you have to consider all costs involved. You will pay sales tax when you buy the car, plus insurance and license fees that will cost more. Plus, you will still need some general maintenance on your newer used vehicle, including brakes, tires, fluid flushes, oil changes, etc.

When you add it all up, the cost to drive a newer used vehicle will likely cost you approximately $180.00 per month. That’s an added $2500.00 over three years!

Buy 4-Year-Old Vehicle

Purchase price       $12,425.00

Sales tax @ 7%       $870.00

Repairs year 2       $300.00

Repairs year 3       $300.00

Added insurance @ $100/yr       $300.00

Added license fees @ $100/yr       $300.00

Total Spent       $14,495.00

Sell after 36 months       $8000.00

Cost over 36 months       $6495.00

Cost per month       $180.41

*Purchase price and 36-month selling price based on Chevrolet Impala - prices from AutoTrader.com.

Step Three:

Analyze the overall cost of a brand new vehicle.

Everyone dreams of owning a brand new car. The car companies seem to make it look very affordable with low monthly payments spread out over enough years that the car has lost most of its value. Let’s look at the cost of purchasing a brand new car and selling it after 36 months.

As you can see in the chart below, a brand new vehicle is the most expensive to drive each month. At about $627.00 per month, a brand new car will have an added cost over repairing your current vehicle of over $20,000.00!

Buy Brand New Vehicle

Purchase price       $34,000.00

Sales tax @ 7%       $2380.00

Repairs year 2       $0.00

Repairs year 3       $0.00

Added insurance @ $200/yr       $600.00

Added license fees @ $200/yr       $600.00

Total Spent       $37,500.00

Sell after 36 months       $15,000.00

Cost over 36 months       $22,580.00

Cost per month       $627.22

*Purchase price and 36-month selling price based on Chevrolet Impala - prices from AutoTrader.com.

If you like your current vehicle and would like to hold onto it a while longer, you should find that you’ll save money over the long haul. For high-quality auto repair and an excellent customer service experience, visit AutoPro Auto Service. Our team of ASE-Certified auto mechanics is helpful, very knowledgeable, and strives to maintain your vehicle so it can transport you safely and reliably. AutoPro Auto Service is located at 7901 West River Road in Brooklyn Park, MN 55444. Call us with questions or schedule an appointment today. You’ll be glad you did!