What makes the most sense: Buying new, used or just make the repair?

When considering the age-old dilemma of whether to buy—new or used—or simply repair your vehicle, the first question you should ask is if your current vehicle meets your needs and isn’t a junker? If it meets your needs and isn’t trash, it may be worth making some repairs. But the bigger questions is, does making a repair make more sense than buying new or used?

Let's say $5,000 takes care of everything wrong with your car and puts it in perfect running condition. Let's also assume the car is worth about $5,000. Most people might be willing to pay $5,000 for a perfect $5,000 car. It wouldn’t make sense, however, to buy another used car for two reasons: You already have one and you can’t be certain how well a previous owner took care of any vehicle you might consider purchasing. Rather, if you spend your available money on repairs, you know exactly what you are getting.

The other option is to buy new. According to statistics released by Experian Automotive, the average new car payment is $493 per month. In 11 months, you will have paid the equivalent of the $5,000 worth of repairs but you still have four or five years of payments to go. Ultimately, if you are trying to keep good wheels under you for the least amount of money, we recommend make the repair. If you have a changing need or your car is beginning to need repair after repair beyond the cost of a monthly payment, it may instead be wise to consider a new vehicle.

 

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