Many of us become attached to our vehicles and are loath to give them up. Maybe you like the car or the payment? However, there will come a time when it no longer makes sense to continue maintaining your car. Here are the top 6 instances when you should consider trading up.
1. When the repair costs are more than the car's value.
To repair or not to repair? Here’s the short answer – repair it if you know you could still make more money by selling it (in its repaired state) at a later time. If the repair costs more than the car's worth, there’s good reason to give it up. Financially you’ll have to weigh the effect of a lump sum payment for the repair vs. a larger payment over time broken down into smaller monthly payments if you opt for the new ride. You’ll have your work cut out for you with this one.
2. When the engine seizes/needs replacing.
The cost alone of a new engine is worth considering other options. If the rest of the vehicle is in fantastic shape, then it might be worth it. Check to see if it's somehow partially or fully covered by insurance or warranty. It's not a given, but depending on what happened to the engine, chances are other parts may have been affected as well.
3. When there are just too many major repair jobs.
You can go along slowly repairing them one by one, with costs and time spent adding up, but at some point reality sets in and the overall commitments are too great.
4. When you can't find or afford new parts.
The sheer amount of parts available online can make that less and less of a reality. Still, there’s a point when, unless the car is a collectible, it’s time to let it go because the parts are prohibitively expensive or absolutely obsolete.
5. When you move to a dramatically different environment.
Practicality is key here and this mostly comes up when you move. Consider the climate on your little bitty sports car or Jeep, or convertible.
6. When it's been in a huge accident.
There are a lot of things mechanics and body shops can fix in a car that’s been wrecked, but if you ever plan to sell the vehicle, the record of that accident is going to put a major dent in the resale value – no matter how well the damages were repaired. So choosing to call it what it is and sell the car now before it loses too much more value might be the best approach for you.