Most of us find ourselves in a losing battle at some point trying to keep an old car on the road, even with the most conscientious maintenance and determined repairs. But the decision to put down the wrench and put your money into a more reliable vehicle can be agonizing. Wouldn’t it make more sense to patch things up instead of starting monthly car loan payments again? How do you know when the time is right?
Figuring out when to give Old Nellie the heave-ho is a highly personal decision. You may have a strong sentimental attachment to your car. You know its history and how it’s been maintained, and you know what costs and maintenance to expect in the months ahead. Still, most of us justifiably lose patience in the face of repeated breakdowns and bills. Consider these objective factors to help you see more clearly into a decision to repair or replace your old car.
It’s probably time to replace your old car when:
It’s a common misconception that filing for bankruptcy means you are financially ruined and won’t be able to rebuild your credit or obtain a car loan in the foreseeable future. This idea is far from the truth.
According to the Government of Canada, 1 in 6 Canadians will file for personal bankruptcy or file a consumer proposal at least once, so it’s a lot more common than you think. If you feel a little embarrassed or afraid of how this will affect your relationships with lenders in the future or whether you’ll ever qualify for a car loan, you don’t have to be. There are plenty of reputable lenders out there that will approve you for a car loan. There are also a ton of dealerships Canada Drives work with that offer in-house financing and cater to people who have less-than-stellar credit. In fact, some of Canada Drives’ dealer partners have specific programs dedicated to assisting anyone going through bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy means wiping out most of your debts, and the bankruptcy will stay on your credit record for up to six years. Despite this, it is possible to obtain a car loan at a reasonable interest rate.
- Your maintenance costs are higher than 50% of your car’s value. If you’re essentially re-buying your car every other month, you’re pouring money down the drain. Time to shore things up.
- You’re due for a big repair or major maintenance. If your car’s value has shrunk and you know you have a major outlay coming up, trade up now. Don’t hope against hope that a big infusion of cash will solve your issues. Again, consider whether the money you’re about to spend on your car represents more than half of its current value. If so, it’s time to go.
- Your car has become unsafe or unreliable. When getting from Point A to Point B has become a roll of the dice, it’s time to get a new vehicle. If your car can’t pass a safety inspection or run reliably, that’s a no-go. Even intermittent mechanical issues can become liabilities if they risk stranding you or your loved ones in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- You can afford to upgrade. Use our handy car financing calculator to run the numbers on how much your payments might be. Does that fit into your monthly budget?
Replacing your old beater with a brand new vehicle is the ideal fix for a never-ending stream of breakdowns and repairs. If payments for a new car loan don’t fit into your budget, consider the alternatives instead. Approval Guy Payment Saver auto loan could help bring a new car into reach, and the Approval Guy Car Buying Service helps make sure you don’t overpay. You might even want to buy your car online.
Still, the value of a new car drops by 20 percent the moment you drive it off the car lot, according to Edmunds.com. That means buying a used car sometimes makes more sense. Because you don’t want to trade one set of mechanical troubles for another, look for a certified pre-owned car from a dealer. You’ll get a warranty that gives you peace of mind and protection for your wallet.