Question: My car needs a number of repairs (new tires, brakes, timing belt) and I'm not sure it's worth putting the money into it. It's got about 110,000 miles on it from driving all around Wausau and Weston, and there's some good looking new cars out there! Should I go ahead and upgrade or just fix my current ride?
Answer: According to a new study, the average new vehicle now goes for $32,086, which works out to a typical monthly payment of $633 over four years. That's a jump of more than $1,000 in the past year—and it that's before you factor in insurance, gas and maintenance!
Even if you buy an inexpensive car and have a great interest rate, you'll be paying thousands of dollars a year in car payments for four to six years. In comparison, even a major auto repair, such as replacing or rebuilding your engine, often costs less than one year's worth of payments on a new car.
Another issue to take into consideration is insurance, which is often less on an older car than on a new model.
We urge you to check out these resources for more details on the true cost of buying a new car:
- Edmunds: Edmund’s True Cost to Own tool helps you calculate the cost of the car loan plus depreciation, loan interest, taxes and fees, repairs, insurance and more. Start your research here!
- Consumer Reports: What that car really costs to own
- Kiplinger: Should you keep your old car?
- Edmunds: When to repair your car and when to buy a new one
- Money Crashers: Keep driving an old car or buy new – what’s better?
- Lifehacker: Should I repair or just replace my old car?
As an Auto Select client, we pledge to give you the best auto repair advice for you and your needs – accurate, unbiased and without regard for "the sale." We'll help you prioritize necessary repairs so you have a clear picture of what needs done and when. And if you like, we can help talk you through the decision to repair an older car or to buy a new one.
If and when the time comes for major repairs, we offer the Car Care One card through GE Capital to help spread out the cost. With the Car Care One card, you can receive:
- 0% financing for 6 months on any repair of $299 or more.
- 0% financing for 12 months on any repair of $750 or more.
Whether you decide to stick with your current car or invest in a new one, we're here to help make owning a vehicle easy!