When faced with an extensive vehicle repair, it can leave you wondering if you should replace or repair your vehicle. And you’re not alone. If you aren’t a mechanic or car expert, it can be hard to know your next steps.
But we are here to help! Let’s talk about some of the big questions you need to ask yourself when debating replacing your car over repairing it.
When It’s Time to Replace Your Car
Deciding to replace over repair comes down to three main questions: 1. How much will repairs cost? 2. How much is your car worth? and 3. Are there any safety concerns that cannot be adequately repaired?
Finding Out the Cost of Repairs
If you were just in an accident or need a major repair, your first step is to visit your local auto shop. They can take a look at your vehicle and make a list of required repairs and let you know the cost of those repairs.
If you’re in the Houston area, make sure to stop by Northwest Auto Center. We are open Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 6:00 pm, and will be happy to look at your vehicle and let you know your options.
What Is Your Car Worth?
Once you know the cost of the repairs, it’s time to find out what your car is worth. When the cost of the repairs is more than your vehicle’s worth, that’s when you get a totaled car. It does vary state-to-state, but it’s considered a total if the repairs are more than 65% of the cash value in Texas, if it’s been in a collision or flooded according to most insurance companies.
If you want to keep your vehicle, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. If you decide to repair your car anyway, you can get a “salvage title” after it’s fixed and safe to be on the road. Just note, you will have a more challenging time selling or insuring a vehicle with a salvage title. (This is after a collision or if the vehicle was flooded).
If you haven’t been in an accident and are not involving your insurance company, you do not have to total your car. You can move forward with the repairs without changing the title.
Will My Car Be Safe Enough After Repairs?
When getting a quote for repairs, talk with your mechanic about how successful the repairs will be. An honest mechanic will help you make the decision if you should replace or repair your car by taking into account what types of repairs need to occur.
If there is extensive, irreparable damage to your vehicle, it’s time for a replacement.
Other Considerations When Deciding to Replace or Repair Your Vehicle
If the answer isn’t clear, it’s time to ponder some other items that can help you decide on your vehicle.
If you don’t have the lump sum to pay for major repairs, that can dictate your choice to replace or repair your vehicle.
If the car’s value is close to the cost of the repairs and you’d rather have a monthly payment than spend your savings, a replacement would be a good option.
Talk with your shop if you aren’t ready for a monthly car payment but don’t have the cash to cover the total repairs. They can give you a list of the highest priorities to keep you on the road and set a plan to complete the rest of the repairs over time. If you have an established relationship, some shops may be able to offer a payment plan, depending on their policies.
When you have had a vehicle for a long time, if it was in the family first, or if it’s a rare/hard-to-find vehicle that will influence your decision to repair or replace. For some folks, it’s worth putting in the extra money to repair their vehicle because it’s a car they want to keep around.
New Car Availability
Now more than ever, we are very aware of the inventory of the new car from the factory and shipping delays and chip shortages. So, if there isn’t a car available in your area that you want to replace yours with, repairs may become the better option.
Repairing Your Vehicle in Houston
While the decision to replace or repair your car is your own, there are a few key factors that will help you determine your decision.
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