Is my car worth repairing, or should I buy a new or used vehicle?

With auto parts hard to find, and prices higher than they’ve ever been, you may be asking yourself, “Is my car worth repairing, or should I just buy a new or used vehicle?” While that is a question that is really based on your particular situation, here’s a thought process that may help you decide if your car is worth repairing.


What is your car worth?

So the first question you need to ask yourself is this, “What is my car really worth?” In the condition it is in, with the repairs needed, at the current milage, you can use tools such as NADA and Kelly Blue Book to find those answers. Now you have a good baseline to make your decision. For this illustration, we’ll use a 2006 Ford Mustang as test vehicle (Please Note: Every vehicle and scenario is different, so run your numbers specifically before making a final decision. This is just a sample.) So roughly, the private party value for this car is $5,500.


What repairs do you need?

When you think about your vehicle, there are three types of repairs you need to consider: necessary, preferred, and custom. Necessary vehicle repairs are those to keep your car running and safely on the road. Preferred vehicle repairs are the ones we all love, but aren’t needed. For instance, air conditioning. We all love it, but it is not needed to get us from point A to point B. Custom vehicle repairs are the upgrades we make to pimp our ride and have. Stuff like new rims, spoilers, and exhaust tips. In this scenario, we’re only going to consider the first two. So think about your car, and make a list of the repairs you need, and leave room for three columns: new auto part prices, used auto part prices, and installation costs. For this example, let’s say your Mustang is in relatively good condition and just needs an alternator. The price for new auto parts is around $300. The price for quality used auto parts in Pensacola at Butler’s that come with a performance guarantee is about $90.


Can you make the repairs yourself?

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably a do it yourselfer. However, not every auto enthusiast is handy. So the repair cost for any vehicle needs to be taken in consideration. Typically repair shops go by a manual that defines the average number of hours for any repair (note I said average). Many great auto repair shops in Pensacola such as Strong Auto Repair use Mitchell1. So if you were to bring your Mustang in for the service, you’d be looking at the number of hours estimated to complete the repair from the Mitchell manual (1 hour), times the mechanics hourly rate ($125/hr). In this particular example then, the repair would be somewhere around $125.


Research what are new and used vehicles selling for today?

Now that you have all the data for your car, you need to consider what used cars and new cars are selling for in today’s market. Using the same NADA and KBB tools listed above, maybe even Facebook Marketplace, start researching vehicles that you would consider purchasing. This is a very time consuming process, and especially with used vehicles, you never know what you are going to get. Just because someone says the vehicle they are selling is in good shape, sadly that is not always the case. The last thing you want to do is buy someone else’s problem child and inherit their problems… and expenses. That’s one of the great things about repairing your existing vehicle. You already know all of the real issues with the vehicle, and won’t be taken by surprise.


Run the numbers

Now that you know what your car is worth in today’s market, what a new or used what repairs you need, the cost of repairs (if outsourced), and what a new or used car purchase would look like, you can now make an educated judgement call if you should be in the market for a new or used vehicle, or simply repair your Mustang and save a ton of time, headaches, and money. In this example, if the quality used auto part from Butler’s is only around $90, and the installation cost is about $125, for under $300 it totally makes sense to keep your vehicle.


Want to be sure?

If you would like help in deciding if fixing your existing vehicle is worth it, contact Butler’s today! We’d love to put together a list of quality used auto parts for you to use in deciding what your next step is. And remember, all used auto parts from Butler Auto Recycling come with our auto parts guarantee so you can drive freely, safely, and with peace of mind. Enjoy!


Sincerely Your Friend & Fellow Auto Enthusiast,
Butler Auto Recycling Jim Butler Boss of the Year

Jim Butler
Owner, Butler Auto Recycling

Special thanks and recognition to the following source(s) for the image(s) used in this article:

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