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Why Fix Your Old Car?

Written by Super User.

With the price tags on new cars growing steadily, car owners across the country are choosing to invest money in their current vehicles before thinking about buying a new car. Not only are regular maintenance and occasional repairs important to keep you safe, but they are smart financial decisions. Your car or truck is probably one of your most valuable assets, so it's very important to keep it in good running condition to save you money in the future.

The Big Fixes

Even cars that have had every bit of their deserved TLC will inevitably run into some issues. Parts like axle boots and brake rotors eventually need replacement. After you've racked up 150,000 to 200,000 kilometres, you might also be looking at replacing your timing belt, water pump or other drive belts. These repairs can cost over a thousand dollars, but this is no time to run to the nearest new car dealer. Though these parts carry a hefty price tag, an investment like this in your vehicle can keep it running safely and reliably for years to come.

The Cost of a New Car

A new car in Canada averages a final price of about $28,000, which breaks down to 20% down-payment, and $475 a month for five years. That's $5700 a year, and that doesn't even take into account registration fees and the hike in insurance prices. Even the most expensive repairs (transmission, suspension, radiator, and so on) won't usually set you back a quarter of that.

The Cost of Your Car

For vehicles older than three years, we recommend setting about $50 a month aside, and about $75 a month for cars more than seven years old. For most people this will cover all typical repairs and maintenance in a year.

The Verdict

Repairing an old car is almost always less expensive than buying a new one. Though a high repair bill is discouraging, it is likely a better financial decision than buying new, and if it isn't, your Ami-go mechanic is always there to offer advice, make suggestions, and answer all of your questions.