Car Time – October 2020

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Is It Still Worth It to Keep Your Current Vehicle?

    At some point, you may be faced with the decision as to whether or not your vehicle is worth keeping. I find that sometimes people like their car but question how much money to spend on it. It is important to look at the big picture.
    Sometimes, our lives demand a different type of vehicle. An expanding family, for example, may face this circumstance. Conversely, you may have an empty nest and no longer need a large SUV. In other cases, the vehicle still fits your needs, and it makes more sense to keep it.
    Lamorinda motorists faced with the decision about making a big investment for a vehicle typically weigh whether it is a smart move. It is prudent to remember these cars and SUVs, though when new looking as if they would never need it, require maintenance and upkeep as the years go by, which translates to required financial investments.
    Wear and tear components (your battery, tires and brakes) are routine expectations. Unfortunately, owners may somewhat neglect maintenance and end up with a shocking bill. This does not mean you have to dump the vehicle. Replacing it does not usually save money.
    There are other times, however, when the family hauler needs something significant like a transmission or an engine that exceeds the current value of the vehicle. Once again, this does not mean it is not worth the repair since you might be adding value with the big-ticket item. The alternative is usually more expensive in the long run. If you try to replace it with a similar used vehicle, you are taking a chance it will require further expenses as well. If you replace it with a new car, all of the expenses that go along with ownership increase.
    Your registration fees will double or triple. Insurance costs will also go up, not to mention interest on car payments. And, the cycle will continue. When your purchase is still being paid off, it might be time again for a battery, four tires, or brakes, etc. I ask my customers a few simple questions: Do you like the vehicle still? Does it do all of the things you need it to do? Do you need a vehicle that does more? If it still suits your needs, then it is okay to make a significant investment. You will get your investment back by just driving it and using it. Meanwhile every year you own it, the registration fees and insurance costs will go 
down.
    It may not have the whiz-bang techno features of today’s vehicles, but those are the features that are most likely to fail and cost money to repair in the future. As a matter of fact, today’s vehicles have much more technology that will be more costly in the future. If your car does need a significant repair, it is a good idea to have an overall inspection performed by somebody you trust. That way you can understand if there are other required repairs that could affect your decision. As usual I encourage you to be a good consumer of auto repair. I am always available for automotive 
consultation.

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