Cars can cause a lot of unexpected expenses when they get older and start to break down more and it is not often easy to know when a car should be traded in for a newer model. This reader wanted to know opinions on how one can tell when it’s time to get rid of the old car as to not waste money:
I need some help on what I should do with my current car situation. My current car is on its last legs and recently has been costing me quite a bit of money in repair bills. I’ve paid out over $500 in the last 2 months and it has drained my emergency fund.
I know that it will be time for me to get a new car soon, but I don’t have any money put aside for it. I’m wondering if I should continue to use this car and hope that it doesn’t break down anymore so that I can save up a bit of money for a new car and don’t have to take too much out in a loan, or if I should take out a loan to get a newer car that I know will be more reliable.
Is there a formula or guide to go buy to know if the car is going to cost more to repair and it’s time to get a new one? Since money is really tight for me, I need to make the right decision because I can’t afford to waste money one way or the other. Do you have any suggestions?
How do you determine when it’s time to get a new car and what financial steps do you take before getting it?