Your Car, Replace or Repair?

We all know that the economy really stinks right now. One of the industries that fell off with the economy is the auto industry. With people making less money, losing their jobs, and losing their investments, a lot more people are choosing to repair rather than replace their cars.

So is this practice of repair rather than replace a good thing? Well we wondered, so we took a closer look.

The pros and cons.

Repairing your old car might sound like a great idea. It’s treated you well so far, it has some problems, but hey it’s paid off so dumping a couple thousand dollars into it for say a transmission problem or something similarly high priced would be better in the long run than spending 20, 30, or 40 thousand dollars on a new car. Especially with the way the economy is today. And hey, you helped the environment a little by avoiding any negatives that come along with the manufacturing process of a new car. Right? Well, maybe not.

There are a few things to consider when you’re deciding to repair or replace. Stop here first for a second. If you’re in a tough financial spot right now, if you’ve lost your job, if your savings aren’t what they should be, then repairing is definitely the way to go. The decision to take on new debt is something that needs to be carefully decided. Go over your current financial situation and take a careful look at it before you buy a new car.

If a new car is in your financial sights, read on.

So what are the benefits of buying a new car over repairing my familiar paid off car. Are there even any? There sure are. Consider a few things.

Fuel economy. Surely if your car is getting old, it’s fuel economy is probably not up to par with newer technology. Getting into a new car can help you put significant savings in your wallet at the pump. Will this offset the cost of your new car? Not much, but it will save you some money, and it will help the environment.

Safety. Safety features in cars are constantly improving, year after year. From electronic stability control to side airbags, there are constantly new safety features being unveilled. While improved safety in your car doesn’t play a direct role in helping the environment, it plays a direct role in helping you, and that’s the most important thing.

Emissions. Year after year cars are becomming cleaner and producing less emissions. Stricter standards and advances in technology have led to cars that are more environmentally friendly than ever. Turning in your old car and replacing it with a new cleaner car can help the environment greatly.

Jobs and the economy. What drives the economy? Spending. Consumer spending drives our economy. We are the first set of gears that turn the econonic machine of our world. We play the most important part of our financial system and without us, the machine wont start. Getting money into this system is the single greatest way to help our economy today. Why is it so important to spur on this system? Well you’ve seen the results if consumers decreasing spending. They’re not good. But just as important, spending spurs automakers to make improvements and advances. It instigates competition and allows automakers to spend money developing newer, better technologies to in turn deliver to us. It gives us a way to take an active role in helping our economy. Most importantly though, it gives us a shiny new car.

Make sure you take a few things into consideration though. The shiny new car thing aside, there are a few ways that this could turn out to not be as good as you’d hoped it would be. So here are some simple tips.

Check the safety reviews. Make sure you research safety. Buy the safest car you can and make sure it’s safety rating is better than your current car. Getting something less safe would be more stupid.

Compare fuel economy and emissions. Let’s face it, there is no environmental benefit to buying a new car if you don’t get the best of both of these worlds. There’s also no financial benefit to you.

Research the manufacturer. Check on manufacturers environmental standards. Automakers are constantly improving their footprints and going towards zero waste at the factory. Purchasing from these automakers is a smart move.

Get the best price. This is your money. Spend it wisely. Don’t be afraid to shop around at several different dealers to get the best price. Also don’t be afraid to let other dealers know that you’re shopping around at their competition. Show them that you know what you’re talking about by researching the cars you’re interested in before you go to the dealer, and find out the price you should be paying. A simple rule of thumb? Never pay MSRP. Always pay as far below as you can negotiate. There are a lot of other tips out there, too many to get into here.

Enjoy it. Buying a new car should be fun and exciting. Enjoy testing out their new features and taking a fun test drive. If you’re feeling stressed about it, or you’re feeling too much pressure from the salesperson then leave. Come back another day. Besides loweing your stress levels, it will send the salesperson a clear message that you’re serious about buying a car and that you’re not going to stand for any of there usual pressure tactics. In fact, after leaving a situation like that, expect a call from the salesperson later that day or the next with a much better offer.

The lesson? There’s a time to repair and a time to replace. Consider the decision carefully.

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