Is it better to repair an old car or just buy a new one?

You may be seeking to fix or replace your junker as the heat overpowering the sputtering air conditioning melts the seats to your back.

U.S. News and World report writes that the average age of cars in the United States has reached a historic high - 10.8 years. Inherent in the passing of a decade will be the need for repairs to many of these vehicles.

According to Tara Baukus Mello, a writer for Bankrate, when the time comes that your car begins to fail you it always makes more financial sense to fix it, rather than purchase a new one and deal with the car loan. Mello suggests that the difference between a new car or fixing the old one lies in the discrepancies between repairs and maintenance.

Maintenance may be all your car needs in order to get back on the road. However, sometimes your car will need full repairs, which can be a bit more expensive.

If you do need a repair though, U.S. News and World Report has listed several questions you should ask yourself about the car before making your decision. These will help save money in the long run.

First off, many of the problems your car may be experiencing can be diagnosed online, saving a trip to the mechanic. This will also give you an idea of how much it will cost to fix the car, though a mechanic will be able to give you a more precise estimate.

Also, find out how long the repair will extend your car's life. It won't be worth the money spent to fix your car if it will begin failing again within a few months. If you predict many repairs following this one, it may be time to just get a new car.

Another essential step in making the decision between repairing or buying new is determining the value of your car. Check Kelley Blue Book, and see what you car is valued at before repairs, in addition to after. When you check the value of your car, also keep in mind the cost of the repair. If repairing your vehicle carries a higher price than simply purchasing a new one, the choice seems obvious - it is time for a new car.

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