The old rule of thumb was when your car was 10 years old, it was time to look for another car.
Forget that, consumer advocate Clark Howard says. New vehicles purchased in the last decade can last 225,000 miles.
A car with 100,000 miles on it has plenty of life left in it, he says, noting that the average household vehicle is 9.2 years old.
Keeping that car going for 225,000 miles seems a stretch in this climate. But Howard encourages people concerned about dollars and cents to repair that old car, rather than replacing it.
So spend a $1,000 on a car worth $3,000, if that’s that’s what it takes, Howard says. Besides, that $1,000 that could cover two $450 monthly car payments.
“In a couple of months you’re even, even if you leave the car along the side of the road,” he said on his Headline News cable show.
His says the vehicle is worth repairing if the cost of the repair equals up to half the car’s value.
Consumer Reports goes even further: The car is worth repairing until repair costs exceed the value of the vehicle.
Of course, if you REALLY want a new car and don’t care about the bottom line, then go ahead, buy that new car.