Vehicles have a few strange ways of sticking to your life. You either need to keep a vehicle because you can't afford another one, or you have some sentimental value to a vehicle. Sentimental value isn't easy to argue against and mostly depends on changes (or more specifically, limitations) to your way of life. Cost and affordability, however, can be a trap that leads to even more money problems if you're not careful. To avoid the money pit of car repairs, towing, and other services, here are a few concepts to help you let go of a money sink of a car.
Saving Up Can Be Hard
This is a difficult question to ask, because the answer sometimes has no easy solution. Are your repair costs more expensive than getting another car, even if it's used? The comparison of prices between continued repairs and getting another car can be obvious, but there are some hurdles.
First, if you can't save money, then it doesn't matter if you're paying a lot of money over time with multiple repairs. It's understandable that some people are at income and debt levels that make big, one-time purchases such as new cars virtually impossible.
You are not, however, necessarily the best judge of your finances. Especially in the United States, the drive to succeed and make it on your own because you have that freedom is strong, but that doesn't make you a financial powerhouse. Consider consulting one of many financial professionals that provide services for low income households to talk about your spending and ways to work towards a replacement car.
Low income is a reason, not an excuse. If you've never received financial counseling, give it a try. Even if it won't put new car keys in your hand that day, professional financial advisers can work wonders with financial planning. Don't take it as an insult; get an advantage with your new car.
How Much Will You Spend On Repairs?
The previous section discussed the trap of many small repairs and the difficulty of getting into a newer car with big, upfront costs. What if your repairs are a big, upfront cost?
If you have to spend thousands of dollars on a car for repairs, think about whether the repairs are worth it. Is the vehicle over a decade old? Did you need repairs before? Does the vehicle have zero or little sentimental value?
If the answers to those questions are "yes", let the car go, Junk the car for cash and get some extra money for it. Carpool for a bit while you look for a vehicle with the help of someone who knows cars, and use that money you'd otherwise spend on a vehicle with more major problems.
It's worth your time to get a mechanic on your side as you hunt for new vehicles. Used cars can give you a few years to boost your income before the next big repair problem, and you can make a goal to save up for a new car with a warranty. If money isn't a problem, definitely review the terms and conditions of a new vehicle. Take it in to the dealership or manufacturer every time you have a vehicle failure, and sell it as soon as the warranty expires.
Contact a junk car professional, such as from Trinity one Holding Corp, to discuss junking your vehicle, and ask for help with finding a replacement. They know a lot about cars, and being in a tight financial spot with a bad car isn't rare.