Is patching up an old car worth it?

Last updated on June 6th, 2023
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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1. Have you checked the cost of repairs?

This is the first question that will come to mind, and it pays to put some considerable amount of time in before putting your hard-earned cash on the car. One thing to consider is that a used car at this stage would have depreciated considerably, which means that your chances of being at the mechanics will increase. Calculating the costs of repairing your used wheels can give you insight as to whether it would be worth financing or not. Also, check if the car has an extended warranty that will protect you from footing major mechanical failures.

2. Is it worth the long-time investment?

Not many Aussies are able to afford a new car off the bat. According to US auto analysts Manheim, the Australian used car market is estimated to be around 3 million units per annum. Although there are quality used vehicles available on the market, it still needs to be considered whether it is worth the investment or not. Consider whether it would be worth pumping in cash into a car that needs to be kept in a safe state and if it is worth forking out money on repairs in the long run. If you see the cost of doing this mounting up fast, then it is time to consider a new vehicle.

3. Do you know the cars history?

You may have spotted a used car that has a great price tag on it that you can’t possibly pass up. However, before you make an offer make sure that you run a quick car history check on websites such as PPSR or CarHistory. By using the cars VIN number, you will be able to check if the car has been stolen, has any finance owing on it, it’s service history, previous owners and more. This can give you a good insight into what you are investing in and whether it’s worth your time and money. Not doing a car history check can lead to a costly mistake.

4. Is it worth taking out finance for?

Most Australian cars have finance attached to them. According to the Royal Commission, 90% of all car sales were purchased through finance. Running your numbers can help you make a sound decision on whether taking out finance for the car is worth it or not. The last thing that you want is to purchase a lemon that is on its last wheels and a financing that will take you 3 years to pay off, but the car taps out on its first year of ownership. It is also helpful to check the ongoing costs of your loan and compare them against the expenses of your car to get an idea.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

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