So your car has some dings n’ things. Maybe it has more than some dings. Maybe it has some cosmetic damage as well as having a major mechanical issue. How do you know when it’s time to scrap it and sell it to the junk yard versus going ahead and paying for the repairs? Here are two key questions I’d like everyone to consider when they come into our auto body shop in Springfield, MO.
- What is the car worth now, as is?
- What is the car going to be worth if the repairs are done?
- What can you afford?
To answer these questions, you’ll have to do a little research into the market value of the car and then maybe add in some intangibles to tip your decision one way or the other.
Imagine this round number scenario: You have a car that you bought used for $10,000. It’s a few years old, but was in decent working order before the wreck or malfunction or whatever problem is causing you to consider repairing it and was worth $5,000 at that point. The repair to be done by our expert and friendly auto body shop in Springfield, MO includes major body work and mechanical work and will cost you $6,000.
Would you pay $6,000 for a car that is only worth $5,000?
I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. Even if you sold it for the full $5,000 the day the repairs were complete, you would have lost $1,000 on the deal.
When your repair cost is be more than the resulting market value of the vehicle, your best bet is to junk it for however much you can.
But what if repair costs were only going to total $4,000 instead of $6,000? Would you pay $4,000 for a $5,000 car?
Sure. You’ve spent $4,000 on the car, but by selling it, you’ll make a $1,000 profit.
Compare that $1,000 to what the junk yard will give you if you sell it to them as is, without the repairs. They’d offer you $500 maybe? So if you pay for the repairs, you come out $500 ahead.
It makes sense when you look at from a bottom line, investment perspective, right? A lot of people doubt the wisdom of putting that much money into an older car that they might not be that interested in keeping any longer, anyway. But then when I show them the math in this way, they’ll often make the repairs and then put the resulting profit from the sale toward a newer or different vehicle that they’d rather have.
Of course, there are some times when just the pure numbers won’t be enough to persuade you one way or the other. Maybe you realize that you could make a little profit by repairing the car, but don’t want to hassle with it. It’s easier to junk it. I don’t know many people who have money to throw away like that, but some people do choose to forgo the repairs and the resulting profit.
Maybe your car repairs, even at our reasonably priced auto body shop in Springfield, MO, are more costly than the car will be worth anyway, but you decide to do the repairs because 1) you really like the car for aesthetic, collector, or nostalgic reasons or 2) the repairs are still less than what you could pay for another vehicle of comparable value.
So, like I said, when you’re trying to decide to junk or repair, think about how much value you can get out of the car both ways, what you can afford to do, and then add in any feelings you have for the car and you should be able to come up with a pretty clear decision.
Keep reading our blog for more car repair advice and be sure to call us at 417-886-0151 whenever you need an auto body shop in Springfield, MO.