Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.
My 2008 Model Toyota Camry Needs About $3,000 Worth of Work. Should I Repair It or Buy a New One?
Tom from California: "Here's my dilemma: I have a 2008 Toyota Camry with 185,000 miles that needs about $3,000 worth of work, probably more than the car is worth. I think it's time to buy a new car. This could be a safety issue, but late-model used cars now cost as much as new cars used to cost.
“New cars are also more costly, hard to come by and the selection is limited. I may have to settle for a color or equipment I don’t really want.
“Should I repair my existing car, which I know you usually would not recommend, and wait for prices to drop and availability and selection to improve or pay the higher price for a new or used car, which I may not really want, but that’s still available?”
Clark’s Take on Whether It’s Worth It to Spend $3K on a 2008 High-Mileage Car
Clark says: "You're right, this is a dilemma, because I looked up the value of your 2008 Camry, and it's right in the ballpark of what these repairs would cost."
“If you got another six months out it, you’re fine because the Camry would still have residual value, selling it at the end of that time period,” Clark says.
As for buying a new car, Clark says you may have to wait a bit for prices to drop, but it's likely going to happen.
“I think you’re going to see some price pressures easing in the car market if you buy yourself some time,” he says. “So I would — shockingly, I know it’s surprising — I would buy that time.“
Should You Repair Your Car or Not? Here’s How To Know
Here’s Clark’s general rule on whether or not to repair a car based on its value.
To hear Clark’s full take on this question, listen to the segment:
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More Resources From Clark.com:
- This Simple Car Maintenance Schedule Will Make Your Car Last Longer
- 3 Ways To Get a Free VIN Check Before Buying a Used Car
- Best and Worst Auto Insurance Companies
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