(PHOENIX) – With the average new-vehicle price hitting a record in February and a lean used-vehicle supply for the spring selling season, Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) want consumers to make informed decisions about whether to buy or replace vehicles.
J.D. Power projected total new-vehicle sales for February to reach more than 1.1 million, with the average price hitting a February record of $46,229, nearly 5% more than a year ago. An estimated 31% of new vehicles were sold above the manufactured suggested retail last month.
According to Cox Automotive, used vehicle inventory was down 14% at the end of January compared to a year earlier. The average list price was $26,510. While wholesale prices for used cars were starting to fall last year, analysts say they’re rising again.
· Conventional wisdom says if the cost of the repair plus the value of your car is less than the car’s value after the repair, then it makes sense to replace. For example, if your car is worth $5,000 and the repair will cost $1,000 then you’ll want the car to be worth $6,000 after the repair. A trusted certified mechanic can help determine how much a repair will add to your car’s value.
· But there’s more to consider, like whether you owe money on the car and how often you’ll need future repairs.
· A newer, more fuel-efficient car will generally save you money on gas and need fewer repairs but insurance and registration fees will be higher. Plus, you may have a new or higher monthly payment.
· Insurance and taxes on a new/newer vehicle could cost more than the ‘expensive’ repair.
· The best mechanic cannot fix ‘like’. If you don’t like your vehicle, consider looking for one you do—and can afford.
· Repairing will give you time to research options and save for another vehicle (preferably a used one that has been checked out by a certified mechanic).
· Finding a buyer for a car that needs significant repairs can be challenging.
· Take into account how often your car will be at the shop and how it will impact your daily life.
· Money aside, if the idea of replacing your car makes you feel like you’d be losing a good friend then repairing may be the best route.
· If the vehicle doesn’t fit your lifestyle, consider letting someone else invest in the repair.
If you decide to repair:
· Get quotes from reputable mechanics. Ask for a breakdown for parts and labor.
· After consulting with a certified mechanic, determine what repair(s) can wait. Focus on the highest priorities, with safety coming first. Once you find a trusted mechanic stick with that person or shop to maximize the relationship –and savings.
· Do it yourself. Maybe you don’t want to tackle an oil change but changing an air filter is one of the easiest replacements on your car. Ask your trusted mechanic for other suggestions and check out tutorials online – but be sure to do your research follow all safety precautions.
NARPRO (Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals): The Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) helps car owners find skilled and honest car repair shops. NARPRO only recommends independent, family-owned, full-service auto repair shops that have passed 26 rigorous tests. Visit www.NARPRO.com to find recommended shops near work or home. NARPRO is the easiest way to find an honest mechanic in the Valley.