If you’re driving around in an old car, you may be asking yourself should you keep it and fix it or junk it. This article will help you figure out the answer to that question, and should you want to junk it, your best option for getting the most money for your junk car! 

When it’s better to fix your car

If you’re wondering should I fix my car or junk it, there are a few things to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons it’s worth it to fix my old car and hold onto it a little longer before you decide to junk it. 

When it’s regular wear and tear

Replacing things like tires, hoses, belts, and other rubber and “regular” items is to be expected. This is just a part of owning a car, and every vehicle must do this kind of maintenance to run properly and safely. 

When it meets your daily needs

If your current car is only necessary to get around town — to pick up the kids from school, get groceries, and get you around in the rain — it might be worth keeping. 

You have enough money saved up for unexpected repairs

It’s no secret that cars cost money to run. Aside from the regular, expected costs — filling it up with gas, paying insurance, regularly scheduled maintenance, yearly DMV fees — owning a car also comes with unexpected costs. 

You’ve looked into buying a new car, and the insurance and safety rating is about the same price

When you buy a new car, often — but not always — the cost of insurance and safety rating (which are often related) may change. This isn’t always the case, though. It’s worth looking into to see if you’ll get better rates (and peace of mind from a better safety rating) when you trade-in your car for a newer model, but if not, it might be worth keeping a bit longer. 

If you find yourself asking, “Should I salvage my car?” versus “Should I scrap my car?” chances are, you have thought about trading in your junk car for a new one, and you may even already know the answer. Let’s look at why it may be better to junk your car. 

When it’s better to junk your car

Depending on how old your car is, what condition it’s in, the mileage, or the running cost of repairs are — it might be a better (and safer) idea to junk your car and use that money to buy a new one. It’s a tough decision (or it may not be!) but knowing when to junk a car is the right choice might save you money in the long run. 

Let’s take a look at some reasons you might ask yourself, “When to fix or junk a car,” and the answer to that.

The running cost of repairs is worth more than the car.

If you ask yourself, “When do you need to junk a car,” it’s likely because you have to fix it fairly often. If you find yourself taking your vehicle to an automotive technician for repairs every few months, we don’t have to tell you those repairs are costing you money. If those repairs are costing you more than the car’s value, it’s better to scrap your car for the money and spend them on a new car. 

A new car has a lower insurance cost per month

In almost every case, a new car will have a better safety rating and will result in you paying a lower monthly insurance rate. Take the time to calculate (say, over the year, or however long your lease is) if the money saved from a lower insurance rate is worth it to trade your old car for a new one. 

A new car has a better safety rating

Like we said above, a new car will almost always have a better safety rating. Besides this, saving you money on your monthly insurance will give you more peace of mind. If you get nervous every time you get into your car, wondering if it will get you from point A to point B safely, or worse, asking yourself, “When is it time to tow a junk car?” it might be better to sell it to a scrapyard. (Remember! Needing to tow it from the side of the road to a mechanic to get it fixed is more money out of your pocket!) 

Your check engine light is constantly lit up

The question you may be asking yourself when you see this check engine light might be, “Is it better to fix a problem engine or junk it?” Generally speaking, fixing a car’s engine usually means a hefty bill. If your car has a lot of mileage on it, it’s only a matter of time until that engine will fail. (The same can be said about the transmission! And those costs of repairs are pretty high, too.) 

Your car has a lot of rust

Rust on the body panels isn’t such a big deal if you don’t mind what your car looks like, but if you can see rust on the outside of your car, there’s likely rust in places you can’t see. Rust on critical parts of the car — like the frame, engine mounts, transmission mounts, suspension, etc. — means the structural integrity of the car may be damaged. If you have severe rust on any of these major components, all it might take is hitting one big pothole before something gets broken beyond repair. If you take a look at the underside of your car, and you see a lot of rust, ask yourself, “Is now when to scrap a car?” The answer is most likely NOW. 

You’ve lost the title to your car

If you’ve lost the title to your car, it’s fine for you to drive it — but if you want to sell it to someone else, all necessary documents (which include the title) must be present for a legal transaction. Getting a replacement title will cost you money, time, and effort at the DMV… And we all know no one likes going to the DMV.

You’ve tried selling it, but no one buys it

Chances are, if you no longer want your car, no one else will want it either. If you’ve been trying to sell it for a long time, then every time someone comes to look at it, and they turn it down, you may be stuck with it — or your only option is to sell it to a junkyard. 

It’s been in a major accident

If you’ve been in a major accident, and you’re asking yourself, “Is it better to junk a totaled car or fix it?” The answer is to sell it. Aside from the safety factor, If a totaled car is ever back on the road (if that’s even possible), it will be with a salvage title — which depreciates the value of your car.