Your car may be rusted-out, leaking and temperamental, but you’ve been through thick and thin together and want to use it as long as possible. At what point do you call it quits? How long do you continue to patch up your faithful steed before deciding it’s time for an upgrade? Your decision should be made after weighing several practical and emotional considerations.

Reasons to Repair It:

  • You recently made other expensive fixes. In theory, what you fixed shouldn’t need repairs for a long while, keeping your expected costs low for the near future.
  • A single repair will drastically extend the life of your vehicle. Generally, even major repairs are unlikely to cost as much as the price of a new vehicle.
  • The repair your car needs may be covered by a recall. Look up your car model using safercar.gov’s recall look-up tool. If there’s a recall, you can typically skip an expensive visit to the mechanic and get a free repair from the manufacturer.
  • A newer car may have higher registration fees and insurance costs, depending on its value. That’s a great perk of many older vehicles—their value is lower, so they generally cost less to insure.
  • Your car means something to you. If you inherited the family car or you finally managed to get the car of your dreams, you may decide that it’s worth repairing out of sentiment.

Reasons to Replace It:

  • Making monthly payments on a new vehicle is more financially predictable than paying for sporadic, expensive repairs. New and used vehicles may come with a warranty for a period of time, meaning you won’t be stuck paying for most major problems.
  • It’s an investment in your emotional well-being. If you find yourself stressing about whether your car will make it to work each morning or if it can handle a road trip to the grandparents, knowing that you can depend on your car can give you peace of mind.
  • Newer cars come standard with more safety features. Extra airbags, back-up cameras and blind-spot monitoring are becoming more common in basic car models, meaning you’ll enjoy a safer driving experience.
  • You could save on gas money. The average fuel economy of cars and trucks in the United States has been improving by about 0.5 mpg per year since 2004, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you’re currently feeling pain at the pump, you could stand to save a lot by finding a new model that burns less per mile.

Whether you need a loan for your new vehicle or are looking to refinance a current auto loan, Navy Federal can help you finance your ride. Learn about our auto loan options or call our member service line at 1-888-842-6328.