Should I Invest More Money in My Car or Sell It?


Do you have a used car that has seen better days, but you’re still convinced there’s life in the old girl yet? If you are faced with another repair to your used car, you might be considering whether you should sell it or invest more money in it to keep it. This can be a tough decision, and there are many factors you should consider when making it. Ask yourself the following questions to help to make your choice easier.

1.      Do you owe money on your used car?

If you have a payment plan set up for your used vehicle, think about how much your car is worth (check Kelley Blue Book for current values) versus how much is left to pay off the car. You might owe more than the car is currently worth, making selling the car inadvisable. Wait until you’ve paid a bit more on the car, so that selling it will enable you to pay it off.

2.      How much are you currently spending on car insurance, maintenance and gas?

These three expenses will be found with any car, used or new. If you are driving a used car that’s a gas guzzler and are thinking of upgrading to a new hybrid, think about how much you’ll invest in the new car versus what you’d be spending in gas and maintenance on your current used vehicle. Are you going to be faced with any big repairs on your current used car in the near future? If so, how much will they cost? Are parts hard to obtain for your used car? Can you perform the required maintenance yourself or do you need to pay an auto mechanic to do it? These are all considerations you must keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of selling your used car versus buying a new or less used car.

3.      Do you own your used car?

If you have already paid off your used car and have the title, it is much easier to sell it. Keep this in mind when thinking about selling versus keeping your used car. Again, estimate your used car’s worth at Kelley Blue Book, and decide if it is worth selling it and obtaining the  money to put toward buying a new (or less used) car.

4.      Can you afford to buy a cheaper car than your current used car?

Another consideration to take into account when you are thinking of selling your used car is, can you afford to buy something cheaper than what you currently drive? Is your car worth enough that you can pay it off and then buy something smaller and cheaper without going into more debt? If so, consider selling your current used car. If, however, selling your used car to buy another car would put you even further into debt, this is probably not the right time to sell your used car. Keep it for a while until your debt is paid down further. At that time, you can consider selling it again.