When Should I Sell My Lemon Car?



Not long ago a client came to our session feeling really frustrated.

His car had been having issues, and every time he fixed one, another would pop up. In the 30 days leading up to our meeting, he had spent close to $2,000 on repairs. While the car was old, it likely still had some life in it.

"At what point does it make more sense to just go get a new car?" He asked. "I mean, I don't want a car payment, but at least it would be reliable and would probably be cheaper than what I'm spending on repairs."

This question is SO common. I've had many clients express this frustration.

The best way to approach it is to take the emotion and frustration out of the equation. Ask yourself this simple question:

"Does borrowing money for a car line up with my financial values?"


For me, it doesn't. I won't borrow money for a car ever again. So if faced with this problem, my choices would be to either continue driving and fixing this car, or buy another one with cash.

By breaking it down to my values with money, I was able to immediately take some options off the table. Now I can make a calculated decision from there.

When I asked this question, he said the same thing- borrowing doesn't line up with his values.

We stepped back even further to analyze how much is car was actually costing him.

It was paid for, so there was no monthly car note. He went back and looked the number of repairs he had to make in the last 12 months. Aside from this crazy month, he only had about $100 in oil changes. So let's call it $2,100/year.

Then we looked at the car he would get if he did borrow money. We estimated the car payment would be about $400/month, which equals $4,800/year (not including repairs and oil changes).

Even though the repairs hit at once (which stings), he decided it still made financial sense for him to stick with the car.




Most business owners struggle with managing their money, resulting in smaller paychecks for themselves. At Craig Dacy Financial Coaching, we help make managing your money simple. That way you can easily run a business that pays you more. Schedule your free coaching session now.

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