Do I fix it or do I get rid of it? Which is better for the bank account and\or peace of mind? This can be a very complicated issue indeed. On one hand you have a car that is paid for and the thought of a car note makes you sick. On the other hand the uncertainty of having a reliable vehicle worries you to death. Will your old clunker leave you stranded somewhere?
There is a fine line in where it is more painful to keep an old pile of junk that you are constantly fixing. The truth is it actually is cheaper to keep'em. Vehicles from the late nineties onward are built much better than the vehicles were in the days of yore. There was a time when a vehicle with 100,000 miles on it was completely worn out. Modern vehicles are at their half-life at 100,000 - 150,000 miles. With proper maintenance it is easy to drive a modern vehicle to the 300,000 mile mark. In our experience the lifespan of most modern vehicles is about 20 years old and 300,000 miles.
What about the money it takes to maintain an older vehicle versus having a note? Numerous studies have proven that a properly maintained used vehicle costs between 20-80% less to operate up to a certain age and mileage. With the high sales prices of new vehicles today this is not a hard fact to believe.
The moral of the story is that if you buy used and drive it for 10-20 years your bank account will be in the sidelines cheering you on!