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Will repairing my car increase its value?

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Should I scrap my car?

When it comes to the value of your car, a common consideration is whether repairing it can actually increase its value. Even brand new cars steadily depreciate in value over time but in addition, having issues that need fixing can also make a dent in its worth too.

While the true answer will depend on the make, model and age of your car, as well as the scale of the fault(s) that need repairing, we can give you a general guide as to whether it’s better value to carry out the repairs or consider scrapping your car altogether.

Cars with problems aren’t easy sells

If you are looking to sell your car, but it has some obvious problems that need fixing, then it could take time for someone to buy it off you. After all, you have to factor in the car may need these repairs before it’s even roadworthy, and if the repairs are substantial it might even need towing to its new home. Way to put off potential buyers!

So, it makes sense that taking care of issues in advance can help achieve a quick sale. The longer the sale drags on, the more you have to fork out for associated running costs. Plus, you may end up having to haggle a really terrible deal, compared with if you had just got the problems fixed before trying to sell the car. Also, if your car won’t actually start without the repairs, it makes sense the value will increase to some degree once it does.

It may depend on what needs fixing

It goes without saying that there’s a difference between replacing a tyre that has a puncture, and something more complex such as replacing the clutch or alternator. If your car has racked up quite a few problems that have subsequently lead to other issues, this could cost even more to put things right. In fact, it’s not unheard of to buy a car for £600, only to find it requires £10,000 worth of repairs to bring it back up to standard.

Sadly, in the majority of cases, you are unlikely to recoup the car’s value when a large spend is involved, especially if the car didn’t cost a lot to begin with. That’s why it’s essential when buying a second-hand car to enquire about any issues upfront. However, even if the vehicle has recently had its MOT, that’s no guarantee further expenses won’t rack up, leading to a poor deal overall.

Regular maintenance is key

You might be familiar with the phrase ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, and when it comes to your car, allowing problems with things such as rust, the suspension or even an oil leak to fester, can cause even bigger problems later down the line, That’s why it’s a good idea to take your car to the garage for repairs at the earliest opportunity when you notice a problem.

If you are having to carry out excessive repairs, then you should consider that every time you spend money on doing so, you could be putting in more money than the car is worth. For example, say you own a 2013 Nissan Qashqai, worth around £5,600. Minor repairs are to be expected, but it should still run almost as new. However, if it needed major repairs, suddenly the bill could be £3,000 to put everything right. In that case, you’d be unlikely to reclaim in the value if you then tried to sell it after the repairs were completed.

Value doesn’t always have to be monetary

Cars can have huge sentimental value behind them, so in some cases, the value of the car isn’t financial, rather sentimental.

If the owner is prepared to spend money on fixing up a car, despite the fact they probably won’t reclaim their financial stake, but it means even more happy memories can be created, then this is a different type of value to consider. After all, it can be really difficult to sell or scrap a car that belonged to a loved one for example.

In any case, it’s still worth considering how much the overall job will cost in terms of parts and labour, especially if rare parts are needed (which is often the case for older cars), or if there is a huge amount of repairs that are required.

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