Two weeks ago, it was a snowy day and someone skid down a hill and into me. Everyone is fine- but the car has some damage to the drivers side. It would cost $1800.00 to fix it.
Here is my dillema: repair the car or junk it?
The car is a '99 caravan. While that seems old- it only has around 55K (a little less) miles on it. We bought it used (it was a car used by the federal gov't) with the 38K , and have only put about 5K miles on it per year. (I recently got a new job, and we moved further away from our childrens school, so that number will increase to about 8K miles per year). We have had minor issues with it- I think there was a leak in the transmission fluid, but that was it. We own the car free and clear.
I think the frugal thing to do would be to put $1800 in it and be done. However, my concern is that it will be $1800 now, and then in another year, some expensive mechanical issue, etc.... I don't know when the cutoff for "No, I am not putting any more $$ into a '99 car."
On the flip side, people are telling me that they easily got to 80, 100, and 125 K miles on their Dodges from the same period, so there is a strong possibility that I can have another 30-60K miles on it.
I am in a position to purchase a new-to-me minivan (ie- I have $$ for a down payment, but would need to take out a car loan). but I want to make a financially smart descion. I don't want to be "penny wise and pound foolish." Yes, I can take on a monthly car payment without stress, but is it wise? On the other hand, is it wise to put $1800 on a car from 1999, that doesn't have a fabulous track record in terms of reliability?