Let’s face it, we’ve all been there: bills are through the roof, the kids are sick and /or need school supplies and clothes, your hours at work were cut, the hot water heater just exploded and flooded the garage (only if you are lucky) usually it’s the hallway, and your car needs $2500.00 worth of work.
Kind of makes you want to go out and throw on a massive drunk, but then you’ll have a hangover to deal with also.
Being in the repair sector of the automotive industry I have heard this lament time and time again, and contrary to popular belief my vehicle does not get fixed for free.
Now, I could be snide and say shame on you for not having a contingency plan or an emergency fund, but, I have been in those very same shoes more times than I would admit to because LIFE HAPPENS, to everyone.
Granted there is a certain amount of maintenance that could be used in each and every one of those scenarios, how many of us flush there water heater every year, or clean their A/C condensers with a hose to keep the leaves from rotting and eating the aluminum in the A/C unit, do we spring for an annual Doctors visit to make sure we can handle the flu season that we all know is going to come? Usually the answer is a resounding NO.
This concept is the same with caring for you’re car. Vehicles cost money to run, the only thing that we as owners have in our arsenal is the power to spend our hard-earned money in small manageable bites or get hit with huge repair bill like a kick in the stomach. The very best way to make sure you can afford your vehicle is to isolate every item that is automotive related into a special folder and examine how it boils down. This is not so very complicated, we all know how much the car payment is, the insurance cost and the cost of fuel. Now look at all of your expenditures as far as repairs, maintenance, car washes, wiper blades, etc. Tally up all these numbers and divide by the number of miles that you travel in a year. Averaging between $.05 and $.10 a mile and you’re doing well. Higher than that we must look at the cash cow so to speak. Many times, it’s because you owe too much on the vehicle. Financing any vehicle for more than 3-4 years means that you are buying above your means. We have seen vehicles financed for as long as 7 years and the first 4 years of that note is almost all interest leaving a huge amount of principle. This is most commonly known as being underwater or upside down.
Two of the most common phrases that I hear are “This couldn’t have happened at a worse time, or the car is not even worth that much.” Truth of the matter a car is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. P.T.Barnum once said “There is a sucker for every seat”.
If you have found yourself in a position where upon the cost of a repair is more than you feel the vehicle is worth, first think what could I buy for that same amount of money that I know all of the nuances and quirks involving the operation of the vehicle. If you are talking about $2000.00-$3000.00, chances are the answer is nothing. So why would you go deeper in debt if your back is against the wall?Because there is an avenue that exploits all of the folks that find themselves in this position it’s called “BUY HERE PAY HERE.”
REMEMBER THE BEST WAY TO GET THE MOST OF YOUR VEHICLE IS TO MAINTAIN IT AND MAINTENANCE STARTS AT MILE 000001