Is Your Car Costing More Than Its Worth? (Time For

We know it’s sometimes hard to let go of the comfort of familiarity. Your old car has given you some of the best times of your life, allowed you to experience holidays away from the rat race, taken you to exciting places you always dreamt of, and just generally taken you and your family from A to B.

Besides its sentimental value, it’s not hard to understand how by holding on to that old hunk of metal it seems like we are saving money. Of course, buying a new car, whether it’s out-of-the box or pre-owned, requires a large investment. But is it more cost-effective to run and maintain an old paid-up car that is on its last legs than to buy a replacement car that is more dependable in the long run?

Financial Considerations

There are numerous costs to consider as to whether to keep the old or find a replacement:

  1. Monthly payments – if your current car is not paid up, how does the figure compare with other car choices?
  2. Maintenance – how often do you need to service and replace parts?
  3. Fuel costs per kilometre – how does your old car compare to other car choices?
  4. Insurance and registration – how much more will you pay?

Monthly Payments

To roughly calculate what you would be paying on a new car, take the average selling price of new or good second hand car in South Africa, calculate the average interest rate, and divide it over a period of 3 – 5 years. The longer you take to pay it off, the less the monthly installments but you’ll be paying much more in interest.

Remember that interest rates are personalised and based on your current risk profile, credit history, and credit score.


There’s no denying that buying a new car is a big investment. However, if you’re spending more to maintain your old car, you will probably want to look at replacing it.

Should your calculations show that your monthly maintenance expenses exceed your estimated monthly car payment, this should be a clear sign that it is time you divert that money from your old vehicle and start searching for a newer model with less wear and tear. After all, maintenance and repair costs are unlikely to decrease the older the car becomes.

Fuel Costs

Automobile technology plays a big part in lowering fuel consumption in newer cars, but an older car that is well maintained and receives a service when due will continue to give good fuel efficiency for many years.

Fuel cost is still however a major consideration in making the final decision on whether to replace old for new. Calculate the fuel mileage of your old car compared to a newer vehicle. If your old car is using fuel at an alarming rate in comparison to a newer model that obviously gets you better mileage, the saving over time might be worth the investment of a replacement vehicle.

Insurance and Registration

You will find that car insurance, license, and registration fees are generally higher for newer and more expensive cars. And if you’re financing your car, there’s no getting away from any of these fees, since comprehensive car insurance is compulsory unless your car is paid up.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, calculating the short and long term costs, and comparing them between your old car and a replacements one, you should be in a good position to decide.

Should you make the move to acquiring a newer vehicle, Auto Pedigree offers trade assistance for your old one. Contact us to find out more.