Want to sell your car because of repairs? Think again! 

I want to sell my 70,000 kms ride because it requires expensive repairs. The mechanic said that the timing belt & clutch need to be replaced. The tyres have gone bald & the suspension needs an overhaul as well. Too expensive, I’m buying a new car.

Two words = Please DON’T (sell your car).

Why you shouldn’t sell your car due to maintenance/repairs?

  • Let’s get one thing out of the way: Retaining your old car & getting the necessary work done will be FAR, FAR cheaper than buying a new car. Let me reiterate, buying a new car will be a lot (read L-O-T) more expensive than repairing your existing car. From spending a couple of thousands, you’re talking about spending a couple of lakhs. The depreciation in the first year alone will cost you 2-3 lakhs on a C2 segment sedan. Heck, 2 years of insurance premiums on the new car could take care of the repairs of your current ride.
  • Remember, a car is built of innumerable wear & tear items which have a finite life. Accept their replacements – these parts will wear out some day. Getting rid of the entire car because of a couple of worn out parts is like selling your house as it needs new windows & some waterproofing!
  • If your car has otherwise been mechanically sound, there’s no reason to doubt its reliability. The parts you change right now (e.g. timing belt or suspension damper) will last you for another couple of years (just like the OEM part did). Get them replaced with original parts & enjoy your car for some more years.
  • Find a good independent garage for such maintenance works. Reason = the billing difference between an independent & authorised workshop can run as high as 4x! As an example, one of my earlier cars got new engine mounts for 7,000 – 8,000 from an independent garage. The same in the company workshop cost ~30,000.
    Of course, it is understood that there might be situations where replacing the car is justified. Listing the major ones below.

Replace your car only IF:

  • It’s inherently unreliable and / or the cost of repair meets / exceeds its utility / book value.
  • She’s basically falling apart! Everyone knows that some hold onto their cars for 7 – 10 years. However, some one sold his Tata Indigo at the 4 year mark as it had become awfully unreliable (multiple breakdowns) and drove more like an example with 100,000 kms on the odometer than 40,000. The car had simply become junk.
  • Your car has gotten outdated. Say, a Maruti Esteem or Hyundai Accent. The former was built until 2008 and the latter till 2013, but they are 20 year old outdated designs in terms of safety, design & features. Indian highways are too dangerous to be driving around in a paper cup from the nineties.
  • You’ve used it for more than 150,000 – 200,000 kms or 7 – 10 years.
  • It no longer meets your needs (e.g. safety features, need for a 3rd row of seats, larger boot).
  • Parts are hard to come by because the model is discontinued (e.g. Opel Corsa, Skoda Fabia etc)
  • It’s been severely damaged in a crash, floods etc.
  • You have excess funds (after the necessary savings & investments) and have your heart sold on a new machine.
  • Well, as they say, you only live once! Consider lateral upgrades – whatever depreciation you suffer on the current car, you make up for on the pre-worshipped car.


Other than these, please keep your car. Even holding on for just another 2 years will save you lakhs! Think of the opportunity cost too – invest those lakhs smartly and you’ll see them multiplying.


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