Deciding Whether to Repair or Upgrade Your Car

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Deciding whether to spend money on car maintenance or simply buying a replacement can be a tricky decision, particularly if you’ve had your car for a while. Although there’s no universal formula, Clear Lease is here to guide you through the indicators suggesting it may be time for an upgrade.

Signs It’s Time To Upgrade

      1. Rust Starts to Appear

    While some enthusiasts appreciate a touch of patina, rust on your car, especially on underbody areas poses both structural and safety concerns. 

        1. Dripping Fluid

      Fluid systems are the lifeblood of your vehicle, and they’re supposed to stay where they belong. A few drops here and there might be an easy fix, but if your driveway looks like an abstract art piece or fluids are vanishing mysteriously, it’s time to check under the hood to see if there’s a bigger problem at hand. 

          1. Exhaust Smoke

        Unusual exhaust emissions, be it blue or white smoke, serve as indicators of underlying engine issues. Understanding these signals is key in preventing potential malfunctions. Make sure you look into the issue to differentiate between routine emissions and impending complications.

            1. Transmission Integrity

          Smooth gear transitions indicate a well-functioning gearbox. Any deviation from this standard—hesitation, clunking, or gear engagement issues—may mean it’s time for a mechanic’s assessment. 

              1. Unusual Sounds

            Cars make sounds, but not all of them are music to our ears. Unusual sounds could indicate worn-out brakes or low oil levels. Listen closely and decide whether the fix is simply routine maintenance or substantial problems that prove too costly to repair. 

                1. Odd Smells

              A well-maintained vehicle should not emit discernible odours. Burning, toasty, or pungent smells indicates a thorough check-over is required by a mechanic. Identifying the issues can help you make informed decisions regarding whether to repair or upgrade. 

              Evaluating the Cost-Benefit Equation

              Your vehicle, beyond being a means of transportation, is a financial investment. Tracking annual fuel and servicing expenses against resale value provides a clearer picture of whether it’s viable to spend money on repairs. 

              Consider whether substantial repair costs align with the vehicle’s value, or if now’s the time to explore a more economical alternative.

              Upgrading With a Novated Lease

              At Clear Lease, we want to put you in the driver’s seat by prioritising the longevity and reliability of your car. If you decide to upgrade your car with a novated lease, not only are you getting a brand new ride, you can better manage your maintenance with a team that takes care of all the admin for you

              What is a Novated Lease? 

              A novated lease is a three way agreement between your employer, a finance lender, and you. You can get a new, used or existing car on a novated lease, where your employer deducts your car finance payments from your salary. 

              Because the deduction is taken from your pre-tax income, it means you can save on income tax in the long-run. 

              Without Novated Benefits

              A purple pile of coins with a dollar symbol on top, representing financial lease options.
              Gross Salary
              A purple money bag with a dollar sign on it, representing the financial benefits of a novated lease.
              Income Tax
              A purple money bag icon on a transparent background, representing financial transactions.
              Take Home Pay
              A purple car icon available for novated lease.
              Car Cost
              A purple money bag icon on a transparent background, representing financial transactions.
              Disposable Income

              With Novated Benefits

              A blue money bag filled with coins and a dollar sign, representing the concept of lease or novated lease.
              Gross Salary
              A blue car icon for novated leasing.
              Car Cost
              A blue money bag filled with coins and a dollar sign symbolizing wealth and financial security.
              Income Tax
              A blue money bag icon
              Disposable Income

              Why choose a novated lease? 

              You may be more used to a traditional car lease, or simply buying a car outright. The main difference with these options and a novated lease are the financial perks. 

              In addition to reducing your tax income through salary packaging, you are also able to bundle your car expenses, paying for these alongside your car repayment each month. Running costs you can bundle include:

                 

                  1. Car registration

                  1. Insurance premiums

                  1. Fuel costs

                  1. Servicing and maintenance

                  1. Tyres

                  1. Regular car washing

                If you want to find out how much you can save with a novated lease, use our free novated lease calculator

                FAQs

                Is it worth it to upgrade my car?

                Deciding whether or not to upgrade your car depends on your individual circumstances. To help with your decision making process, consider the following factors. 

                Safety: Safety is, of course, of the utmost importance. If you’re driving an older car with outdated safety features, or you’re not up-to-date with servicing, it’s possible that your safety could be compromised. Newer cars usually have updated safety features in line with legislation.

                Reliability: An older car with higher mileage and regular use, may mean it requires more maintenance and servicing to fix general wear and tear. This then impacts on the reliability of the vehicle. 

                Cost: When you’re spending money on regular maintenance and repairs, you may find that this cost of upkeep exceeds that of buying a new car. Keep track of your expenses to help you figure out the true cost of maintaining your car. 

                How to know if your car is worth fixing?

                Cost of repairs is a key consideration to decide whether your car is worth fixing. Do this by comparing whether the cost of repairs and maintenance exceed that of buying a new car. 

                In this process, you can also consider the car’s overall condition, as compared to your own situation. If the car is in a good condition to suit your needs, like driving to work daily or off-road use, it may be worth repairing your car. 

                If you find that it’s not worth fixing your car, and you’re looking to upgrade, consider a novated lease. By utilising a novated lease agreement with your employer, you can save money on income tax, and benefit from one, easy monthly payment that includes your vehicle running costs. 

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