old car

Photo by mararie

Whether it’s for emotional, economic, or practical reasons, there are pros and cons to continuing to drive your old car. Let’s take a look at some of them.


1. Landfills

If you continue to drive your old car, you will prevent the additional cluttering of the landfill. In other words, the longer you drive it, the longer it stays out of the junk yard or landfill.

2. No car payment

You won’t have to make a car payment if you keep driving your old car. Once the loan is paid off (if you had one), you are over the hurdle and are no longer paying for something that is depreciating. And, as noted below, repairs rarely cost as much as a car payment.

3. Familiarity

There is something to be said for driving a car with which you are familiar. You know the blind spots, the quirks, and how best to maintain it. Being familiar with your car can make your driving safer.


1. Repairs

Repairs are probably the first thing people think of when they consider various reasons not to drive an old car. A simple formula can help in this regard.

Calculate how much you would pay for a new car – look at the types of cars you’d like want to buy, your assets, and the amount of and interest rate on a loan you could afford. Then calculate the payments and see how they compare to repair costs.

For example, say a new car would cost you $300 a month for four years. That’s $14,400 over the course of four years. Will you be spending $14,400 on repairs over the next four years? Have a mechanic give your car a thorough inspection and make an educated guess about the upcoming repairs your car is going to need. Using this formula, even spending $10,000 in repairs over the next four years would still be a savings.

2. Looks

Let’s face it: driving an old car (unless it’s a really cool vintage model) just doesn’t make you look as sharp as a shiny new one.

3. Fuel Efficiency

Generally speaking, the older the car, the less efficient the fuel economy. This is not necessarily true, of course – for example, an old, small, standard-shift car that is well-maintained will get better gas mileage than a new, large, automatic-shift truck.

All in all, continuing to drive your old car makes sense environmentally and economically, as long as it is well-maintained.