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When Should You Just Scrap A Car?

It’s a pretty rough decision to be forced to make but owning a car that’s not economical to repair is a really bad place to be in. On top of that, the liability of insurance and the chance of breaking down can often be more painful than just moving the car on.

What do we mean when we say uneconomical to repair?

Put simply, when a repair to a car is going to cost more than a car is worth, that is uneconomical. Also, if your car needs a bunch of repairs that would add up to more than the car is worth, we would consider that to be uneconomical.

This is a hard conversation for us to have as mechanics as, we want to see you have years of happy motoring and most owners have a deep sentimental attachment to their cars. Whether it be from years of faithful service or memories of travel with family and friends.

Realistically though, most mechanics would rather save you money than repair a car that is at the end of its life as it can just be the better option. Because of this, the question moves onto scrapping or selling.

The true answer to this is just finding what will give you more gain overall. For example, you may call 4-5 scrap yards (they should be paying you for the privilege of taking your car as they’ll sell it in parts) and get a price for your car of $1,500. Always remember to call multiple wreckers as, they are trying to get your car for as cheap as possible.

The flip side to this is selling your car on the private market either as is or after repairing it. This really only makes sense so long as the repairs you would need to do don’t ever eat into the profit you would make from scrapping.

In this case, a Hyundai Getz is worth $5,000 on Carsales but needs $3,750 in repairs to get roadworthy, leaving you with $1,250 from the sale. Seeing as it eats into the $1,500 you would have gotten for just scrapping the car, it’s worth scrapping it instead.

The reason that this is so important is, when you’re deciding to whether it’s worthwhile to just scrap your car, you often need as much money as possible to help buy a new one. Though when you are ready to look at a new car, we'd recommend checking out our Kashy mechanics list of great first cars to own.


If you have any questions about this blog post, would like a second opinion from a mechanic or would like to find an honest mechanic in Brisbane, check out Kashy here.

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