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To Service or not to Service?

Discover the "real" cost of a new car and you'll see the value in having your current car expertly repaired at AAMCO!
Does your vehicle require a transmission or major repair? At this time, some customers begin to think, "This car's not worth it, I'll just buy a new one." If you're like one of these customers, it's important to understand the true costs of buying a new vehicle (even a used vehicle) before going down that path. You'll see that a guaranteed rebuilt transmission in your current vehicle makes a lot more sense (and saves a lot more dollars).

True costs of a new car According to the US Department of Energy the average new car price in 2006 was over $20,000. Of course, prices for each vary by make, model, geography and other factors. But the price difference goes much deeper than that. Let's factor in the other costs associated with that new car.
The biggest factor: Depreciation. Vehicles lose most of their value during the first five years of ownership and this depreciation is the major cost of owning a new one. Buy a new vehicle and you can look forward to losing thousands of dollars as soon as you drive it off the dealer's lot. And don't take our word for it, search on-line and research the cost of a new vehicle. Then research the resale value of that same vehicle with 20 miles on it. For example a 2008 Ford Taurus SEL sedan has an MSRP of $24,435 (and a new car Blue Book value of $23,702) according to Kelley Blue Book. Pull it off the lot. Drive home and back. Put 20 miles on it and that car, according to Kelley Blue Book, has a suggested retail value of $20,485. Ouch!

How about interest? You're most likely not going to plunk down over $20,000 in cash for that new car. That means FINANCING. Let's say you were able to get 6% on a 60 month loan (AND that's a big IF with the current credit situation). On that $20,000 car you're paying $3,944 per year in interest or almost $20,000 over the course of the loan. But that's certainly not all.

The insurance difference on a new vehicle versus a similar make/model vehicle that may be seven years old with age-recommended deductibles and coverage can average over $400 per year on the conservative side. Over the course of that five-year loan, you're now talking an additional $2,000.

Sure with a used car there may be additional maintenance required, but a new car still requires many of the same maintenance services over the course of five years. Brakes. Tires. Oil changes and scheduled maintenance. Whether new car or old those expenses are constant. Let's compare the costs side-by side:

 
* Based on a $20,000 domestic vehicle with standard 15% down payment and interest rate of 6% over 60 month loan. Insurance based on 30-year-old driver, using vehicle for commuting to work approximately 20 miles each way on 2008 versus 2001 Ford Taurus. Collision and deductibles set at recommended levels for car age. Rebuilt transmission includes basic 12 year/ 12,000 mile warranty. Maintenance & repairs estimated on US average of $600 per year with two additional major $1000 repairs added to older vehicle. Taxes based on 6%. All calculations for pricing, insurance, taxes, et al throughout this guide were based on using Pennsylvania data.

Don't forget the taxes on purchasing that new vehicle and keep in mind that annual registration and license fees may be lower on your old car, depending upon the state where you live.

But hold on, you'll probably want to trade-in that car whose transmission you don't want to fix for that new car, right? The difference between trade-in values of a used vehicle listed in "Good" condition versus one in "Poor" condition is impossible to calculate since no on-line or published resource will provide an estimate on the value of a vehicle in "Poor" condition - such as one that needs a new transmission. On appraisal, the dealer's service manager will simply estimate the cost of replacing the transmission for that vehicle in order to move the vehicle into the "Good" category and will deduct the cost of that repair from the value of the trade-in. In other words, you'll pay for the cost of the transmission repair anyway on trade.

Of course, you may decide on a used vehicle. While the costs of ownership due to depreciation are lower, there is still a big difference in costs between even buying a used vehicle versus repairing your current vehicle. The newer the vehicle, the more expensive and the more likely you will need to finance that vehicle and pay interest. An older vehicle? And you may be buying someone else's headaches. By keeping your vehicle and adding an AAMCO lifetime guaranteed rebuilt transmission, you know the service history of the vehicle and know that you're protected from additional costs of any future transmission problems for as long as you own that vehicle.

Taken together, the savings from keeping your current car with an AAMCO guaranteed transmission will easily outweigh the costs of that new one.

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