Tough break for me. I need a transmission rebuild. And it's not for my old beater mini-van. It's the "nice" car. My '05 Accord. A bit surprising. A bit disappointing. In fairness I should probably also point out that my '95 Windstar also had a transmission rebuild. It was back in '03 that I needed that repair.
Still, I can't complain, and I think it's interesting to notice that (according to my estimates) even though lightning has struck me (now twice) still I'm much better off having bought a used car instead of a new one.
I bought my Accord in '07 for $13K. I could have bought new of course and probably avoided the expensive repair, but at what cost? If I were to follow that same path today what would I be looking at? In other words suppose today I was again faced with the choice of buying a new car or a three year old car.
Here's my effort to run the numbers. This assumes that if I were to buy today I would need financing, like I would have to do if I bought a new car. What would I be looking at for a 5 year cost? Here's what I came up with. Note I have an annualized cost and cost over a 10 year period as well for some further comparisons below.
I've got full insurance coverage on both and a rough estimate of my
total repair cost over the last 5 years (trans repair as well as new
tires, new brakes, a few other maintenance items). Even though I'm
assuming bad luck in terms of repairs I'd still be $13K ahead over a 5
year period, twice that over 10 years.
But let's compare also to what I actually experienced with my two cars.
There are costs not factored into this equation. When my van breaks down it's a hassle. When the heater doesn't work right it's irritating. The A/C doesn't work. What is that worth? Tough to say. These are subjective questions. For me though the choice is easy. When my vehicle breaks down I'll dry my tears with some $100 bills from my pile of $53K.