What Would You Do? Repair or Buy a Different Car?

Battery Recycling

Unfortunately, these don’t power a Prius.

“My mechanic told me, ‘I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.’”

Recently, the service engine light came on in my wife’s 2001 Toyota Prius, which had 113,000 miles on it. We took it to the local repair shop, and they said that the problem was the car’s battery. For those of you who have never been exposed to hybrid batteries – like me – apparently, they are quite expensive. Since the local repair shop wouldn’t touch a Prius battery, we had to then go to the dealer to see about getting it serviced. The service manager gave us a quote of $2,900 for repairing the battery.

Unless you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, $2,900 is no laughing matter for a car repair. So, I began looking at what our options were for getting a different car. Here’s what we narrowed the choices down to:

  • 1999 Honda Accord, 134,000 miles, $6,900
  • 2001 Toyota Camry, 38,500 miles, $9,500
  • (for comparison) 2012 Honda Civic (new), $16,500

For us, the new car option is off the table, which left us with three options: repair the car, buy the Accord, or buy the Camry.

Which one would you choose? Why? What other information would you need to make the decision? Please, if you know us and know the outcome, don’t spoil it for everyone else! Thanks!

You can read the exciting conclusion here: What Did We Do? Repair or Buy?

About Jason Hull, CFP®

Jason Hull, CFP®, is the Chief Technology officer of myFinancialAnswers, an online comprehensive financial planning service.