Should I Repair My Car or Sell It?

Last updated August 26, 2022

When your car gets to a certain age (or has clocked up a few thousand miles), it’s going to start racking up maintenance costs. Have you ever glanced at a car repair invoice and asked yourself, “Was it really worth it?”

You may already have spent a small fortune on one particularly complex repair, or a series of minor tweaks over the years. If your aging car sustains further damage, you may wonder whether it’s worth having it repaired at all – or if selling it immediately would be better for your wallet.

There isn’t always a clear-cut answer, but there are some factors you can take into consideration to help you make the right decision.

Value your car in under 30 seconds

How will I know if my car is too expensive to repair?

Keeping a damaged vehicle on the road can be costly, so you may need to sell your car to cut your losses. To find out whether this is the case, you should request a repair quote from a reputable local garage - and then research how much the car is actually worth. This will help you determine whether the work quoted is financially viable.

You can get a free car valuation from webuyanycar to see how much your vehicle would be worth. For the most accurate valuation, input any damage the vehicle has sustained. This will help you compare the cost and benefits, so you can make an informed choice.

What types of damage are easy to fix?

Vehicle destruction can vary from minor cosmetic damage through to more serious structural issues. Anything on the lower end of this spectrum should be easy to fix. In most cases, a bodywork technician can repair any minor scuffs and scratches for an affordable fee – you can even remove car scratches yourself if they aren’t too deep.

How do scratches affect how much my car is worth?

When it comes to damaged body panels like bumpers or doors, you might get lucky by finding a replacement panel in the right colour at a reasonable price. However, if your car requires more complex structural repairs, costs can spiral. This is especially true when the parts required aren’t readily available, or many hours’ work is needed to remedy the damage.

What if my repair quote is higher than my car’s value?

Sometimes, the amount quoted for repairs may be higher (or close) to the total cost of the car. When this is the case, you should assess whether the proposed repairs are likely to increase its overall value. If the costs exceed 50% of the car’s total value and the repairs are unlikely to benefit you in the long run, you should consider selling instead.

Also, think about how long you’re willing to wait for your car to be repaired. Depending on the garage’s availability and the severity of the damage, you could have to wait several weeks for the repairs to be affected. In the meantime, you could be left without a car, which may also increase your commute time. So, if you decide this isn’t worth the upheaval, you should look into selling the car (and purchasing a new one).

Is it worth having a full service on my damaged car?

Regular servicing can help your car retain more of its original value as time goes by. Making sure your car has a full service history also helps to lessen the effects of depreciation. If you have an older vehicle and the damage isn’t too severe (i.e. minor bodywork dents or scratches, without mechanical or structural damage), then you should definitely maintain the service schedule to ensure everything else is running correctly.

Are cars with damage difficult to sell?

Selling a damaged car to a dealership or private dealer can prove difficult. The car may need repairs before it’s even considered roadworthy - and this will limit the pool of prospective buyers. You will also need to disclose any damage or issues.

If your car is damaged, selling to a scrap yard (if it’s a write off) or to a buyer like webuyanycar can be much more straightforward. They will simply assess your car and provide you with a fair price for it.

Can you budget for a new car?

The cost of a new vehicle should be a significant factor in your decision making. If you’re trying to cut down on repair costs, it’s likely that you’ll be looking at purchasing a replacement, which in turn means spending a reasonable sum of money all at once - or locking into a finance agreement.

If this cost is significantly higher than your repair bills, you might want to think about holding onto your old car. This comes down to your personal circumstances.

However, if you have room in your budget to upgrade to a brand new car, then you should sell up and move on. If your budget is tighter, you should compile a more detailed breakdown of the costs to work out what you can afford to do.

You may find that a brand-new car would overstretch your finances. If this is the case, don’t despair. There are many quality new and used cars on the market that may also meet your requirements.

Where should I sell my car if I can’t repair it?

You can sell a damaged car to a private individual, a dealership, an online buyer - or a scrapyard. Scrapyards will usually offer you the scrap value of your car. Unless the damage is extensive, it is highly likely you will get a better offer elsewhere.

Private individuals may also be interested in your damaged car, or dealerships may accept it as a trade-in, where you can put the value towards the cost of a newer vehicle.

You can also sell your damaged car to We will provide a valuation based on the car’s condition and the current market value. Your valuation will be secured for four days to protect you from market price adjustments, providing you with an opportunity to bring your car to one of our branches.