An old car parked outside a buildingYour friends may call it ancient, but you love your car. It brings back memories, and it has character, but it also stops working after a certain time, and sometimes during the most inconvenient circumstances

You know your car needs another extensive repair, but as it hasn’t been long since it last rolled out of the auto repair shop, you’re at a crossroads. Should you put more money into it, or is it time to leave it to auto wreckers?

How much is too much? Here are some points to consider:

1. Monthly Car Payment vs. Maintenance Costs

Consider how much you shelled out last year for regular maintenance such as tune-ups and oil changes, as well as unexpected pricey visits to the auto shop. Add how much you spent trying to keep your car running and divide the total by 12 to get an idea of your running ‘car payment.’ Now, if you are to buy a new car, how much would you be paying?

From here, you can decide on which suits your budget better. Experts suggest that car payments shouldn’t go beyond 10% of your gross income every month.

2. Replacement Options

If you’re junking your car to replace it with a used model, remember that a used vehicle is likely to come with issues of its own. If you’ve decided on replacing your old car, it pays to make sure you won’t face the same problems you’re experiencing now.

3. Safety

A vehicle’s body, on average, can last up to 20 years. Even if there are no traces of rust on the frame, however, wear and tear can be happening on less visible spots. Vet hidden parts such as brake or fuel parts to make sure you’re not risking your safety by using it. If there are more broken or missing safety features than there are actual functional ones, it may not anymore be worth it.

You and your car may have gone through a lot of tough times together, but if using it leaves you bankrupt or puts your safety at risk, you may be better off without it.