Assisting with the new car call

Use these 5 questions to help your members decide if they should keep their current vehicles.

by. Tom Kazar

This week a friend of mine took his car into the shop and was told that his auto repair bill would be almost $2,000. He came to me and asked, “I love my car, but repairs are getting expensive. Should I keep repairing or cut my losses and purchase a new car?”

So we began spreadsheeting and working the math to see what made more “cents.” Your members’ best interest is important, so here are some questions to ask your members to help them reveal the financial pluses and minuses before they give up on their current car and purchase something new (or new to them):

  1. Do you currently have liability or full coverage auto insurance? If the car is older, insurance premiums may be lower because the cost of replacing the car is less. If your member will be financing his next vehicle, he will need full coverage and may be paying more. Have him get a quote from his insurance company so he can gauge the price difference.
  2. How will gas consumption change? With gas prices as high as they are, a few miles per gallon difference can have a strong impact on a weekly budget. Have your member calculate her current mileage and research the mileage of vehicles being considered. A weekly surplus or deficit can save or cost a lot over the vehicle’s lifetime.
continue reading »