I have a 1999 mercury sable with 160k miles that runs but needs $1700 of repairs (power steering pump, rack, rear strut assembly). Also it has some cosmetic damage (medium sized dent in the side, a couple other dings, and one of the sideview mirrors is JPwelded on, ha). It also seems to be developing some body rot issues, and the check engine light has been on for the past few years (I’ve gotten it looked at, but it always comes back). On the plus side, it is very reliable, has never stranded me or refused to start.
At first, I assumed it wasn’t worth it to fix it so I put the car on craigslist for $400 and got someone offering $370, he is supposed to pick it up on tuesday.
However, now I’m not too sure. I have been looking on craiglist for cars-- I have about $3000 that I can put toward getting a new car or replacing this one. I don’t really want to take on a car payment at the moment. Everything in my budget is just as much of a junker as my current car, and usually is more expensive than $1700. Plus, I keep running across late 90’s/early 2000 sables with similar mileage to mine being advertised for $2-3k by private sellers and $3-4k by dealers. Is this the actual resale price of my car if it were in working order? How much would the cosmetic damage subtract from the resale value?
any guidance much appreciated!!