… but we already knew that right? Or maybe we all didn’t.
I’m not writing about buying a new car (that article might be tomorrow), but I’m writing about getting a car repaired. As I mentioned yesterday, my car broke down earlier this week. It’s a ten year old Jeep, so it’s not of tremendous value and it’s been having more breakdowns of late. Since I have a Jeep dealership near the house, I decided to bring it by and get it looked at.
They called back and told me it would be $1000 to fix. I asked what was wrong and they said the cooling fan was broken and it needed new spark plugs. I thanked them and proceeded to hang-up and call my local mechanic. Over the phone they said it would probably be $400, but in person today I think it might even be cheaper than that.
Saving $600 (or more) on a phone call? Eat your heart out Geico.
I shouldn’t say that every car dealership is a rip-off when it comes to repair, but that’s been my experience and this just cemented that. What’s your experience with car dealerships? Let me know in the comments.
(Since this article was so extremely short, I’m going to give you a bonus related article. I’m breaking the blogging rules today.)
To Donate or Not to Donate
Before we got the diagnosis that it was a reasonable fix, my wife was thinking of donating it to Kars 4 Kids. She called them and they said they’d be able to give a tax write-off of whatever they sell it for after their costs for fixing it, but that it would be at least $500. If they were able to sell it for $4000 (below Kelly Blue Book), but used the dealership’s $1000 quote to fix it, we’d get a tax write-off of around $3000.
Assuming a 25% tax bracket (just to make things easy) that’s a value of around $750 in our pockets. Alternatively, we’ll put $400 into fixing it up and try to sell it on our own for $4500 (still under Kelly Blue Book) making a profit of a little over $4000.
I’m all for helping out kids, but that’s a huge difference. The $4000 will make a few payments on the new car. Let’s hope it works out as planned.