How a Mechanic Usually Assesses the Sale Price of a Vehicle That Needs Lots of Repairs

If you are shopping for a vehicle, and you see a seller selling what they call a "mechanic's special," you might wonder if the sale price is worth it. If you can fix the vehicle yourself, or you know someone who will do the auto repair work cheap, then it may be worth the price. Here are a few factors to consider before you buy that "mechanic's special."

The Current Blue Book Value if the Vehicle Was Running

First and foremost, what is the current market value of this vehicle, IF the vehicle was running and functional? Use the Blue Book to look up what your year, make, and model of vehicle would be worth. This is the single most important price tag you need to compare the full value of restoring this vehicle to its fully functional state. Let's start with a Blue Book value of "fair" at $2,500, and let's say that the seller is selling the vehicle for $800. The difference is $1,300. It looks good on paper, but you have to find out what is wrong and what it will cost to fix next.

The Broken or Missing Parts

The next step is to get a complete list of broken or missing parts and the base cost to replace these parts. If the parts and the sale price of the vehicle still total less than the Blue Book value, you are doing great. If the cost of parts and sale price exceed the value of the vehicle running, you may either have to bargain down the price or skip buying this vehicle altogether.

The Cost of Labor

Finally, what are your labor costs for installing the broken and/or missing car parts? Let's say that the missing/broken parts come to $1,100, but that is before labor. That means that the parts have to be installed for less than $200 if you are still going to get this car at fair market value. If you have to install something as major as a transmission, it is going to cost you far more than $200 in labor.

That makes this car no longer a deal, and you should consider something else besides this "mechanic's special." If you are just having a lot of small parts replaced and most of the parts are going on or in the same section of the vehicle, then you're looking at a bargain deal. To learn more, contact services like Oakley's Garage & Towing.