It is hard to reach car payment level with repairs, but the thing that usually finally gets me is the BIG repair and the multiple little repairs that just keep happening. There’s two things going on there...decisions needing to be made and aggravation.That's why I keep records on things, in Excel, at least I can calculate the running costs. If were to find myself hitting enough repairs to equal a payment, then it might be a good argument to just buy new--not that I've hit that (well once when I had my VW!) but you get the idea, without quantification one is just waving hands about.
I should add the amount of time spent doing repairs, or looking up things. If I had to cost out my time, that might alter things.
But I keep telling myself...next time you get your car to high mileage and the repairs start adding up, just do them! I literally wrote it down for myself. Do the repair! We’ll see if I listen to myself, but the last time I bought a new truck it cost me $1,500 bucks to register it and then three weeks later my town hit me with a $750 dollar excise tax. That was a lot to swallow...and then of course my insurance also went up.