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N.S. drivers opting to pay for repairs rather than shelling out for a new vehicle

There's not a lot of time for rest at Paul Shaw’s autoshop in Middle Sackville.

“Had to hire more staff, buy more equipment, and every day, fighting to keep up,” the second-generation mechanic said in an interview.

Shaw said it's the busiest he's been in 25 years, and it’s because customers are choosing to keep their older cars on the road longer instead of trading them in.

“It used to be a time when you would give somebody an estimate for $1,000 repair and they would simply say I think I’m going to entertain the thought of buying another car,” Shaw said.

“Where now it’s not uncommon to have a vehicle that might require $2,000 or $3,000 worth of repair work and we’re fixing them. If you look around here, it’s not uncommon for me to have 10 or 15 year-old cars here every day.”

And for those that are in the market for a new or used vehicle, they are choosing smaller vehicles.

“Trucks are not selling very quickly, they’re slow, and the large SUVs are very slow right now,” said car dealer Gary Shea.

“That’s been the trend since the pandemic started. For the first year things weren’t too bad, they were still buying lots of trucks and stuff like that but then in the last year, I’ve noticed that the trucks and the large SUVs have slowed right down to almost nonexistent.”

The cost of living, coupled with the cost of fuel has his lot filled with large trucks. Shea said it's hard to get and keep smaller vehicles in stock.

“We have people coming in with a truck and trading for two small cars, right? There’s a lot of people who are wanting to down trade or just sell their vehicle right? So I buy a lot of vehicles, just private people that want to sell their vehicle,” Shea said.

This is why keeping and repairing older vehicles is becoming the go-to option for many.

“By the time they figure that cost opposed to making car payments. I think they are likely to get the car fixed. Not too many cars now we get here that people don’t want them fixed,” Shaw said.

Shaw recommends keeping up with scheduled maintenance on things like oil changes, undercoating and brake repair will help push the need for a new car, further along down the road. Top Stories

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