DIESELGATE Series – Buyout or Fix, which is better?

A question that we get asked often at IDParts is whether the buyback or the fix is the better offer.  The answer is – both.  Check out why I think so…

The first thing to keep in mind when deciding is that the Buyback does not pay out more money than the fix does.  Yes, the buyback option will give you more than your car’s value, but that is only because of the added restitution payment, which you get with the fix option anyway.

Lets take the example of my 2010 Jetta Sportwagen.

  • Vehicle Value: $8,175.00
  • Additional Restitution: $5,100.00
  • Total Payout: $13,275.00

Now, I only paid about $9k for this car 3 years ago, so, from the looks of it I’m doing great with the buyback…except for the fact that it only looks that good because of the restitution payment.  Take out the restitution payment and I’m only getting $8,175 for the car.

Now, what about if I got it fixed?  Well, I’d still get $5,100 and I’d keep my Sportwagen!  So, if I paid $9k for my JSW and I’m getting $5,100 back, that means I have a great condition wagon with a BRAND NEW EMISSIONS SYSTEM that I paid just $4,900 for.

What is the overall point here: BOTH the buyback and fix options are GREAT options.

How do you decide then to keep or sell back the car?  I’ve developed a set of questions that I ask friends and family in this same position.

  1. Does your TDI need any expensive repairs that you’ve been putting off?  If your TDI needs a few thousand dollars of repairs for some reason, taking the buyback gets you out of paying for those repairs.  By repairs I don’t mean scheduled maintenance like timing belts, but things like damaged suspension or body components.
  2. Do you have a replacement car already? If this is your day-to-day car and you don’t have a replacement already, you’ll be spending MORE for the replacement car than you will be if you kept your TDI.  If you don’t have a replacement car already, keeping the TDI is the better move.
  3. Do you WANT a new car?  Lets be honest, sometimes you just want a new car, and that’s okay.  But, be honest with yourself about that and don’t make up excuses.  If you want a new car by all means take the buyback.  Buying a new car is always the most expensive option, but, if it brings you the most enjoyment than perhaps it’s worthwhile.

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