When you buy a car, you consider things like cash or finance, you include finance fees and auto insurance and the cars mileage into the total cost of ownership. However, it is the rare buyer, who also considers the cars need for maintenance and auto repair.
Auto repair isn’t cheap and we shouldn’t expect it to be. The cost of repairing a vehicle is based on several factors. The make, model and year of the vehicle affect the cost of auto repair. Of course, the type of auto repair needed determines how much it will cost. Some repairs cost more because the parts involved are more expensive. The cost of auto repair is also determined by the labor rates in your area.
According to one recent study, the average American household spent $5,477 on gas and automotive expenses last year. Of that, $2,208 was for gasoline, the rest a monstrous $3,269 — was for expenses like dealership maintenance, service station fixes and body shop repair. That comes out to $272 a month, which is almost a second car payment [source: Paskin].
Understand that figure is an average, which includes cars of all different makes and model years. Most of us are not paying that amount per month. How much you pay in the end depends on what you choose to purchase. Buy a brand-new Honda Civic or Jeep Grand Cherokee, and your repair costs will likely be lower than if you invest in a 1960s Jaguar sports car or something similar. Remember, buying a brand new car means that a warranty will cover the cost of many auto repairs for a set time.
If you take care of your vehicle, you’ll prevent serious problems down the road. Everything from oil changes to brake pads and tire rotation could save you thousands of dollars down the road, be sure to consult your owner’s manual and your mechanic frequently to see what’s next on your car’s maintenance schedule.
There are benefits to controlling your auto maintenance costs, similar to those you experience when gaining control over any area of your money. Proper budgeting for auto repair and maintenance will allow you to:
* Have a better relationship and better communication with your auto mechanic
* Reduce your maintenance expenses going forward
* Relax in the knowledge that you’re prepared
You can achieve all of these things simply by setting aside enough money to cover your expenses. That way you won’t have to stress or worry about where the money Your mechanic can help you know ahead of time on repairs that can be expected early or here are a few tools to help you figure out exactly how much you’re spending so you can budget.
The Edmunds tool is only for current car models, the other one works in all situations. Note these tools are very comprehensive, even taking into account depreciation. Have fun, save