“It’s HOW much? Maybe I should just buy a new car then.”
We hear that a lot when people come in to Hillside Auto Repair for an estimate. However, most of the costly repairs they are concerned with, could have been prevented! Simple things like oil changes and transmission flushes, checking for coolant leaks, checking for worn belts, all could have saved them thousands of dollars. And people often believe that newer car means cheaper because they won’t have any service needs or repairs. But that’s simply not true.
Most people just don’t know how expensive car ownership is. According to Liberty Mutual, “An average American household can expect to spend about 1.5 percent of its annual income, or about $817 a year, on car repairs for its two (or more statistically accurate, 1.9) vehicles” For instance, for the first 25,000 miles, the average car owner can expect to pay $1,400 for maintenance. And then, for every block of 25,000 miles travelled after, the average maintenance costs continue to grow.
Also there are other things to keep in mind when you go purchase that first car…full coverage insurance, finance charges, depreciation, etc. All of those things can really add up!
New Cars come with unexpected expenses…
Most experts say it’s still cheaper to maintain an older car than it is to buy a new one. Especially if the older car is well-maintained. There are documented accounts of 90’s model Honda’s with well over 300,000 miles on them that are STILL operating on the road!
Some experts say owning a new car for a single year costs about the same as maintaining a paid-off, older car for five years!
Preventive maintenance helps minimize the cost of maintenance over a car’s lifetime. It’s better to fix or replace parts before they’re actually needed, to negate the risk of ending up with unexpected repairs. Car owners who don’t keep up with preventive maintenance can expect to have more emergency repairs than they otherwise would.
The amount you should tuck away will vary a lot based on your car. First, the make and model of your car has a lot to do with it. Typically, brands like Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota are the cheapest to maintain, while premium brands, like Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW, are the most expensive to maintain for the first 75,000 miles, according to Yourmechanic.com’s data. (see a table above).
It’s important to remember that premium or import brands manufacturers intend on the owner actually doing the maitainence services. Audi and BMW are two specific brands that a car owner should pay heed to the mileage reccomendations on. Both are specifially engineered to run at optimim level, so they require higher quality oil changes and require premium gas, failing to do these two small things can lead to serious damage to the vehicle and/or critical failures of certain systems.
So when a customer excaims “Maybe I should buy a new car” when presented with costly repairs, we always take the time to explain why that might not be the best solution and always educate them on the importance of preventaive maintainence!
We work with the same care and precision that your car was engineered with. We know cars. We love cars. We keep your car going and saving you money!