We do our best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance and it is hard to plan for unexpected family car repairs. The truth is that our vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before with proper maintenance. That’s because of improved vehicle design and manufacturing quality. But some of those same improvements also lead to higher repairs costs for every family car or vehicle.
There’s a tool that can be found on Edmunds.com that you can use to prepare your service and repair budget. Let’s suppose you have a used Toyota Camry – a very popular car in the area…
It’s now paid for and you’d like to keep it running for the next three years. You can go to Edmunds’ True Cost to Own calculator and enter your vehicle’s data. The calculator will provide estimates of what it’ll cost to service and repair your vehicle over the next five years. The estimate’s based on where you live, manufacturers’ recommendations and repair experience for your particular model.
Of course these are just estimates – there’s no way to predict what’ll actually happen to the car in your driveway, but it’s a good starting point. The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, state taxes and fuel costs.
Let’s focus on maintenance and repair: This table at Edmonds.com shows that the average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs for our example in for our purposes the state of OHIO is about eighty-three dollars. That may sound like a lot, but compare it to a new car payment.
So if you set aside eighty-three dollars a month, you’d go a long ways towards taking care of routine maintenance and being prepared for the unexpected repairs that arise.
Some folks are afraid of what can go wrong with their older car so they buy a new one. That’s fine if you really want a new car, but if you properly maintain your older vehicle it should last for many more miles.
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