How Much Does Maintenance Cost for Your Car Over Time?

People are paying more for cars today than ever before. It costs almost $37,000 to buy a new car and more than $20,000 to buy a used car.

And the costs associated with owning a car don’t stop there! In addition to paying for a car, you also need to pay to maintain it every year.

That will often cost you upwards of $1,200 per year to do. It might be enough to make you swear off owning a car forever and stick to public transportation instead.

But you don’t have to let the maintenance cost that comes along with owning a car slow you down. You can keep this cost as low as it can possibly get by making sure you’re maintaining your car the right way.

Here are some tips that will help you avoid spending a small fortune to service your car over time.

Find out How Much Maintenance a Car Needs Before Buying It

Did you know that there are some cars that are a lot easier to maintain than others? You should keep this in mind when you’re shopping around for a new or used car.

Most people focus on the way a car looks or the features that it has when they’re thinking about buying it. They don’t always consider the maintenance cost that comes attached to it.

These people are often shocked to see how much they have to pay when they take their cars in for service. They can’t believe their eyes when they see the prices associated with doing something as simple as an oil change or a tire rotation.

Don’t be one of these people. Before you buy a car, look around and find out how much you’re going to need to pay to maintain and repair it. It’ll prevent you from experiencing sticker shock the first time you have a mechanic work on it.

Familiarize Yourself With the Owner’s Manual for Your Car

Do you know how often your car needs something like brake service?

There’s a good chance that you don’t have the slightest clue off the top of your head. Even the most experienced mechanics don’t know how often certain services need to be performed on specific cars.

It’s why you should sit down with the owner’s manual that came with your car when you first buy it and browse through your automaker’s recommended service schedule for your car. It’ll give you some idea of how often services need to be performed.

You can use this information to calculate the maintenance cost for your car. You can predict which services you’ll need to have done each year and get a general idea of what they’ll cost you.

Develop a Good Relationship With Your Mechanic

Many Americans don’t trust their auto mechanics, and it’s not hard to see why. Mechanics have earned a reputation for finding ways to rip people off.

You should do your homework and find a mechanic who you trust to work on your car. You should also push them to let you know what you should do to limit the amount of money you’ll have to pay for auto maintenance and repairs down the line.

Oftentimes, vehicle owners can save a lot of money by doing a minor repair on their car now as opposed to waiting for whatever problem is taking place to get worse. But the issue is that, when their mechanics tell them this, they sometimes don’t believe them and choose not to do necessary maintenance to their cars.

It’s important for you to avoid this scenario at all costs. You should have a trusted mechanic on your side who can talk to you about the steps you can take to maintain your car so that it doesn’t need expensive repairs later.

Keep Detailed Records of All the Maintenance Done on Your Car

From the second you bring a new or used car home and start parking it in your driveway, you should keep detailed records on everything you do to it.

You should document when you have the oil changed in your car, when you service your brakes, and when you have the various fluids in it flushed. You should also keep receipts from your mechanic every time you have your car looked at and worked on.

Your records will help you to see what you’ve done to your car in the past and what you need to do to it in the future. They’ll also help you gauge how much you’re spending on maintenance each year so that you can plan accordingly as you move forward.

Expect to Pay More for Maintenance as a Car Gets Older

Today’s cars can last for a really long time. When maintained properly, it’s not out of the ordinary for a car to break the 200,000-mile mark, which was unheard of just a decade or two ago.

But as your car gets older, you can expect your maintenance cost to go up each year. Older cars will need to be maintained and repaired more often than newer ones in most cases.

The good thing about owning an older car is that you usually won’t have any car payments left to make on it. But the bad thing is that you’ll need to prepare to spend a nice chunk of change on auto maintenance.

You can make your maintenance expenses more manageable by accepting them and preparing for them ahead of time. 

The Maintenance Cost of Owning a Car Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Far too many people don’t take great care of their cars. They fail to do the recommended maintenance on them and pay the price for it later.

You can avoid this and keep the maintenance cost associated with your car low by sticking to your automaker’s recommended maintenance schedule. This will pay off in the long run by preventing expensive auto repairs from wreaking havoc on your bank account.

Check out our blog for car maintenance tips that will keep your vehicle running stronger and longer.

Author: Brandon Park