We all do our best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance.  What’s hard is planning for unexpected 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.

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.  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 specific model.

Of course, these are just estimates – there’s no way to predict what will really happen to the car in your driveway, but it’s a good starting point.  The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel costs.

Let’s focus on maintenance and repair.  This table shows that the average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs for our example is eighty-three dollars.  That may sound like a lot but compare it to a new car payment.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 3-Year Total
Maintenance 748 225 794 1,767
Repairs 352 409 476 1,237
Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83

So, if you set aside eighty-three dollars a month, you’d go a long way towards taking care of routine maintenance and being prepared for the unexpected repairs that arise.

Some people 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, you’ll save a lot of money on new car payments and insurance.  It just makes good economic sense.

Give us a call

Joe’s Slinger Service
220 Info Hwy Court
Slinger, WI 53086