If you don’t control your money, your money will control you. Today let’s focus on getting control over the cost of auto repair and maintenance.
The cost of owning a car
Here’s a look at all the budget categories you may want to consider when attempting to nail down your auto expenses:
- Purchase price – payment (cash and/or financing and interest) to acquire the vehicle
- Taxes – paid when you buy or sell the vehicle
- Fuel – the gasoline/fuel you need to make the vehicle run
- Insurance – all levels auto insurance including personal liability, collision, comprehensive, roadside assistance, etc
- Tags and registration – state vehicle registration, license plates, and renewal tags
- Repair and maintenance – tires, oil changes, and all other repairs and maintenance necessary to keep your vehicle operational
- Today we’ll set aside the first five categories and focus solely on budgeting for repairs and maintenance.
Benefits of controlling these costs
Many of the benefits of controlling your auto maintenance costs are similar to those you experience when gaining control over any area of your money, so let’s focus on those that are specific to the topic. Proper budgeting for auto repair and maintenance will allow you to:
- Have a better relationship and better communication with your auto mechanic
- Prepare/plan better so you don’t have to race to get oil changes before your next trip
- 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 is coming from — if it can be found at all.
A simple, average amount
Before we try to determine specific dollar amounts for your individual situation, let’s talk about a simple, average amount that people can start with. If you want a detailed break down of costs for your exact vehicle and situation… Scroll down to the next section.
Earlier this week, I spoke with my trusted auto mechanic — Sam — about how much the average person should budget for auto repair and maintenance. These are the numbers he gave me:
On average $1, 200 per year per vehicle, is a great place to start. This means $100 per month for each vehicle.