Average cost of car maintenance – Bankrate.com
The price of vehicle ownership adds up. When the time comes to purchase your next car, you must consider the true cost of vehicle ownership — trips to the mechanic included. While getting your oil changed or tires replaced both range in cost, AAA found that drivers put an average of $9,666 towards their cars in 2021. This is a $279 increase from the previous year and as gas prices rise as well it is important to prepare for vehicle costs when budgeting for which car is right for you.
Key car maintenance statistics
- Average cost to operate a new car in 2021 was $9,666
- The average driver spends $1,771 per year for full coverage car insurance
- License, registration and vehicle taxes cost $699 per year
- Drivers of newer vehicles should get their oil changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles
- 1 in 3 drivers can’t afford unexpected vehicle repairs
- 7.9 percent of drivers have delayed their vehicles routine maintenance
Arranging for routine vehicle maintenance keeps your car running the way it should and, by extension, keeps you and your passengers safe. Maintenance costs vary by vehicle type and age, but there are some basics that almost every car needs.
Typically, your vehicle will need a visit to the mechanic for overall upkeep every 5,000 or so miles and continuing from that point. But it is smart to do your own research and check your owner’s manual for specifics on your car’s needs.
While vehicle mechanics are there to help you, they are also aiming to make money. So, even though much of the maintenance requires professional help, consider what you can handle at home to save money.
|Oil change||Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles||$35 to $75|
|Basic inspection||Every 5,000 miles||$150 to $250|
|Tire rotation||Every 5,000 to 8,000 miles||$24 to $100|
|Wiper replacement||Every six months||$10 to $45|
|Brake pad replacement||Every 10,000 to 20,000 miles||$115 to $300|
Throughout the lifetime of your vehicle, it is likely that you will have to replace specific parts. This could be due to general wear-and-tear or larger issues.
No matter the reason, the price tag for a replacement is dependent on the part that needs replacing. This cost is based on a number of factors. Two of these factors are vehicle type — luxury vehicles carrying higher costs for parts — and the market cost. Consumers are also directly impacted by an increase in cost from inflation and the availability of vehicle parts.
Mechanics often do not simply have extra batteries, transmissions or brakes on hand and instead must order them. Unfortunately, you should prepare for higher than normal replacement costs due to an increase in the price of vehicle materials. Just as pandemic-related supply chain issues have created fewer available cars, parts have been on the decline as well.
|Vehicle part||Frequency||Expected cost|
|New tires||Every six years or 25,000 to 80,000 miles||$45 to $250 each|
|Air filter replacement (engine and cabin)|