The Economics of Vehicle Maintenance

June 5, 2020

There are many costs involved with owning a car. This is not new or particularly enlightening information. The initial purchase price of the car is just the beginning. License plates, insurance, fuel, depreciation, repairs, and maintenance costs all add up to the total cost of owning and driving a vehicle over its lifetime.

It doesn’t matter what type of car we are talking about. New or used, high or low mileage, car, truck, or SUV. All vehicles will cost a certain amount per mile. This is an absolute certainty. Of course, the dollar amount will depend mostly on the type of vehicle, and is largely based on fixed items like average fuel economy and initial purchase price. But there are other factors that can be greatly influenced by how the vehicle is driven and cared for. Proper maintenance is absolutely essential to ensure the longest life of your vehicle and overall lowest cost of ownership.

So what does maintenance entail and exactly how much does it affect the cost of a vehicle? The good news is that most modern automobiles actually require very little in the way of routine maintenance. And the other good news is that proper care and maintenance can substantially improve a vehicle’s overall value.

There are two areas where proper maintenance can reduce the ownership cost of a vehicle. First is lower overall repair costs. It is almost always more cost effective to perform preventative maintenance than to wait until something fails, which often causes damage to other components at the same time. One example is replacing a battery before it completely dies, saving excessive strain on the alternator, which can lead to early failure and is significantly more costly to replace.

Resale value is the second way that proper maintenance will reduce the total vehicle ownership cost. Vehicle depreciation is by far the largest expense compared to all other ownership costs. The amount of depreciation varies widely depending on the make and model of vehicle, but is also largely dependent on the condition of the vehicle. When it comes time to sell or trade in your car, one of the main considerations is how well it has been taken care of. Both appearance and mechanical condition factor into this. A clean car with regular maintenance will be much more attractive and valuable to a potential buyer. There can be several thousands of dollars of difference between a well-cared for vehicle and one that has been neglected or abused.

Clarity Automotive Group is fully committed to helping you make the best car purchasing decisions for yourself and your family. Call or message us today to find out how we can provide you with a truly satisfying and stress-free car buying experience.

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