Yearly budget for repairs//maintenance

repair

#1

hi … i live 5.5 months in NYC (Herald Sqaure) and 6.5 months in enfield, NH … i have not owned a car since 1979.



right now i rent from Hertz when we are in NH, but am thinking of buying a late model small thingee ( ford focus? kia? ) anyhow, if i am making a budget to compare costs of renting versus buying, what’s reasonable really guess if i buy a 2005 with 50K miles on it … to the nearest thousand would be fine … thanks for any advice.


#2

This is impossible to guess without knowing what you’d be using it for (business or pleasure), how much use it would get, and what your insurance situation is. And would you be taking it back to NYC with you or leaving it in NH?


#3

If you buy the type of car you are referring to in good condition, budget about $1200 per year for maintenance and repairs. You may go under some yeras and over other years.

Fleet managers typically allocate 5% of replacement capital cost for these items. In your case, that would be 5% of $20,000 or so ($1000), the cost of a new Focus.


#4

I agree with the poster above. Although I can give you one piece of advice-don’t buy a Kia or a Ford Focus haha. Sounds like you just need realiable fuel efficient transportation. Get a Toyota Corrola. Figure in $600-800 a year for insurance and work out the rest of the figures yourself.


#5

I agree with Docnick.

If a vehicle is to be reasonably expected to last for a long period of time, an adequate maintenance budget is essential. In the first few years, you would likely find yourself spending a lot less than $1,200.00, but when the odometer mileage gets past about 100k, your repair expenses will increase. I think that an average of $1,200.00 per year is reasonable if you expect to keep the car for many years.


#6

They actually have a calculator over at Edmunds.com that you can use to calculate the cost of ownership with whichever vehicle you choose.


#7

The various US automobile associations surveyed owners and report about $1300 or so spent by the average US driver on maintenance and repairs. The Canadian Automobile Association also reports about $1100 for maintenance, repairs and tires per year for cars over 5 years old.

I don’t have the breakdown by model or class, but economy cars cost less, and luxury cars cost more to keep running. Use 5% of the new car cost as a good annual budget figure, put the money in a separate account and draw from it as needed.


#8

A good budget for maintenance/repairs is $1200/year. Initially you’ll probably do much better but when you need it a cushion will exist. A cushion is always nice, I use direct deposit for mine so I don’t even miss the money or forget about doing it.


#9

The edmunds.com calculator assumes 15,000 miles per year. If the mileage is significantly less, the maintenance and repair costs will be a lot less, too. But the cost won’t scale linearly, since some maintenance items like oil changes defaults to twice a year for low mileage vehicles.


#10

Please keep in mind that the Edmunds figures are not based on actual experience, but a combination of manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and a repair figure based on a fraction (50%, I believe) of the EXTENDED WARRANTY COST. They are, of course better than nothing, but bear no relationship to actual experience.

My own experience, comparing what I spent with AAA survey figures, made me spend 10% or so more very year, since I would plan to keep the car for a very long time, and the AAA members would trade every 5 years, thus doing less long term maintenance.