Maintaining your car in a recession is essential for your safety, your wallet, and the longevity of your vehicle. Regular maintenance, tire rotations, and safety inspections are necessary to ensure your car is operating safely and efficiently. Keeping up with necessary maintenance is one of the best ways to save money in the long run, as it will prevent you from having to buy a brand new car or make expensive repairs in the future. Additionally, regular maintenance is key to making sure your car is reliable and will last for years to come.
With the higher interest rates for vehicle financing, and the above average used car market pricing maintaining your car always pays off in the long run. I talk a lot about the vehicle care costs with customers and I have found over all my years in this business that service , maintenance and repairs always beats out financing a new vehicle in the long game. Nothing will beat the shiny, new car smell, new car peace of mind ( sometimes 😝 ) but you’re paying for that, and maintenance during that period. Added to that are any additional add on costs like mileage cap penalties, or additional dealer high profit services.
I have always preached the “3 year rule” in that when looking at vehicle costs. Always look at a 3 year window. Sometimes it seems like a large repair happens like brakes or tires and it feels painful, however over 3 years it’s still a very cost effective vehicle to operate. I feel that true, real life annual service costs can be between $1500 to $2500 per year. Some years higher if higher kilometers or higher aged vehicle. I see lots of cars that are 20 years old and still in excellent condition. There is no lease or finance program that you can find for that budget. There will always be situations that go against the rule, and there is the possibility of a catastrophic situation that could have possibly been prevented with vehicle care. New cars will be lower in maintenance costs and I firmly believe what you do in the first 5 years pays off in the higher years.
I have issues with todays modern vehicle maintenance programs. I will go on the record and say that due to higher service intervals providing the “perception” that the car has lower service costs to operate that this is a contributor to early vehicle failure of core mechanical systems. Manufactures are making vehicles tighter, smaller, thinner, and lighter components for fuel efficiency, which then combined with longer service periods or NO service periods is leading to failures that really should not occur. The mindset I feel is, if it achieves 7 years and past the warranty and it fails, then consumers will just buy another vehicle, when in reality with proper care vehicle should run for over 15-20 years safe and reliable. This is now the same with the Hybrid and Electric vehicle market, they too still need service and maintenance. Yes!!!! They have lower costs of annual service, but when t hey fail they fail with much bigger costs.