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How much does the average American spend on vehicle repairs in a year?

American spend on vehicle repairs

August 11, 2021

Posted on August 11, 2021

How much you spend on vehicle repairs each year varies based on numerous factors, including your age. A Harris Poll recently revealed that Americans spend about $397 per year on their auto maintenance and repairs, which is a much lower figure than some might have guessed!

Overseen by Ally Bank, the Harris Poll considered figures from the past five years and also looked at vehicle owner age. It turns out that the younger a driver is, the more likely they are to spend money on repairs. This might be due to younger drivers having older vehicles more prone to breaking down, younger drivers placing a higher priority on keeping their vehicles in mint condition, younger drivers being less likely to have a dealership covering their repairs—or a combination of these factors.

Those aged 18 – 34 tend to spend the most on vehicle repairs at $466 per year. However, those over age 55 spend an average of $330 per year on the same types of maintenance. Analysts point out that younger drivers also tend to drive more, which additionally supports the reasoning behind younger drivers spending more on preventative maintenance. These aren’t particularly high figures, but they certainly can be when a driver on a tight budget doesn’t think about maintenance and repairs when buying a car. A lot of people will consider the cost of a vehicle loan or lease, insurance, and average miles per gallon, but forecasting maintenance and repairs rarely makes it into a budget until they’re necessary.

Caring for Your Vehicle

The actual cost of vehicle repair and maintenance will also depend on the make and model of the vehicle. Although older cars tend to break down more regularly, they’re also easier to work on than the latest electric car model. The typical driver spends more time calculating the cost of fuel rather than the average cost of repairs. Understanding that a Ford F-150 requires about $2,000 per year in fuel while a Nissan Leaf averages $600 per year in electricity is important—but so is figuring out the average estimated costs of repair and maintenance.

Considering depreciation is another key factor. Vehicles aren’t known for their appreciation values, and the average $30,000 vehicle loses around 40% of its value in just three years. That means every year for the first three years, the owner loses about $4,000—that’s around 10 times the cost of maintenance and repairs. With every year, that disparity grows even bigger. In other words, maintenance and repairs are far from a driver’s biggest loss even though you don’t “feel” the depreciation the same way you do a mechanic bill.

Vehicle warranties can help minimize maintenance and repair costs, and every new car comes with options for warranties ranging from a comprehensive 3 year/36,000 mile warranty to a 5 year/60,000 full drivetrain warranty and even longer. Certified pre-owned vehicles also often come with various warranties including bumper-to-bumper and extended drivetrain options. In many cases, warranties can be a great tool to avoid or decrease repair costs. However, choosing a reputable mechanic is also critical. For all your repair needs, depend on Transmission City & Automotive Specialists.


Thank you for visiting Transmission City in Sandy, UT. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today (801) 565-9990.

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