Is It Cheaper To Keep Your Old Car? A Look at Preventive Maintenance vs. Buying New.

Do you ever wonder how your grandparents always seemed to have the same cars for decades, while those with newer vehicles often wind up trading them in or buying new cars to replace them in a few years? Going into the new year, we often find ourselves looking for a fresh start, out with the old and in with the new. But that can add up! Take a page out of grandpa’s book, and keep your car running like new for years to come by investing in your vehicle’s longevity through preventive maintenance. The investment is minimal compared  to the thousands you’ll save on a new vehicle!

To put things in perspective, let’s look at some numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists that in 2018, the average American household earned $63,179. That same family spent 1.9% of its annual income on preventive maintenance and repairs, 3.1% on gasoline and oil, and 2.2% on auto insurance. With a little math, those figures show that family spent $1,200 on preventive maintenance, $1,958 on gasoline and oil, and $1,389 on insurance, totaling $4,547 per year on their vehicle. Taking into account that a family owns on average, two vehicles, that’s roughly $2,274 spent per vehicle each year. 

Now let’s compare those numbers with what it would cost to buy a new vehicle. Kelley Blue Book reported that the estimated price of a new vehicle in 2019 was $37,185. The average amount of a monthly payment for a new car is $554, totaling to $6,648 annually. For that price, you would be able to pay off your new vehicle in roughly five and a half years (not counting interest). During that same span of time, you could instead spend $12,507 on maintaining your current vehicle, saving yourself $4,374 annually and $24,678 over the five and half years it would take to pay off the new car. 

After looking at the cost breakdown of buying a new car versus investing in your current vehicle, it’s clear to see that the roughly $2,274 a year for preventive maintenance is well worth the cost. The further you can extend the life of your vehicle, the more money you will wind up saving down the line. But the true value in investing in your car’s preventive maintenance comes from knowing that you and your family are safe while on the road, and that’s where Family Auto Service can help! 

If you find that your family vehicle is in need of auto repairs or preventive maintenance, schedule an appointment today with Family Auto Service. With four locations throughout the San Diego area in La Jolla, La Mesa, Santee, and Alpine, Family Auto Service’s auto mechanics are available to keep your vehicle in prime condition. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you soon at Family Auto Service.

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