The pains many automobile owners are feeling at their local service station isn't just at the pump -- prices for general maintenance is also increasing. Petroleum based products, such as oil and tires, are heading north with the price of gasoline. Demand for steel has also pushed up prices on various automotive parts. That means consumers are seeing larger bills from their auto repair specialists, even when their exhaust doesn't require three people to install. Instead, many are choosing to squeeze pennies and skimp on elaborate repairs in order to stay on the road. AAA says the average vehicle owner will spend $8,121 to operate their automobile. That is up nearly $300 from last year.
With prices trending upward, regular maintenance can become an area easy to postpone. This practice can become costly. A well maintained vehicle will operate more efficiently as well as last longer. With today's vehicles, it is not unusual to see mileage in excess of 300,000 miles. Just think, no car payment. Isn't that nice. In the United States, the average down payment for a car is $2,400, the average amount financed is $24,864 and the average monthly payment is $479, according to Edmunds.com. The most popular loan term is now a payment-stretching six years.
Annual mileage is going to be different for everyone. Granny may only put 3,000 miles a year on her Buick driving to and from church, but a traveling businessperson could easily rack up 30,000 miles in a year.U.S. Census data lists passenger cars as traveling an average of 12,500 miles per year. Trucks, SUVs and vans come in at an average of 11,000 miles per year. These numbers are the most current ones from the government, but in recent headlines we’ve read reports of Americans driving less because of high gas prices and generation shifts.
Using this data, keeping your vehicle maintained properly, can save you a bundle over the life of your car. Again just imagine, no car payment. What a thought. So why not spend $100 a month on service instead of $479 for a payment. I enjoy investing my money for myself, not for the loan officer.