Nothing will destroy your budget like surprise auto repair costs. Just when you think you’re going to have a couple hundred extra bucks to put in savings, just when you think you’re about to finally pay off your credit card balance—POP! You get a flat tire or one of your belts snaps, or you get rear-ended at a stop light.
That’s why it’s important you always have money set aside for auto repairs. But aside from the “surprise repair costs,” there are several other reasons why you should put money aside on a monthly basis for auto maintenance and repair costs.
Protect Your Investment
It goes without saying that a vehicle is an expensive investment. Unless you received your vehicle as a gift, you most likely had to purchase it for thousands of dollars. Since a vehicle costs so much money, you want to make sure you protect your investment by doing routine maintenance on the car so you can prolong its life. Most of the time, you’ll only need to change the oil, inflate the tires, and top off fluids on a regular basis. But if you’re on a tight budget, even these small maintenance procedures could strain your finances.
You don’t want to put off routine maintenance on your vehicle. If you’re driving with low fluids, you could risk your engine overheating and causing serious damage to your valves. Don’t let a budget shortage keep you from getting your maintenance done. If you make it a habit of putting a little money aside for routine maintenance every month, you’ll always have money aside for when the “check engine” light appears.
Luxury Car Servicing is More Expensive (find reliable, local shops that have good prices)
If you own a luxury vehicle, you should definitely be putting money aside each month so you can always afford to get your car serviced. Typically, luxury vehicles are more expensive to get repaired or serviced because they’re built with finer parts and more advanced technologies.
When it comes to luxury vehicles, it’s always best to get your car serviced or repaired at a dealership for that vehicle. Dealerships can repair or service your luxury vehicle with manufacturer-approved parts and methods so you can maintain the “authentic quality” of your vehicle—and thus, maintain its value. If you live in Houston, just pay the extra money and service your Mercedes in Houston. Ditto if you live in Los Angeles, Boise, or Chicago.
Used Vehicles Need to be Serviced More Frequently
Used vehicles require a lot more maintenance in order to bring them new life. When your vehicle has a lot of registered miles, there’s a greater chance you’re going to have component failures. Your car could break down at literally any time. If you want to prevent that from happening, you should take your care in for monthly maintenance to repair or replace old components. If you know how to do car repairs yourself, you can spend your money on car supplies instead and do it yourself.
Even a used vehicle costs thousands of dollars, so protect your investment and do the necessary maintenance to get the vehicle running like new. And if you own a classic car, expect to pay twofold for upkeep (lest you incur the wrath of car enthusiasts).
Damage More Likely if You Have Kids or Teens
If you have kids or teenagers, your car is more likely to get dirty or damaged. Teenagers are more likely to get in collisions, fender-benders, or small scrapes that’ll cause superficial damage to your vehicle’s paint job. You don’t want to keep your kids from driving—that’s an important life skill that’s better to learn earlier rather than later. But if you can’t afford to buy your teen a vehicle, they’ll probably have to learn by driving your vehicle. Put some money away so you can make car repairs when needed.
Children are more likely to damage the interior of your vehicle. Kids have a tendency to spill drinks or drop food all over your beautiful leather seats—and sometimes car cleaning supplies won’t do the trick, and you’ll need to buy new floor mats or pay for interior repair work.
Damage Can Occur at Any Time
Your car can get damaged at any time, and your budget might not be ready to handle repair costs. That could be a big problem for you if you’re dependent on your vehicle to get to work or take the kids to school. Putting away money each month to go toward car repairs is a great readiness tool that’ll have you ready for any unexpected auto expenses that may arise.