How to Calculate your Annual Car Maintenance Budget

June 29, 2018

The important things to consider when setting this year's vehicle budget

How much on average will you spend over the lifetime of your car?

As a car owner, there are many important considerations to take into account in order to get the full enjoyment and endurance from your vehicle. Before you even purchase a new car, it is important to budget for a variety of related expenses that you will need to pay towards your car over its entire life time. Additionally, if you want to extend your car’s lifespan, you can also take steps to preserve its condition by performing the necessary maintenance each year.

First things first, you must understand the specific car-related expenses you will need to work into your budget each month, and ultimately each year. This can help you effectively arrive at a more accurate budget. Here is a list of specific areas to consider when devising your annual car maintenance budget.

1) Mileage

Depending on how often you typically drive your car will have a great impact on how much annual maintenance fees you may accumulate. The number of repairs or maintenance costs typically relates to the mileage you put on your car. For example, reaching 20,000 km per year or higher is a common time frame for when more significant repairs will play a factor. This in combination with how well you take care of your vehicle will determine how much you will need to budget for.

2) Care

As mentioned previously, if you take good care of your vehicle by performing proper maintenance, determining the amount of driving you do, factoring in the weather driving conditions, as well as how safely you drive your car you can also estimate how much of a budget you will need for this annual expense. If you are driving around like you are on a race track for example, then it can be expected that your car will require more servicing and repairs each year. This will heighten your vehicle costs on average and may mean you will want to account for a larger budget.

3) Age

As your vehicle ages, it is also very possible that it will require more repairs each year. Canadian weather especially can wreak havoc on any vehicle, as summers are very hot and winters reach severely cold temperatures. An older car will likely need more maintenance as well as more complex repairs to ensure it runs as it should during these contrasting seasons. This is why staying on top on your maintenance routines early in the vehicle’s life is quite vital to its condition in later years. If you have a new car, you may not have to budget as much for maintenance each year, however with an older model you may need to increase spending on this area.

Determining how much to Budget for Annual Car Maintenance

On average, experts in the field have stated that a vehicle owner (whose car meets the 20,000 km/year mark) can typically expect to pay approximately $1,000.00 for the cost of maintenance fees. Of course, this can vary depending on the above mentioned factors. While this number is a good place to start – there are some more specific steps you can take to establish how much of a budget you will need each year to maintain your car.

Step #1: Gather reciepts and maintenance records

Receipts and records of your car maintenance costs for the previous 12 months will give you a good indication of how much you should budget for in the next year. All of these receipts are likely to include the costs of any oil changes, tires repairs, as well as any repairs and servicing you have had to pay for.

Step #2: Add up your expenses for the year, divide by 12

Secondly, you will want to add up all of these maintenance expenses and calculate a total amount. To establish a monthly budget and determine how much you should aim to save each month for this financial area, you can divide the total by 12. For example, if you have found you have paid approximately $900 in car maintenance fees that year, then it is a good idea to set a budget goal of at least $75 a month.

Step #3: Factor in age and condition of car

Assessing the condition and age of your vehicle will help you to conclude that your car could perhaps incur more repairs in the next year. Since you have determined that you have previously paid $75 per month, you may want to take into account the fact that your car may require additional repairs in the upcoming year and increase this amount. As an example, you can raise that monthly amount from $75 to $125 or even $150 to ensure you have budgeted enough for the remainder of the year.

On the other hand, if you have already replaced major vehicle components (like the tires or brakes for instance) in the previous year, it is unlikely that you’ll have to replace them again the following year. This information can help you realize that your costs may not be as high as in previous years – it will depend on your current vehicle situation. A compromise of $100 per month for your car maintenance budget may be sufficient enough to cover these annual costs. As you can see, you can rely on these factors to help inform you of how much you should save for each year in order to maintain your vehicle and ensure its reliability.

Canada Drives has a long standing history of helping drivers obtain the car loans they need to get behind the wheel of a new car. As you learn more about how to properly budget for the cost of a car, you are sure to find your experience as a driver will become even more satisfying. Click here to apply with us for free today!


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