How Much Should I Budget for Car Maintenance Per Mile?

Organizing routine vehicle maintenance is essential to keep your car running as it should and, by extension, keep you and your passengers safe. So, it's easy to see that budgeting for car repair and maintenance costs before they're needed is a smart decision. Maintenance and repair costs are 9.55 cents per mile. Electric vehicle owners are paying less again, with an average of 7.77 cents per mile for maintenance and repairs.

Surprisingly, midsize sedans have the highest average maintenance and repair costs, at 10.43 cents per mile. Fuel economy, local tax laws, and insurance rates can vary greatly from car to car, so you should keep these numbers in mind when thinking about buying a car. For example, if one in ten cars have their brake pads changed between 25,000 and 30,000 miles, cars of that mileage have a 10% chance of needing to replace their brake pads every 5000 miles. Keep your car maintenance fund separate from your other accounts and use this money only for what it was intended for.

This could lead to more serious mechanical problems that could have been avoided with regular maintenance and preventive maintenance of the car. Get quotes from several auto insurance agencies (see Policygenius for an easy comparison) and explore what coverage you could reduce, especially as your car ages. The cost of ownership can be calculated by adding up all the money you've spent on your car and dividing it by the number of years you've owned the car. Unless your car is very new, very poor in fuel consumption, or is near the end of its useful life, you are likely to save money by driving your own car on a road trip. Spend some time in your vehicle's owner's manual to see what maintenance services are needed for your car and at what intervals.

With a little financial discipline, you can have a solid car maintenance budget and plan regular car overhauls without fear of the repair bill. To begin with, compile all of your car's maintenance records of at least the last year's repairs, oil changes, tires, etc. Wear and tear on your car will not significantly decrease value if you keep up with regular maintenance. As these prices exemplify, vehicle maintenance is based on a number of factors and there is no perfect recipe for finding a budget car. However, understanding the basics of how much it costs to maintain a vehicle per mile can help you make an informed decision when it comes to budgeting for car repairs and maintenance.