Reducing Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Costs

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  • Don’t mention mileage related service.  They will charge you more.
  • For mileage related service do the inspection part yourself.  List the items that need to be done.  Other than that, have the mechanic look it over and tell you if you need anything done.
  • Shop around for the service you need done and check for specials or find a reputable shop (AAA approved?) and be loyal.
  • Do it yourself.  There are many “how to” videos on YouTube.
  • Be careful agreeing to any maintenance that isn’t in the owner’s manual.  Get a second opinion.
  • Stick with independent shops.
  • Consider checking out your local vocational school for doing the repair.
  • Get educated and ask questions
  • Use RepairPal.com and AutoMD.com to know average charges for repairs.
  • Heed the warning signs (engine light, oil light, strange sounds).  We had an engine destroyed by a family member driving when the oil light was on.
  • Get it fixed for free.  You can plug in your VIN to SaferCar.gov to find recalls and service bulletins.

Continue reading Reducing Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Costs

Reducing Vehicle Depreciation, Finance Costs, Taxes, and Fees

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The easiest way to avoid these costs is not to buy a vehicle.  As retirees, we did some soul searching recently about whether we should keep a second vehicle.  We budget $800 a month for transportation.  We could almost cut it in half if we got rid of one vehicle.  We decided to keep both vehicles for the convenience. Continue reading Reducing Vehicle Depreciation, Finance Costs, Taxes, and Fees

Calculating the Five Year Cost of Ownership of a Vehicle

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According to Consumer Reports, the average five year cost to own a vehicle is $8,698.  At an average annual mileage of 15,000, that comes out to 58 cents a mile, which is pretty close to the IRS standard mileage rate of 57.5 cents per mile. Continue reading Calculating the Five Year Cost of Ownership of a Vehicle