How Much to Budget


AAA estimates maintenance costs at around 4 cents per mile driven, which means you should set aside $50-60/month for this line item. Sadly, many put off service/maintenance and they end up having an expensive repair that could have been avoided. I then thought…maybe they don’t realize how much it costs to maintain their vehicle annually.  With that thought in mind I’ve decided to share with you something in print so you can fill in the blanks for yourself.  Granted…this is just an overall average but hopefully you will find it very helpful!


If you have a new car expect to pay $200 to $350 each year on preventive maintenance until your vehicle is three years of age. After that, a good rule of thumb is to plan to pay $600 to $1200 annually and this includes tires. Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep your car from having to undergo repair.  As it ages, certain parts will need to be replaced, of course.


Those old sayings, “prevention is the best medicine” and “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, have stood the test of time for a reason.  They are true!  Take a moment, if you will, and figure out the annual cost of vehicle ownership.  You might be surprised at how it adds up!


Annual vehicle payment                     [           ]

Annual finance charge on loan           [           ]

Annual gasoline costs                         [           ]

Annual car insurance                          [           ]

Annual maintenance/repair                 [           ]

Annual license fee and other fees       [           ]

Total                                                    [           ] Annually

Total Divided by 12                            [           ] Monthly


This is how much it costs you to drive each year/month. I just think knowing the facts helps you plan a little better.



  • Keeping current with oil and filter changes prevents the need for a new engine.
  • Keeping current with tire rotations and alignments prevents buying new tires less often.
  • Keeping current with brake fluid and/or brake pads prevents replacing brakes as often.
  • Replacing filters and fluids keeps your vehicle going longer for less.
  • Preventive maintenance reduces your expenses going forward.


I think this gives you the idea.  Keep your vehicle healthy and it will be good to you and your bank account!


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