A new study from AAA found that 64 million American drivers would not be able to pay for an unexpected vehicle repair without going into debt.
Because some car repairs are unavoidable, and the average repair bill is between $500 and $600, AAA said. The organization suggests drivers to save at least $50 a month for unforeseen expenses.
“The average cost of owning and operating a vehicle is more than $8,500 a year, and AAA has found that millions of Americans are failing to set aside a car care fund to pay for the upkeep of their cars,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair. “To avoid a surprise down the road, drivers should budget for monthly payments, insurance premiums, fuel costs and the inevitable expenses of routine maintenance and repair.”
A previous AAA survey found that one-third of U.S. drivers skip or delay recommended service or repairs, which increases the likelihood of unexpected mechanical failures.
“Anticipating your vehicle’s needs before problems strike is important,” said Nielsen. “While it may seem that skipping maintenance and repairs can save money in the short term, staying on top of car care can save drivers hundreds of dollars in the long run.”