Woman with car trouble
CAR REPAIR COSTS
1 in 3 U.S. drivers can’t afford unexpected repairs

Paying for maintenance is a regular part of owning a car. But a new study from AAA cited at the end of this article found that when it comes to unexpected vehicle repairs, 1 in 3 U.S. drivers can’t afford the bill. The average vehicle repair bill is $500-$600, and that cost can increase significantly for unexpected breakdowns.

According to previous AAA research, a third of U.S. drivers skip or delay recommended repair services for their vehicle. Neglecting vehicle maintenance can reduce your car’s fuel economy, and also increases the chance of unexpected car troubles. In 2016, AAA responded to nearly 32 million stranded drivers.

What can drivers do?

Prevention is key in staving off car troubles; putting off maintenance leaves a vehicle more vulnerable to mechanical failure. 

What if something happens to your car?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a sure way to completely prevent a breakdown. That means vehicle owners should always be prepared for that possibility. 

To prepare for a breakdown, AAA recommends that drivers:

  • Save at least $50 a month for car troubles. Contributing regularly to this fund will create a safety net to lessen the impact of unexpected vehicle repairs.
  • Request a written estimate from the facility working on your car. Look into discounts or payment plans that can help cut down any immediate out-of-pocket costs.
Information taken from “One-in-Three U.S. Drivers Cannot Pay for an Unexpected Car Repair Bill,” April 4, 2017, AAA SoCal Newsroom.