It’s the rare driver who hasn’t run into an unexpected problem, whether a blow-out or a blown engine. And while most Americans can find a way to squeeze the necessary money out of the household budget, a new AAA study warns that a full third of U.S. drivers would not be able to handle a sudden vehicle repair without going into debt.
The average repair bill is now running between $500 and $600, according to the report. But the figure can vary widely, with major engine and transmission problems pushing up into the thousands. Even without unexpected repairs, AAA noted, the average cost of owning and operating a vehicle is now up to around $8,500 annually.
“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.” (more…)