Photo: Flickr via melissagray
For the second year running, the cost of auto repairs has dropped significantly, according to CarMD’s 2012 Vehicle Health Index.The average repair set consumers back $334 in 2011–about 90 bucks less than the all-time high of $422 back in 2006, and 6 per cent down from 2010.
For that you can thank an overall decrease in labour costs and rising competition among autoshops to draw consumers with lower prices.
What stands out in the report are two of the biggest factors that determine how much you’ll pay: Where you live and how old your wheels are.
Westerners are getting hit the hardest. They shell out an average $360 per repair–17 per cent more than the $309 Midwesterners typically pay. Consumers in the Southeast and Eastern regions fall somewhere in the middle, at about $330.
Americans are hanging on to their old wheels longer than ever these days and unsurprisingly, the older the vehicle, the higher the cost of repairs. The average repair for a 2001 model vehicle cost about $348 per repair.
“At nearly 11-years-old, even well-maintained vehicles will see parts begin to fail due to age,” the report says. “The fact that so many are still going strong is a testament to the improved designs from the manufacturers, but also a warning to consumers that failing to do regular maintenance will lead to trouble down the road.”
Take comfort in the fact that some of the most common repairs are either inexpensive or simple enough to do yourself. Too bad the same can’t be said for these:
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