Car troubles always seem to pop-up when you least expect them. That’s why budgeting for car maintenance ahead of time can save you a lot of stress and financial difficulty down the road.

Unfortunately, putting money aside for unexpected vehicle expenses is often times overlooked in people’s budget, especially if money is tight. However, even saving a small amount each month can make a big difference when it comes to car maintenance. A major repair can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. If you aren’t prepared for such a large expense, you could find yourself without transportation and struggling to meet your responsibilities.

Don’t get caught off guard and protect yourself by budgeting for car maintenance expenses long before they become an issue.

Preventative Car Maintenance

One of the most important aspects of automotive care is addressing problems before they happen. Performing regular maintenance on your car keeps your vehicle safe and on the road. Not to mention, preventative care will save you tons of money on future repair costs.

Budget for the following preventative car maintenance:

  • Tires
  • Oil Changes
  • Brakes
  • Battery
  • Filters
  • Fluids

Preventative car maintenance costs are determined by the make, model, and year of your vehicle. But also by choosing a repair shop that offers fair and affordable rates.

Get out a pen and paper to jot down what you expect to pay for all of the maintenance listed above. Then, divide the total cost by 12 to know what you should save each month just for preventative maintenance.

Additionally, you can easily spot some maintenance issues yourself by regularly checking the oil, tire pressure and tread, battery charge, and various fluids. Any leaks, discoloration, or strange odors could be an early sign of a problem and could prevent major repairs in the future.

Major Repairs 

Even if you take excellent care of your vehicle, you are still at risk for dealing with a major repair at anytime. Make sure to leave room in your budget for major mechanical issues or pricey repairs.

It is also important to set aside money for emergency vehicle services if they are not already included in your insurance plan. These services will cover expenses such as towing, flat-tires, and many companies will even bring you gas if you forget to fill up.

By purchasing an emergency service plan, you will always have the peace of mind knowing that you won’t be left stranded if your car happens to break down. Companies such as AAA offer extremely affordable plans that offer safety and emergency services all over the country.

How Much Should You Save?

While there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution when it comes to a car maintenance budget for your vehicle, saving $100 per month specifically for maintenance is a good place to start.

This equals a total of $1200 every year to pay for any expected and unexpected car expenses.

Figuring out your exact car maintenance expenses will be helpful in determining how much you can afford to save each month. As every car owner knows, there is a long list of costs that your budget must include. When calculating your total costs consider the following:

  • Insurance/emergency services
  • Tags and registration
  • Taxes
  • Gasoline
  • Maintenance/repairs

After coming up with a bottom line of total expenses, make a commitment to set aside a specific amount each month that will cover all of your possible car maintenance costs. Doing so will keep you and your car safely on the road for many years to come.