According to Pete Grieve, the average cost of a new car is $50,000 dollars. This amount is significantly higher compared to buying a used car, which costs $33,314 dollars on average. The price point of used cars is the main reason why 40 million used cars are sold annually in the U.S. However, be very cautious when buying a used car. Some may have previously been involved in a serious accident and may therefore not be in perfect condition. Another factor to consider when buying a used car is that you most likely won’t get a warranty. If your used car develops mechanical issues after purchase, either you or your insurer will have to foot the bill. This write-up looks at the average used car maintenance cost with a view to determining whether it’s a worthwhile investment.
1. Costs of Car Body Repairs
It can be hard to determine the average car body repair cost as there are various factors that influence how much you pay for such a service. These factors include the person you hire for the job, the extent of damage to your car, and the model of the car. According to a publication written by Kurt Adams and Louis Denicola, on average, expect to pay between $50 and $2,500.
A car may get damaged from minor accidents in the parking lot or from more severe accidents, which are typically covered by your insurer. The monthly contributions that you make to your insurer are to cushion you against any liabilities involving your car. It is your insurer’s responsibility to also pick an auto body garage where you can take your car for repairs. An example of a garage that offers such a service is the Toyota repair garage. If you choose to buy a used car, expect the average used car maintenance cost to be higher than that of a brand-new car.
2. Cost of Metal Fabrication
The cost of metal fabrication largely contributes to the average used car maintenance cost. Metal fabrication is the process used to build machines and other metallic products. The two main processes involved in metal fabrication are the production of metal parts and welding. In the production stage of metal fabrication, raw materials are processed into a final product. This process involves; forging, punching, milling, casting, and cutting, among other processes. Welding is a technique where welders combine metal pieces while still maintaining the strength of the metal.
You might be considering buying an antique second-hand car, but it needs repairs to be road worthy. Metal fabrication makes it possible to create custom car body parts that may no longer be on the market, restoring your car to its glory days.
3. Cost of Auto Lawyer
Not every accident your car is involved in will require the services of an auto accident lawyer. Typically, the accidents that require a lawyer are the more serious ones. In such cases, the professional advice of an experienced lawyer will help you maneuver the rather confusing process of settling injuries and insurance claims.
Most auto lawyers get paid only when a claim is successfully settled. According to Forbes, these lawyer fees are dependent on how fast or slow it takes for a claim to be settled. On average, these charges range between 25 and 40 percent of the amount awarded. While this is the most common way car lawyers get their fees, there are other payment options.
A car lawyer may charge a flat fee. This is a one-off fee that the car accident lawyer charges to represent you throughout the entire process. Regardless of the payment plan, you’ll be required to make a down payment. You may also be charged an hourly rate. What this means is that your lawyer will charge you according to the time they spend on your case. This method of payment is ideal if all you need is a bit of assistance. To avoid surprises at the end of the process, it’s important to find out from the lawyer the average time it would take to successfully complete the process.
A lawyer may also offer a hybrid payment option. This type of payment is a blend of two or more payment options. For example, a lawyer may work at an hourly rate and still receive a contingent fee after a successful resolution of a case. Some car lawyers work with a retainer fee. This means you’ll have to pay them a certain amount prior to receiving their services. In such a case, you get billed for a specific period. Should you still need the services of a lawyer after that period, you’ll get billed a second time.
4. Cost of Injury Attorney
Should you get hurt during a car accident, having a qualified lawyer by your side will help you get the best outcome possible. Insurance companies are businesses just like any other. Therefore, they too want to get the best deal for themselves by convincing you to accept a settlement that’s lower than what you deserve. Your injury lawyer negotiates on your behalf to get you the best deal. There’s no definite answer to how much an injury lawyer would cost. However, just as in the case of a car accident, injury lawyers may charge on an hourly basis, a retainer fee, a contingent fee, or a flat rate.
5. Cost of Electric Repair
Electrical repairs make up a significant percentage of the average used car maintenance cost. The cost of each electrical repair depends on factors such as the model of the car and the exact issue with the car. The first cost you incur when solving an electrical issue is the inspection fee, which is about $100.
An inspection will help figure out what kind of electrical problem your car has. After identifying where the problem is, the next cost you’ll incur depends on the specific electrical system. For example, repairing a failed engine would on average cost you between $1000 and $1500. The good thing is that your insurer can cover any electric service that you may require. However, if the cost of the repairs exceeds the car’s market value, your insurer may decline to cover it, and the car will be written off.
6. Cost of Garage Door Repair
Garage doors not only offer security for the cars and other contents in your garage, but they also offer an additional layer of security to your home. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the door functions effectively and efficiently. Your garage door may have several problems. For example, you may have a malfunctioning keypad. In such a case, ensure the batteries are not dead, and if they are, replace them with new ones. If the problem still persists, you might need to reprogram the keypad.
A faulty opener switch is also another potential problem. There are several reasons the opener switch may not be giving commands effectively. If your door is locked, regardless of the number of times you press the opener switch, the door will not budge.
To establish why you have this problem, use the ruling-out method. Take time to check all possible reasons; from batteries to the power supply and so on. If the remote control isn’t working, check the batteries. You may also have a noisy garage door. In this case, the rollers of your garage door may need lubrication or replacement if they are worn out.
Note that repairing your garage doors should never be a DIY project. Not only are the doors heavy, but the mechanism behind their functioning calls for professional attention. Therefore, don’t shy from outsourcing repairs to a garage door repair service.
7. Cost of Windshield Repair
The amount it will cost to repair your windshield depends on several factors. These include the type of damage, whether you want a generic or custom replacement, the quality of the windshield wipers, and the year, make, and model of your vehicle. However, according to Repair Pal, the average amount you would be expected to pay for repairs is anything between $200 and $400. If you want to get a quotation that’s specific to your car, consider hiring the services of glass contractors. Often, you’ll not need to pay anything towards repairing your windshield if you have a comprehensive insurance policy. Your insurer will foot all the expenses.
8. Cost of Cleaning Your Car
The best way to have a used car cleaned is by hiring professional cleaning services. For this, you have several options. You can take your used car to an automatic car wash. This type of car wash uses high-pressure jets to dispense water and soap, and big brushes to scrub the exterior. It’s a process that costs around $10 to $20. However, avoid frequent automatic car washes as the brushes can damage the paint of your car.
If you don’t want to part with cash to have your car cleaned, consider hand washing your car at home. By manually washing your car, you can get the job done at no cost. A touchless car wash is another automated way to wash your car and causes minimal damage to the paint. For this cleaning method, be prepared to part with between $10 to $30.
Another great option is a mobile car wash. For this service, you don’t need to move a muscle. The service is brought right to your doorstep or any other place of your choice. The amount they charge depends on the type of washing you desire. A full wash costs from $60 to $325 for small cars and SUVs, respectively. A mobile hand wash car service costs about $30 to $60.
9. Cost of Any Additional Upgrades
Additional upgrades, such as face lifting, are a major contributor to the average used car maintenance cost. Before getting too deep into it, first, ensure you have a clean base, that is, ensure that all other functions of the car are working effectively. Depending on your needs and wants, there are many upgrades you could make to your car. For example, if you’re hoping to get a smooth cushioned drive, upgrading your shocks and springs should be your next investment. This upgrade will cost you around $1,000 dollars.
Car wheelchair lifts also make for great upgrades. According to Forbes, the cost of car wheel chair lifts ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 dollars. This upgrade is particularly essential if any of your frequent passengers use a wheelchair.
High-quality seat covers also make for great upgrades. Seat covers come in different colors and are made from different materials. Depending on the amount you want to spend, you’ll get a seat cover that’s ideal for your budget. It could be as low as $50. Seat covers not only serve an aesthetic purpose, but they also help protect the seats from water, dust, and other elements.
Although not a must-have, fog lights boost the safety of your car while driving, especially when visibility is poor. Backup cameras have recently become very common. However, that antique car you bought a while ago, as timeless as it may be, probably doesn’t have this technology. Fortunately, this is an easy upgrade to make.
Lastly, if your car is in really bad shape, or it’s beyond redemption, consider making use of the services of junk removal companies. They will dispose of it safely without interrupting your day. Oh well, no matter how much we love our used cars, a time comes when no amount of maintenance will work.
More and more people are choosing to buy used cars as opposed to new ones. This can be attributed to the lower initial costs of purchasing used cars and the range of options available. Whether new or used, maintenance is a challenging but inevitable part of owning a vehicle. By having a rough idea of the average cost of the primary maintenance tasks, you can prepare better financially for the surprise repairs and routine maintenance needs a used car usually demands. Research multiple mechanics in your area and refer to your owner’s manual to ensure you’re giving your car the specific care it needs.