Dave Deslauriers /

Vehicle Maintenance Costs are on the Rise: Here’s Why

If you had the pleasure of taking your vehicle in for repairs lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the cost of vehicle maintenance isn’t what it used to be. What used to cost a couple hundred dollars can now run double, or even triple that amount. So what is causing that increase? In this article, we’ll discuss some of the reasons behind the rise of vehicle maintenance costs.

Rising Labor Rates

An influential factor in the growth of maintenance costs is that of rising labor rates. The reason for this can be found in the simple economics of supply and demand. According to Automotive News, the industry is currently seeing a severe shortage in qualified service technicians. In order to meet demand, it’s estimated that the industry will need to add about 46,000 (6%) more technicians by 2026. As a result of the shortage, dealerships and repair facilities are required to pay more to recruit and retain their service technicians. Those higher salaries are then subsidized (at least partially) by the consumer in the form of higher labor rates.

Increased Parts Costs

Another contributing factor is the steady rise in price of replacement parts. Tires for example, are becoming increasingly expensive. According to Tire Review, manufacturers have increased prices between 3-10% during 2018. The reason behind the increase in parts prices is a global one. As the prices of raw materials, such as rubber, steel, oil, etc. increase, so do the costs of manufacturing the parts. Much like the situation with labor costs, the increased cost of production then gets passed on to the end user. This is a trend that could possibly continue. As the threat of potential tariffs loom, many experts expect that we could continue to see a rise in replacement part costs.

Greater Complexity

Finally, vehicles today are jam-packed with amazing features that keep us safe while on the road. From rear-view cameras and blind-spot monitoring systems, to park-assist and automatic collision avoidance, the technology is truly astounding. However, there is a downside. Due to the complexity of those features, they can be quite costly to repair or replace in the event of a malfunction.  Where as in the old days repairs simply involved replacing the offending part, these systems are essentially mini-computers, comprised of circuit boards and sensors. When a portion of the unit fails, it often requires the replacement and recalibration of the entire system, thus driving up your repair bill. In fact, according to research conducted by AAA, advanced safety systems can actually double repair bills in the event of a minor collision, adding as much as an additional $3,000 to the total.

If rising vehicle maintenance costs have become a concern for your company, there may be a solution. Contact us today at 800-234-0182 or email us at info@motorlease.com to discuss how we may be able to save you both time and money when it comes to vehicle maintenance.


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