Your car maintenance and repair checklist

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on June 2nd, 2023       

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Car maintenance checklist

Saving up for a car can be done when you break up your expenses and set a goal in mind. One of these goals is to have a budget set up that will take care of ongoing car costs such as maintenance and repairs. This handy checklist can come in handy to bring you closer to owning a car without stressing your finances.

Create a budget

Buying a car comes goes beyond the purchase price. That is why it is important that you have a budget set up as a buffer to take care of the maintenance and repair costs. Things to include in your budget are things such as:

  • Comprehensive insurance that covers you in the event where your car gets damaged, stolen or is vandalised.
  • Servicing and tyre costs which can vary in cost depending on the wear and tear. A general rule of thumb is to service your car every 12 months or every 15,000 kilometers.
  • Fuel expenses will also vary based on the type of car you purchased along with its fuel economy.

Plan on saving

Putting aside money can come in handy in many ways. However, make your saving goals realistic so that you can stick to it. According to ASIC, 17% of Aussies give up on saving because the goal was unattainable. Most Aussies do have it right with 52% are transferring spare funds into a savings account. As a general guide, you can save 10% – 20% of your income that can be used for your car. Having this amount automated into your savings account can also make it easier to stick to.

Will your accessories end up costing you more?

Having those added signature features in your car can make your car feel like home. However, it can become expensive when it comes to its upkeep. Things such as specialized paint jobs such as wrapping your car, using a matte colour, and hybrid car parts can become expensive when it comes to the general up keeping of the car. The type of model and brand of a car you choose can have a huge influence on your budget.

Prolonging the warranty

Your car will come with a manufacturer’s warranty that will cover the car from any defects and repairs that are needed for the car when it is still under warranty. The onus is on you to take care of your car by taking it for routine checks and ensuring that you do not handle it in a way that will compromise the quality of the car. You can read the terms on the manual that is produced by the manufacturer online or through the documents that come with the car. Remember to keep a maintenance and repair schedule.

Shop around

Settling for the first that appears to come with all the bells and whistles can be a costly mistake. Always shop around and compare your options before settling on a vehicle that comes with the desired features. The same goes with the finance option that you choose. This will bring you closer to finding finance that will give you the best value for your money.

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