Vehicle maintenance is up this winter due to cost of living, availability

BCAA: Car maintenance up

A new survey from BCAA says the high cost of living and car unavailability has B.C. drivers investing in their vehicles in order to keep them longer.

According to the survey, which was released on November 22, 70 per cent of B.C. drivers are keeping their vehicles longer than planned and investing more in maintenance.

Drivers are also taking a more proactive approach this year, with 78 per cent of drivers reporting they've already had their vehicles serviced for the winter season or are expecting to do so soon.

BCAA says taking care of your vehicle is very important as poor maintenance can lead to safety issues like stalling, something their Roadside Assistance team has noticed a recent increase in.

"Used cars have gone up 30 to 50 per cent in the last stretch here over COVID, and we’ve also found that new cars aren’t rapidly available, so we’ve seen a real uptick in people spending money to maintain and take care of their vehicles. Over 93 per cent of respondents said it was worthwhile to invest in their used cars because of the cost in replacing the vehicle," said Keith Berry, BCAA.

The global supply chain shortage since the pandemic started plays a part in the price of vehicle parts, another contributing factor says Berry.

"Price for parts has gone up … we’ve seen anywhere from 20 to 30 per cent of an increase on parts. That being said, the price of parts hasn’t outpaced the price of vehicles themselves," added Berry.

"Used cars and new cars have gone up far more and are also not typically available. People are now waiting up to a year or a year and a half to get delivery on some vehicles."

Here are BCAA's top tips to help drivers get the most out of their vehicles: prioritize maintenance, use a trusted mechanic, and pay attention and act:

  • Prioritize maintenance: Get regular oil changes and check-ups with proper inspection
  • Trusted mechanic: Build a relationship with a trusted warranty-approved mechanic who understands vehicle history
  • Pay attention and act: Prevent small repairs from turning into big ones by not ignoring signs that something is wrong with your vehicle

The results of the survey are based around the responses of 1,002 adults in B.C., including 783 motor vehicle owners.

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