"I can't afford that"

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"I can't afford that"

Postby meteorite » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:44 pm

Autoweek.com's daily drive newsletter set off quite a firestorm of comment on their website when they reprinted this story from their sister publication Automotive News:

One-fourth of U.S. drives having trouble paying for car repairs, AAA says

By: Joseph Lichterman, Automotive News on 8/04/2011

Americans have difficulty paying for costly vehicle repairs and are driving older cars longer, according to a survey released by AAA.

One quarter of American drivers said they would be unable to pay for repairs to their vehicle of more than $2,000, and one in eight said they would be unable to pay for repairs of more than $1,000, the survey said.

More than half of drivers said they are still driving an older vehicle “because they do not want the financial burden of a new one,” the survey said. And 25 percent of drivers said they have put off repairs in the past year because the repairs would cost too much.

By neglecting repairs, drivers increase the odds that they will need a costly repair, Marshall Doney, AAA vice president of automotive and financial services, said in a statement.

“Economic conditions have taken their toll on many Americans resulting in them neglecting their cars and leaving them at increased risk for very expensive repair bills,” Doney said. “Many Americans rely on their cars for their livelihood, and losing access to them could be financially devastating during an already troubling economic time.”

This is the first time AAA has commissioned such a survey, spokeswoman Christie Hyde said.

A recent J.D. Power and Associates study showed that consumers are spending less on repairs.

In 2005, the average driver spent $181 on maintenance and repairs. This year, the total has dropped to $169.

And while drivers are spending less, they're driving more, auto service consultant Lloyd Schiller said. In late 2008, cars going to dealership service departments had an average of 61,000 miles on the odometer. Early this year, the average climbed to 78,000 miles.

Still, it's important for drivers to have a plan in case they need to pay for emergency vehicle repairs, Doney said.

Thirty-eight percent of the AAA survey respondents said they would pay for $2,000 in repairs with money from their savings account, but 20 percent said they would pay with a credit card.

Another 11 percent said they would have to borrow money to pay for a $2,000 bill, according to the survey.

The figures were somewhat higher for a hypothetical $1,000 repair bill: 46 percent of Americans would pay with savings, 22 percent with a credit card and 14 percent said they would need to take out a loan.

Typically, according to AAA, transmission repairs can cost between $2,000 and $4,000, engine repairs are likely to top $5,000 and the cost to fix a set of brakes can be between $350 and $1,000.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/2011080 ... z1UOgrq6UM

>>>following the link will take you to the story on the Autoweek website, where you can peruse the comments - some not particularly sympathetic - from a number of members. I suspect there will be a lot more backchat in the next few days.
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