1 in 3 U.S. drivers

can’t afford unexpected repairs

1 in 3 U.S. drivers can’t afford unexpected repairs

Paying for maintenance is a regular part of owning a car. But a new study from AAA cited at the end of this article found that when it comes to unexpected vehicle repairs, 1 in 3 U.S. drivers can’t afford the bill. The average vehicle repair bill is $500-$600, and that cost can increase significantly for unexpected breakdowns.

According to previous AAA research, a third of U.S. drivers skip or delay recommended repair services for their vehicle. Neglecting vehicle maintenance can reduce your car’s fuel economy, and also increases the chance of unexpected car troubles. In 2016, AAA responded to nearly 32 million stranded drivers.

What can drivers do?

Prevention is key in staving off car troubles; putting off maintenance leaves a vehicle more vulnerable to mechanical failure. AAA recommends the following tips to help vehicle owners avoid breakdowns:

Maintenance schedule icon

Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Regular upkeep is the best way to ensure your car is running at its optimum.

Repair shop icon

Find a trusted repair shop where you can bring your car for checkups. The AAA Approved Auto Repair network includes nearly 7,000 facilities that meet AAA’s high standards.

Save money icon

Save at least $50 a month to use for unplanned car troubles. Contributing regularly to this fund will create a safety net to lessen the impact of unexpected vehicle repairs.

Repair estimate icon

Request a written estimate from the facility working on your car. Look into discounts or payment plans that can help cut down any immediate out-of-pocket costs.


Information taken from “One-in-Three U.S. Drivers Cannot Pay for an Unexpected Car Repair Bill,” April 4, 2017, AAA SoCal Newsroom.