The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Even though our cars do not fit the criteria of an investment, it is in our best interest to treat them as such. In the eyes of finance professionals, cars are depreciating assets, but even accountants will tell you that a car will pay itself off in the long run with adequate care and maintenance. You really want to find the best possible care for your car if you want to keep it on the road for a long time, and here are some ideas to help you in this regard:
In the United States, automakers will allow reputable auto dealers to use their branding as long as they comply with certain standards, and one of them is to offer service plans to new car buyers. These maintenance agreements conform to the level of service recommended by the automaker; for example, the owner’s manual of a Ford Mustang will stipulate the initial oil change to be done at 7,500 miles. The service departments at dealerships know that their reputation and brand association with automakers are on the line when it comes to service agreements.
Certain luxury brands will require more maintenance and repair than others. Mercedes-Benz, for example, is an auto brand that needs special care in terms of parts, repair, and general maintenance; to this effect, you should look for a shop that is not only certified in Mercedes repair but also passionate about it. Some auto mechanics move from Germany, the spiritual home of Mercedes-Benz, to other countries with the intent of providing care to drivers of their beloved auto brand. This high level of commitment is exactly what you need if you wish to treat your car as an investment.
Most of us do not want to drive too far in order to get our cars repaired or services, but you may want to drive just a few more miles if the shop has a great reputation. You will want to start with getting the opinions of friends, neighbors, and co-workers; ask them about the history of the shops in your community and why they prefer some over others. You can also go online and browse ratings and complaints posted on the Better Business Bureau.
Many auto maintenance tasks can be easily learned and completed by drivers. YouTube has plenty of tutorials on how to check fluid levels and replace them; the same can be said about tire pressure and recognizing issues before they worsen. You may even be able to learn how to change the oil and filter, thus saving up on labor costs.
In the end, the best way to get the maximum mileage from your car is to give it the best care and maintenance possible. This is why you need to establish a solid base of care from the start instead of trying to get your car fixed at the nearest shop.
About the Author
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.