CARACAS, Venezuela — Car maintenance and repairs are among the top expenses for U.S. consumers, with the average American paying $2,927 annually for maintenance and other repairs, according the Center for Auto Research.
But the cost of repairs is also an important factor in how the country’s economy recovers from the economic impact of Hurricane Maria.
In 2017, the average U.C. Davis consumer spent $1,878 on repairs, a 4.5 percent increase from 2016, according for the research group.
While the number of repairs for the entire economy is expected to increase by 4 percent over the same period, repairs accounted for nearly a third of total consumer spending.
The report, “Costs of Repairing and Maintenance in the United States: 2016-2017,” says U.N. statistics show that the average consumer spends nearly $1.6 billion a year on repairs.
It says that repair costs can be significant, as they can exceed the price of new cars and equipment.
For example, the price tag of a car for the average family of four can exceed $25,000, depending on the car and the condition of the engine, according.
“The U.K. and other countries with high average repair costs have lower unemployment, lower poverty, and a better quality of life,” said Daniel F. Smith, chief economist for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Car maintenance and repair are expensive in part because of government regulations that require automakers to keep their cars running as long as they need them.
“It’s a difficult business,” said Kevin Larkin, senior research fellow for consumer insights at the Center.
“There’s a huge regulatory burden on a company to maintain its vehicle and keep the vehicle running.”
The average U,C.
Davis consumer spent an average of $1.,927 on repairs for repairs made, a 2.4 percent increase over 2016.
In addition to fuel costs, maintenance and replacement costs are a major expense.
Automakers that can meet these costs are expected to spend more on fuel and maintenance, according and the study estimates the average cost of an American car is $12,000 a year.
Other costs for repairs are higher than those mentioned above, the study notes.
For instance, a vehicle’s weight and overall condition can also be considered.
A vehicle that is under maintenance is also more likely to be stolen or otherwise vandalized, and the cost can exceed any repairs.
“These are costs that are going to continue to rise,” Smith said.
Even with these costs, consumers are more likely than their counterparts in other developed nations to buy used cars, according Fisker Automotive President and CEO James Fiskers.
“In the U.A.E., we’re going to see a bigger number of people buy used vehicles than in the U,S.,” FiskERS said.
The average U.,C.DA,U.S., U.KS., and U.AX average price of a used car for 2017 was $10,865, according data from Edmunds.
Fiskers says it’s a good time to buy a used vehicle, especially as the economy picks up.
“I believe that in the next five years we’re looking at an economy where people are spending less on buying new cars,” FiskER said.
“We’re going into a period of greater affordability.”