Most newer cars don't require that much as far as repairs if you've maintained them. Especially if you compare it to a new car payment and insurance to go with it.
Let's assume that you've researched what to buy, and bought a reliable car with low cost of ownership. The costs should end up something like this:
Oil change and tire rotation every 6k $40
air filter, alignment, trans service, brake flush, power steering flush every 30k $340
Brake pads and rotors front and rear every 50k or so $600
Major maintenance(100k service, coolant, timing belt, etc) $700
So, assuming people drive 12k a year, which is the assumption most leases are based on.
First year costs are roughly $100 bucks if you throw in a pair of wiper blades.
Second year, roughly the same.
Third year you're probably near $450
Fourth year you're back down to around S100
Fifth year is going to be rough You have a 60k, brakes, and a set of tires. You're likely going to be spending $1600+
Sixth year, you're back to $100 again.
Seventh year, if you have a timing belt vehicle, you're going to be in for the 7 year 105k maintenace, probably putting you at $800, otherwise you're still at around $100
Eighth year, you likely need brakes and tires, a little sooner due to added wear on the brake and suspension components, also 90k service, $1600+
Ninth year, you're in for the 100k service if you didn't already do it at 7 years. So, either $800 or $100
Tenth year, Yay you made it to 120k, $450
Eleventh year, time for brakes and tires again, $1200
Twelfth year, $100
Thirteenth year, congrats, you hit 150k $450.
So, assuming you bought a reliable vehicle that doesn't really brake as long as you maintain it, you'll have 7k in maintenance costs over the 13 years, or roughly 500 a year, some years will be way more expensive than others, but over the long term its almost always more cost effective to keep a vehicle. Especially when compared to 500 a month for a new vehicle, it's not such a bad deal.
No, they're not assets, pretty much anything that rolls or floats depreciates too fast to really be an asset. Even sports cars, when you figure in how long you have to keep them to have a positive return on the investment it's a stretch.
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