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Break It Down: The Real Cost of Car Maintenance

For many people, having your own car is practically synonymous with freedom. No more dependence on rickety buses and jeepneys! Go anywhere you want! Take anyone you want with you! Look cool driving a cool car! No matter what type of car you own, the first question you have to ask yourself as a car owner is: What is the real cost of car maintenance? Take your calculators out, children: GoBear helps break it down for you

Car Maintenance Costs for Fuel

Fuel is perhaps the heaviest on the typical car owner’s daily budget. Even though it can only cost you a few hundreds or thousands at a time, those little trips at the gas station can really add up. Depending on the type of car you own, fuel may cost you up to P5,500 per month, or P66,000 per year, if your car guzzles a liter per 10 kilometers on average and with an estimated petrol price of P44 per liter. Suddenly, with this aspect of car maintenance, that brilliant idea of a monthly road trip with friends doesn’t sound so brilliant anymore…

Car Maintenance Costs for Oil Change

In keeping your machine in tip-top shape, the best and possibly the easiest car maintenance effort you could do is an oil change. It involves replacing the old oil in your car’s engine with fresh oil, which lubricates the engine and absorbs heat better. If you don’t change your car’s oil often enough, it can lead to serious engine troubles. And we all know that prevention is better (and often easier on the pocket) than cure! Though the rate would depend on each brand, model or usage stats, the recommended frequency for oil changes is one for every 5,000 kilometers. But if you use a special kind of synthetic oil, you can go for even longer without having to change your oil. To be sure of the frequency, check your owner’s manual.

Car Maintenance Costs for Preventive Maintenance Service

Preventive maintenance service or PMS is like a one-time, big-time fix for your car that’s also done at regular intervals. Having PMS done religiously in the correct frequency can save you thousands of pesos in the long run. The best way to know how often you should take your car to the auto repair shops for this car maintenance tip is to check your owner’s manual. The frequency also increases as your car’s mileage gets higher. PMS includes an oil change, on top of the oil filter and engine air filter replacement, tune-up, fluid checks, battery checks, and tire rotation and balancing.


PMS can cost anywhere from P2,500 for a 1.3-liter Japanese sedan, to P25,000 for high-end European cars. For a Toyota Vios, for instance, it can cost about P3,500 for light servicing, while for a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, it’s about P8,000 with exclusive use of fully synthetic engine oil. If you’re still choosing a car, consider the car maintenance costs for PMS and take the one that offers the longest interval in between PMS sessions, and the one whose manufacturer includes free PMS for the whole duration of the warranty.

Car Maintenance Costs for Repairs and Replacements

Your awesome car is literally the sum of its parts. Its many components each need to be taken care of on its own. So when it comes to car maintenance, don’t underestimate the little things! Batteries usually need replacing every two to three years, which costs about P5,000, and tires after five years at most, or for every 50,000 kilometers. Tires typically cost about P20,000 per set. Under-inflated tires can reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 3%, and therefore cost you more gas. Replace your spark plugs every year, your fan vels every 40,000 kilometers and your timing belts every 80,000 kilometers. Have your car mechanic replace electrical components such as the engine starter, alternator, A/C compressor after five years as well.

Car Maintenance Costs for Insurance

Even after all those car care tips, unexpected occurrences such as accidents may just turn out to be the most expensive thing you’ll ever have to deal with when it comes to your car.


Thankfully, there are many car insurance plans out there that can have your back, on top of the car maintenance efforts you already do. If you own a 1.3-liter 2013 Toyota Vios and you want to be insured for P450,000, you can sign up for MAPFRE Insular’s Comprehensive Insurance, which includes coverage for own damage and theft, bodily injury, property damage and act of nature for P13,692 per year. And there are loads more available from different providers. To find the right auto insurance plan for your budget and compare the best available out there, check out GoBear!

Think you’re ready to take on the financial responsibility of car maintenance? Don’t forget to get the best car insurance plan as well through GoBear.


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