I’m putting my car in for a service this week. It’s a major service (100,000 km), so that means it’s likely to be majorly expensive. Still, it’s all part and parcel of car ownership and avoiding potentially serious car troubles down the track. Although every time I put my car in for a service (every 6 months) I always take a moment to consider a few things.
Is Servicing My Car Worth the Money?
Normally a service for my car sets me back a couple of hundred dollars, which, in my opinion is fine and well worth the cost. However when it comes to a major service, the costs can get up into the $500-$600 range. Considering my car is only worth about $9,000, a major service is going to be about 5% of the total value of my car, and there are no guarantees that the car isn’t going to have some sort of fault even after a service.
Obviously with a new car you are covered by a warranty, so getting the service is just part of that. But once you are out of that warranty period, I feel like getting my car services is a bit like taking out insurance, knowing full well there is a chance the insurance company won’t pay up if there is a problem.
At What Point Should I Change Cars?
The last time I pondered this was on Friday. I was sitting in a traffic jam switching hundreds of times between first and second gear, waiting to get to a point where I could let loose into third gear and sit back and relax. Unfortunately for me, there was a random cow on the highway (I’m not even kidding), so everyone decided to stop and have a gander before putting their accelerator to good use.
Traffic jams are just part of living in the location we live at, it’s just something I’ve gotten used to. What I haven’t gotten used to is the incessant changing of gears that I have to do in my manual car. I often sit there thinking – how much longer am I prepared to continue driving a manual car in traffic jams?
It would be fine if I could just go the speed limit, but sadly that doesn’t seem to happen all that often. So I start to think about a move away from my current manual car, over to an automatic. The more I think about it, the more a move makes sense:
- My wife can’t drive a manual car
- My knee hurts when I depress the clutch so regularly in traffic
- My car is a sports car, and not really family orientated
- It would be nice to have a larger car
The biggest obstacle is that changing cars costs money, and to be fair, my current car has been super reliable over the last 9 years – I really can’t fault it. Now obviously there are good times to buy a car – like end of financial year deals, end of model run out deals, or perhaps I could be really lucky and win a car through a promotion like the #guesswho campaign that is happening at the moment.
Do my Wife and I Really need Two Cars?
Having two cars is super convenient. I can get myself to and from work (or anywhere for that matter), and my wife can go where she pleases as well. The downside though is that it costs us a lot of money to run two cars. We have two lots of registration, servicing costs, insurance and fuel. In total I suspect having the two cars costs us an additional $1,300-$1,500 a year – that’s a lot of money for convenience. We could hire a taxi to go from A to B about 50 times a year for the same cost, but we would also need to wait for one and setup the car seat for our son every time.
Do you service your car regularly? Do you have multiple cars, one or none?