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Gotcha! Unexpected Car Expenses and How To Avoid Them
by Bradley B. • May 16, 2019

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Gotcha! These Car Expenses Can Come Out of Nowhere..

What can go wrong will go wrong. That adage known as Murphy’s Law might sound pessimistic—but they are words of wisdom for car owners trying to avoid the unpleasant surprise of unexpected big bills.

Fortunately, there’s a solution for the millions of Americans not prepared to pay for an unplanned vehicle repair, new tires, or a big down payment. It’s called a car subscription, a monthly fee that packages all your car-related expenses (other than gas) into a single predictable amount.

According to a 2017 AAA survey, 64 million American drivers would go into debt to pay for an unexpected vehicle repair. The average repair bill is $600 and can be much higher. What if there was a way to lock down your total monthly vehicle expenses for the next year or two? That’s precisely what a car subscription from a leading company like Canvas can do.

Put a Ceiling on Your Monthly Car Expenses

Everybody knows about and expects to get one or two steady monthly car-related bills, like insurance payments and those unfortunate trips to the gas station. But it’s all too easy to overlook the more sporadic expenses.Of the $740 a month average cost to own and operate a car—calculated by AAA—your annual cost for maintenance and repair is likely to be nearly $1,200. Have you put away an extra $100 a month all year in anticipation for those repairs? This is where an all-inclusive monthly payment for a car subscription is so powerful.

When you subscribe to a car with Canvas, maintenance at an approved service location is included. The subscription includes the parts and labor to repair thousands of key components —the engine, transmission, steering, brakes, front suspension, and electrical systems. Nothing comes out of your pocket in a painful lump sum. Instead, when the inevitable servicing or repair job pops up, simply take your car to an approved service location.

Routine maintenance, preventive care, and replacement for normal wear are also included. Rotating/aligning your existing tires, or replacing a worn tire—which could represent another surprise expense of $500 or more—is also included with the subscription.

Maintenance and tires are not even the biggest gotchas when it comes to your car. About 40 percent of the cost of owning a new vehicle—on average, more than $3,000 per year, equating to $250 a month—comes from depreciation. That’s the decline in value in your vehicle between the time you forked over your initial payment and when it comes time to sell or trade in your vehicle.

Most car owners don’t think about depreciation until suddenly they are back at a dealership figuring out a way to make a down payment of thousands of dollars. With a car subscription, there’s no upfront payment and no need to think about how to sell or return a car when you’re ready for a new ride. (In fact, you can swap out models as often as you like.)

With Canvas, you pay an all-inclusive monthly figure consisting of a fee for the car and a subscription fee. There’s no down payment because you don’t own the vehicle. You aren’t burdened by depreciation costs—or lease payments, which is just another way to pay for vehicle depreciation.

Nickels and Dimes Add Up

Even if you’ve already calculated and put away funds for repairs and depreciation, it’s easy to overlook relatively minor expenses such as registration fees, licensing, and taxes. However, according to estimated from AAA, keeping the legal status of your car in good shape annually adds up to nearly $700 for a mid-size sedan. If you aren’t ready to pay an unplanned $700, think about a monthly car subscription that already covers those costs.

And let’s not forget about the required insurance for your ride. Once again, that’s included in the monthly subscription payment. A Canvas subscription provides a Liberty Mutual policy with a combined single limit for bodily injury liability and property damage liability of $300,000. And it means that you have one fewer bill in your mailbox.

*What about roadside assistance? *Included. *Emission tests? *Covered.

To be clear, a car subscription doesn’t allow you to dodge paying for maintenance, depreciation, registration, and all the smaller payments that add up. But a car subscription simplifies your finances (and your life) by wrapping them into one neat, tidy package. It’s a way to know for sure that your car expenses won’t suddenly shoot up by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How much is that peace of mind worth to you?