A new BCAA survey shows that the high cost of living has British Columbia drivers keeping their vehicles longer and investing more into maintenance and repairs.
According to the survey, conducted for BCAA by Leger, 70% of BC drivers say the high cost of living and economic uncertainty has them keeping their current vehicle for much longer than they planned and investing in them, even when money is tight.
While 49% admit to skipping recommended vehicle maintenance and repairs in the past due to costs, there’s a turnaround today with 83% saying they can’t risk the cost of a break-down and going without their vehicle.
Additionally, 93% agree that while it’s costly to maintain a vehicle, it’s worthwhile to get the most out of it.
Drivers are taking action with 78% reporting that they’ve already had their vehicles serviced for the winter season or are expecting to do so very soon.
Keith Berry, Regional Manager for BCAA Auto Repair and Maintenance says the research rings true at BCAA Auto Service Centres in Victoria, Nanaimo, Surrey and Kelowna, which all report a significant jump in customers booking vehicle service appointments this year.
“We’re seeing people we haven’t seen in a long time, and they’re telling us that their days of skipping regular vehicle servicing are over. Economic uncertainty seems to be a wake-up call for many drivers to take care of their vehicles and keep them reliable,” he says.
In addition to the high stakes of risking an unreliable vehicle, he points out that the cost of used cars has increased substantially, and supply chain issues means it often takes longer to get a new one.
“If you rely on your vehicle and need to keep it on the road, preventing problems through regular maintenance is the best way to do that.”
Berry adds that in his experience, by servicing your vehicle properly, it’s possible to as much as double the life of it.
As for what can happen if you don’t keep up with maintenance and repairs, BCAA’s Emergency Roadside Assistance team is reporting a recent increase in stalls. Stalling issues are often tied to poor maintenance and frequently lead to costly repairs and safety issues. Berry is hopeful that stall outs will reduce as more drivers commit to up their game on vehicle maintenance and repairs.
BCAA’s Keith Berry offers tips to drivers to get the most out of your vehicle:
- Prioritize maintenance – Make sure to get regular oil changes, battery performance checks and proper inspections as well as follow regular service intervals for fluids and spark plugs. A nickel on prevention can save a dollar on repairs.
- Trusted mechanic – Build a relationship with a trusted, warranty-approved mechanic who will understand the history of your vehicle and help you get the best out of it over time.
- Pay attention and act – Don’t ignore signs that something may be wrong with your vehicle. Unusual sounds, smells or the ‘check-engine’ light won’t go away on their own. Jump on those issues right away. Delays could cost you more.
About This Survey
These results are based on an online survey of a representative sample of 1,002 adult British Columbians (including 783 motor vehicle owners) surveyed using Leger’s panel, LEO, from October 28-31, 2022. As a non-random internet survey, a margin of error is not reported. For comparison, a probability sample of n=1,002 would have a margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.