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GE Capital Survey: Fleet Car Maintenance Costs Rising

May 22, 2013, 06:53 AM
Filed Under: Fleet Financing

GE Capital Fleet Services announced the results of its 18th annual fleet passenger car maintenance study, which found that overall fleet car maintenance costs increased by seven percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Although scheduled maintenance costs increased, overall car maintenance costs were down 1.5 percent from 2010 due to vehicle replacement initiatives.

The study is based on a survey of actual maintenance expenses incurred by more than 32,000 passenger cars from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Research found that while monthly preventive maintenance expenses rose four percent in 2012, younger fleet age helped offset increased parts and labor costs. Overall, average car maintenance costs rose from $49.20 to $52.66 per vehicle each month. Key factors referenced in the study that influenced maintenance costs include:

  • Increased preventive maintenance expense – Costs for oil changes increased by $5 from the previous year. However, oil change frequency decreased, from 7,752 to 8,850 miles, lessening the total impact of the cost increase.
  • Increased average tire expense –The cost per tire increased by eight percent and replacement tire costs increased by 15 percent due to higher manufacturing costs, larger rim diameters and limited availability in the retail market.
  • Improvement in overall vehicle quality – Overall vehicle quality continued to improve across the industry, resulting in longer lasting parts and less frequent maintenance requirements.

“While we expect passenger car maintenance expenses to rise slightly in 2013, improvements in vehicle quality will present opportunities for fleet maintenance savings in years ahead,” said Eric Strom, maintenance and safety product manager for GE Capital Fleet Services. “As cost savings remain the largest area of focus for both fleet and executive management, we’re committed to working with customers to identify and reduce costs across their vehicle fleets.”

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