People in France are tending more and more to buy or keep second-hand cars amid concerns over the cost of living but inflation is also pushing up the price of vehicle repairs and tyres.
In January, 109,245 cars aged more than 15 years were sold in France, compared to 102,000 new vehicles, which was a first for the motoring industry.
In addition, the average age of the cars being driven around the country is now over 11 years, compared to nine years in 2018.
However, the older a vehicle gets, the more repairs it needs, and these are also growing in price according to a survey of 30 million mechanic bills carried out by the car maintenance website idGarages.com.
The rising price of car repairs is associated with part supply shortages as well as increasing raw material and staffing costs.
For example, in the second quarter of 2022, brake component prices increased by 9%, and clutches were up 5%.
Tyre prices have increased by between two and 12%, depending on the brand.
Prices vary across the country, and Occitanie, for example, is one of the regions where they are cheapest. It is also worth watching out for offers from garages, as idGarages.com has noted that the number of discounts being introduced has increased by 5% this year.
On average, the cost of a general service has also only risen by 3.5%, even though the price of oil has gone up by 16%.
Despite the rising cost of vehicle maintenance, “keeping your existing [car], if you have kept it in good condition” is probably more financially shrewd than buying another one, Fabien Borsa of idGarages.com told La Dépêche.
However, he added that if you have “taken a while to sort out repairs,” it might be better to purchase a new car, depending on your vehicle’s age.
For example, a diesel particulate filter will need replacing at around 100,000km, and costs €1,500. At 200,000km, it will have to be replaced again.