April's National Car Care Month A Reminder to Keep Vehicle Maintenance Schedule Current and to Save for Future Vehicle Expenses
April 10, 2018 - With warmer weather ahead, drivers are ready to hit the road this Spring. April marks National Car Care Month, an opportunity for drivers to prepare themselves and their vehicles for the busy driving season.
The 2018 National Car Care Month Survey commissioned by the GM BuyPower Card - which surveyed 664 licensed drivers in the United States - found that only 22 percent of Americans feel confident in their overall knowledge about cars, but more are turning to automotive experts, including local dealerships, for vehicle maintenance. In fact, more than 90 percent of American drivers take their vehicles to an automotive expert for service, rather than doing the work themselves.
In a nearly even split, 41 percent of drivers take their vehicles to the dealership for maintenance while 35 percent go to an independent repair shop. 12 percent have gone to a maintenance retail chain for service.
Trustworthiness (55 percent) and location (54 percent) of vehicle repair shops are 1.5 times more important to drivers than the cost of doing the maintenance / repairs (35%).
Only 8 percent of drivers attempt to do vehicle maintenance themselves, with replacing windshield wipers (57 percent) and headlight/taillight replacements (32 percent) the most common DIY maintenance.
72 percent of drivers say regularly scheduled check-ups prompted them to take their vehicle in to the shop for service.
About 75 percent of consumers who took the survey also claimed they had read their vehicle's manual, but most drivers put off scheduling their vehicle for maintenance if it's a minor issue - only 14 percent make an appointment to have their car serviced the same day.
While many drivers need expert support in the care of their vehicles, they also say that vehicle reliability (81%) and safety (58%) are the two most important reasons to take their vehicles in for service. Passing emissions testing (18%) and ensuring the vehicle remains environmentally friendly (8%) were the two least important reasons, according to survey respondents.
Chris Duke, Motorz TV host and GM BuyPower Card ambassador, laid out three important steps drivers can take during National Car Care Month to ensure their vehicles are in top condition.
'National Car Care Month is a reminder to all of us that keeping vehicles properly maintained is important to overall performance, safety and reliability,' said Motorz TV host and GM BuyPower Card ambassador Chris Duke. 'Adhering to the service schedule found in your vehicle's manual and taking your vehicle to a trustworthy service professional will help ensure that your vehicle is in good hands. It's also important to stay current on little things like oil changes, tire rotations, and keeping your interior and exterior clean - this will ensure you're ready to hit the road all year round.'
Preparing for the Unknown? Drivers Not Ready for Surprise Vehicle Costs
When identifying their saving and spending habits, 65 percent of drivers responding to the survey said they do not save for vehicle maintenance or service costs.
However, 85 percent of drivers paid $500 or less on maintenance in the past 12 months, signifying that consumers' expenses for vehicle maintenance and regular service are not as steep as common knowledge would suggest.
Less than 20 percent of respondents feel like they overpaid for vehicle maintenance, while 72 percent said costs were about what they expected.
70 percent of drivers use a credit card to pay for vehicle maintenance, allowing them the flexibility to choose a credit card that fits their needs.
'Saving for a future vehicle and being smart about maintaining your current vehicle is one of the savviest financial decisions you can make,' said Craig Glee, Partner Lead, U.S. Credit Card Partnerships. 'As drivers plan ahead, the GM BuyPower Card is a great way for them to save toward a new GM vehicle. Everyday purchases with the BuyPower Card, including ones for the upkeep of your current car, give you Earnings toward the future purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.'
According to the survey, 90 percent of drivers are looking to buy or lease a car in the next four years.
The GM BuyPower Card is a great resource for anyone planning for a new car in the future. Cardholders can accumulate 5% Earnings on the first $5,000 in purchases, and 2% after that, to apply toward the future purchase or lease of a new GM vehicle.* Earnings can be redeemed at any GM dealership, they don't expire as along as the account is open, and can be combined with most other offers, leaving consumers with added flexibility to make vehicle decisions that fits their lifestyle. More information can be found at BuyPowerCard.com.
*BuyPower Card Earnings may not be used with fleet vehicle incentive programs or with some other offers and discounted sale programs, such as the GM Employee Discount or Supplier Discount.