Maintenance Costs Increased in 2012, Says GE Capital Fleet Services Study


Fleet man­agers saw main­te­nance costs go up in 2012 over the pre­vi­ous year, but a younger fleet age and qual­i­ty of vehi­cles off­set some of that expense. GE Cap­i­tal Fleet Ser­vices just released its 18th annu­al fleet pas­sen­ger car main­te­nance study. Data came from 32,000 pas­sen­ger cars and was col­lect­ed between Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012. Month­ly pre­ven­tive main­te­nance expens­es rose 4% dur­ing the year, and bring­ing in more new vehi­cles into fleets off­set some of that increased parts and labor expense. Although sched­uled main­te­nance costs increased, over­all car main­te­nance costs were down 1.5 per­cent from 2010 due to vehi­cle replace­ment ini­tia­tives. Over­all, the car main­te­nance per vehi­cle month­ly cost aver­age rose from $49.20 to $52.66 in 2012. Tire expens­es had much influ­ence on the increased main­te­nance costs.

Here were some of the key fac­tors from the study that influ­enced main­te­nance costs in 2012:

  • 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.




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