Adapting to the surge in car prices

Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 28, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With the cost and wait times that come with getting a new car, many are keeping their current rides for longer. The average car on the road right now is twelve years old.

Krista Heffernan said she, and her husband Kevin, used to have two cars but about a year and a half ago, they got rid of one.

And Heffernan said with car prices surging, they decided a second car was not a necessity.

"It was supposed to be just for a couple months, but then decided it wasn't worth getting another car,” Heffernan said. "It’s been quite nice not to worry about gas for two cars, insurance for two cars, parking for two cars in the city."

Heffernan said before getting rid of the second car, the cost of repairs was becoming unbearable.

"They had said maybe $500 but it came back being $1,000,” Heffernan said. “And we said, ‘that's it.’"

Rocky Casullo from Casullo’s Automotive Services said many customers come into the shop and say they never expected to keep a car for so long.

"It's just the norm today that you can't get a new one, so we need to fix the old one,” Casullo said.

Casullo said be proactive; he said if you see or hear something that may be wrong with your car, don't hesitate or wait to get it checked.

"Do your annual maintenance, look for things” Casullo said. “If you hear something, there's probably an issue you want to want to address before it's too late."

According to AAA, common repairs on modern cars cost between $500 and $600. Casullo said that average is going up.

"Costs have inflated,” Casullo said. “And your repair bill is considerably higher, four, five or six years after the vehicle is new."

Casullo said it all comes down to the supply chain; he said even getting things like washer fluid is difficult and twice the price.

"We can't get stuff as fast as we need it. And when we do get it, we're paying more for it,” Casullo said. "Unfortunately, the consumer is the one taking the brunt of it."

And Heffernan said ditching that second car wasn't as hard as she thought it would be.

"It’s really a lot easier than you think,” Heffernan said. “The accessibility of the city, its more accessible than you think, you just have to plan around it."

AAA recommends setting $50 aside each month to cover routine maintenance and to deal with unexpected issues.