You might want to jump the border to save a few hundred dollars on a major engine overhaul, depending on where you live. Car repair costs floated back up to pre-recession levels increasing by 11.6% in 2013, according to AAA.com’s newly released study. Certain regions felt the pinch even more as repair costs rose higher. CarMD’s Vehicle Health Report shows repairs in the northeast and southeast jumped 11.56% and 11.02% respectively. See where your state ranks.
Avoid an Expensive State of Repairs
New Jersey topped the list for most expensive state for car repairs with an average total repair cost (average part costs plus average labor rate) of $392.99 The state endured a 20.7% increase in labor rates along with a moderate increase in part costs of 8%. That means New Jersey residents dug a little deeper into their pockets to keep their vehicles running.
Washington D.C. is the second most expensive state in the nation for car repairs. It had the largest percentage increase in overall repair costs at 20% for a total cost of $391.62. More car repairs in this state tend to be major ones and cost over $1,000. That causes a higher overall average.
California’s Car Repair Costs
Car repair costs are traditionally high in the western states. Although the region did not show a dramatic increase, due to previous higher costs, California still managed to take third place right behind our nation’s capital with a total average of $390.37.
North Carolina and Maryland rounded out the top five. Georgia, Connecticut, Colorado, Virginia and Oregon completed the top ten.
Go Here for Cheaper Car Repairs
If you want the cheapest car repairs in the nation head to Vermont. You might even pay for your gas to get there. The state is the least expensive in the entire country by far with an average repair cost of $269.72. That is about $130 cheaper than New Jersey and more than $40 cheaper than the second least expensive state in the nation, West Virginia (averaging $310.49).
The reason is Vermont’s cheap labor rate which is only $115.90, and bargain basement parts pricing of $153.82.
Geography Plays a Role
Geography has something to do with pricing because New Hampshire, which border’s Vermont’s eastern side, only charges $121.88 for labor. It still ranked low even with a very high parts average of $206.12.
The Granite State ranked 44th most expensive in the nation, still in the top ten of least expensive states. Maine also ranks 43rd, just above New Hampshire in total cost. Iowa, South Dakota and Delaware complete the list for top five least expensive states.
Head West for Repairs
Heading west to neighboring desert states New Mexico and Arizona, there’s a bigger contrast. The states ranked 35th and 22nd respectively. If you want to find used cars in Albuquerque and avoid big repair bills, consider this next point. Labor costs more in New Mexico ($145.04 versus 142.06), but parts cost more in Arizona than in New Mexico ( $219.24 versus $199.71).
Utah has the highest labor rate at $149 and an average parts cost of $221.13 for 14th overall. Florida nearly cracked the top ten at 11th most expensive.