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Owning a car in Canada is getting more expensive. A new survey reveals how much it's costing you

Owning a car is more of a luxury for most these days as the price tags of vehicles and associated costs have soared – and as designs evolve to be safer and more fuel efficient, they’re only going to get more expensive to repair.

Canadians will spend more than $9 billion on auto repairs and service this year, according to a new report by J.D. Power Canada.

"As is with everything these days and auto repair is no different, it's more expensive to fix vehicles," J.D. Ney, automotive practice lead at J.D. Power Canada, said in a Thursday interview.

The study is based on responses from more than 8,000 Canadian car owners who own vehicles aged between four to 12 years old.

The owners surveyed spent an average of $432 on each dealership visit, it found – an increase over 2022’s cost per visit of $394.

Visits to independent shops have increased too – last year, one would cost about $247. This year, that figure jumped to $262.

One reason for the spike in prices? Inflation, says Ney.

“Inflation has certainly had an effect on automotive service,” he said. “Average spend per service visit is up year over year at both dealerships and aftermarket facilities—yet the number of service visits is down."

Another reason that ownership costs are rising is that, these days, models and safer and more fuel efficient, meaning they’re more costly to repair when something goes wrong.

"A new car can have all kinds of sensors and cameras that need to be replaced and can require calibration and that can double or triple the cost,” Shari Prymak, senior consultant with Car Help Canada, told CTV News Toronto.

The automotive industry is also facing a shortage of mechanics and, as vehicles become more complicated, more training is needed to keep up with technology.

When buying a new or used car you should do your research to see which ones have a reliable track record because even if you have to pay more up front for a vehicle it could save you expensive repairs down the road.

"As your vehicle ages you're more likely to be bundling routine maintenance with repairs that have to get done as well,” Ney said. Top Stories

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