GE Capital Fleet Services decreased overall fleet car maintenance costs 4 percent in 2013 as compared to 2012, according to the results of the company’s its annual fleet passenger car maintenance study.
Maintenance costs include unscheduled repair services, preventative maintenance, tires and replacement rentals.
The study analyzed actual maintenance expenses incurred by nearly 37,000 passenger cars from Jan. 1 to Dec.31, 2013. Research found monthly preventive maintenance expenses decreased 14 percent in 2013 and average vehicle maintenance costs decreased from $50.47 to $48.36 per vehicle per month. Key factors referenced in the study that influenced the downward trend include:
- Increased oil service intervals. Despite the fact that costs for oil services increased by three dollars from the previous year ($39 to $42), the interval for oil changes increased from 3.6 months to 4.3 months and from 7,515 miles to 8,817 miles. GE attributes this to improvements in engine design, onboard vehicle technology and oil quality.
- Proper vehicle cycling. Although costs for replacement tires increased by 10 percent in 2013 as compared to 2012, fewer tires were purchased due to proper vehicle cycling. This resulted in a 3 percent decrease in overall tire cost per vehicle. Additionally, new tire technology has helped to extend tire tread life.
- Improvement in overall vehicle quality. Overall vehicle quality continued to improve across the industry, resulting in longer lasting parts and less frequent maintenance requirements.
Analysis published earlier this month by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that for the first time ever, over 50 percent of the current year’s US vehicles get more than 23 miles per gallon. After categorizing 1,099 2014 passenger vehicle models into 10 different mpg rating categories, CFA concludes that 2014 is a historic year for automakers. Just five years ago only 19 percent of models got 23 mpg.