Auto Repair Costs Are Up In Georgia - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Auto Repair Costs Are Up In Georgia

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Augusta, GA -

Auto repair costs in 2012 were up 10% compared to 2011. According to the website CarMD.com, Georgia is the 6th most expensive state to get your car fixed. South Carolina is the 16th most expensive state.

In 2012, the cheapest state to get your car fixed was Vermont. The average repair cost there was $270. Last year, the average repair cost in the state of Georgia was $385. That is more than a hundred dollar difference. But as costs go up here in the CSRA, there are still some ways to save.

We went to Smith Tire Company in Augusta to find out why Georgia has some of the highest repair costs in the nation.

"I would have to question that data a little bit. It depends on who is compiling that data, but I wouldn't think that would be accurate. If I had to pick, I wouldn't pick Georgia in the top 6. It could be, but I would be surprised if that was right," Owner Darren Smith says.

Smith says that states with more transportation regulations, like required emissions tests, should be the most expensive places to get cars fixed. Even though he doesn't agree with the data, he says repair costs have gone up. He says that is because today cars are more sophisticated, so they are more difficult to fix.

"Back in the 80's you had cars with no computers, then one to two computers. Some of them now, like this Cadillac behind me has probably got eight computers in it," Smith says.

Smith says that repair costs have also gone up because petroleum prices have gone up. He says tires cost more money now and he says it also costs more money to transport auto parts across the country.

Though it might seem like common sense, Smith says the best way to avoid costly repairs is to keep up on your routine maintenance, but that isn't the only way to save.

"Go to an independently owned shop. Build a relationship with someone you trust. You would be surprised at how many times we have had customers who have come in who have been to a chain store or even a dealership. They have been quoted $1,200 or $1,300 and then we fix the car $400 or $500," Smith says.

Smith says another reason repair costs could be going up is because people are holding on to their cars a lot longer than they use to.

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