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Kelley Blue Book: Americans are getting fewer car repairs, but here’s the bad news

Fewer of us are bringing our cars in for repair this year, but the repairs we do order are getting more expensive. With prices for both new cars and gasoline near all-time highs, more Americans are keeping old cars running, whatever it takes.

The average car on American roads is now more than 12 years old.

The data come from XTime, a software many dealerships use to guide the service process. XTime is a product of Kelley Blue Book parent company Cox Automotive.

XTime metrics show that, in February, dealerships saw 1.6% fewer cars coming in for repair than in January. Repair volume declined early in the global COVID-19 pandemic and has never returned to pre-pandemic numbers.

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But, while the volume of repair orders declined, the severity of issues requiring repair went up. The average repair in February cost $501 — the highest since data collection began three years ago.

Prices for both new and used cars soared throughout 2021. Though they’ve begun dropping, they remain near all-time highs. The average new car sold for $46,085 in February — nearly $5,000 more than one year before. The average used car sold for $27,608 in February.

See: Here’s when you can look forward to used car prices finally going down

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