Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rising Service Costs at Eurotrend Cars in Saskatoon

I just swallowed a $1,000 service bill on my smart car - replacing a mirror, changing brake fluid, "annual service", and a software upgrade on the "sprintshift module" to fix a shifting issue. It was serviced at  Eurotrend Fine Cars in Saskatoon - that's the VWAG company that sells Mercedes cars and smart cars and as far as I know, the only place in Saskatoon that services smart cars.

Word of warning if you're buying a smart car or a Mercedes - the service costs are constantly rising. I just dug through my old service receipts and this is what I found for the per-hour servicing fee:

Spring 2008 $92
Winter 2008 $110
Spring 2009 $125
Spring 2010 $125
Fall 2010 $140
Spring 2012 $140


Given how quickly rates were raised though 2008-2010 I am surprised I was not paying $200/hour for this service in 2012.

I'm not complaining about the quality of the service (or anything else - overall I like working with Eurotrend) so much as the arbitrary servicing costs. I mean, a rate increase of 152% over three years would be alarming in ANY industry.

This is just another reason that I am a complete car cynic/pessimist. Cars eat up an absurdly high percentage of our annual incomes for the privilege of being able to drive around. Is it worth it? I really don't know. I loved being a pedestrian in Montreal and using the Metro system, but Saskatoon's public transit isn't as good.

I spend $100/month on insurance/plates, another $100 on gas (low for most Canadians I'm sure), then throw in a few hundred dollars for service and repairs - that's upwards of $3,000/year on my car. People who lease or finance spend much more. I'd sure love to take all of that money and just go on a fun vacation instead.