DEFINITION of 'Maintenance Expenses'

The costs incurred to keep an item in good condition and/or good working order. When purchasing an item that requires upkeep, consumers should consider not just the initial price tag, but also the item's ongoing maintenance expenses. Maintenance expenses are a major reason why home ownership can be more expensive than renting, for example. However, sometimes even items that are merely leased, not owned, such as a leased car, will require the owner to pay maintenance expenses.

BREAKING DOWN 'Maintenance Expenses'

Examples of maintenance expenses for automobiles include gas, oil changes, alignment, tire replacement, brake fluid and car washes. Maintenance expenses for a house include lawn care, plumbing repairs, roof repairs, hazard insurance premiums and replacement of worn out appliances.

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