Which Car Brands Have The Highest Maintenance Costs?

Which Car Brands Have The Highest Maintenance Costs?
Photo: Standret, Shutterstock

The true cost of owning a car goes beyond the sticker price. Maintenance, for example, is an expense that can add up quite a bit over time. However, your mileage will vary depending on the car.

Vehicle service site YourMechanic.com analysed their own data to find out which car brands and models require the most maintenance over time. They explain:

At YourMechanic, we have a massive dataset of the make and model of the cars we have serviced and the type of maintenance done. We decided to use our data to understand which cars break down the most and have the highest maintenance costs…First, we looked at which major brands cost the most to maintain over the first 10 years of a car’s life. We grouped all years of all models by brand to compute their average cost by brand. In order to estimate annual maintenance costs, we found the amount spent on every two oil changes (as oil changes are generally done every six months).

According to their data, BMWs were the most expensive to maintain by far, with a 10-year cost of $US17,800 ($23,930). They found the luxury brands were the most expensive in general, but many budget vehicles ranked high, too.

Toyota was the best value for maintenance, according to the list. Scion and Lexus were the second and third most inexpensive brands, respectively (both are part of the Toyota group).

For maintenance costs on all the brands, check out their graphic below. While the prices are in US currency, the list still gives you a good indication of which cars are the costliest to maintain in Australia.

Image: YourMaintenance.com Image: YourMaintenance.com

[Via Priceonomics]


  • Interesting list. Would be good to include how much of the car’s value has been lost in the decade too.

  • Interesting list, for the target market, if not specious. For every make the distributor sets the parameters that represent the maintenance costs. For example, in Australia, one of the luxury brands capitalises the 5 year service costs ie you pay for it in the purchase price so the maintenance costs are $0 while one of the best Japanese makes for maintenance costs (in this survey) requires regular and expensive services. A much more informative survey would be a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) which would better translate across global markets.

  • Interesting to know who much the Yanks are paying for the car services.
    Why is this article relevant to Australia?

    • Because it still shows which car models are expensive to maintain. While the exact dollar amount will be different, the ranking of each car manufacturer should be pretty similar in Australia.

      • Not entirely true. Market positions are very different for a lot of these manufacturers. Jeep for example is far more expensive in Australia for parts than in the US, ditto VW.

    • at least i know my scion is going to be fairly cheap compared to parents saturn. i definitely made the right choice.

  • Car types and average mileage will skew the figures, as will vehicle types. Eg, hard driven, high performance cars vs econoboxes.

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