Blog How Much Does Car Maintenance Cost?

Jun 27, 2020

A Guide For Average Car Maintenance Costs

Oil being put into vehicle

Car maintenance costs should factor into your vehicle selection. Whether you want to buy a used car or are getting a new one, maintenance costs are an important consideration. They add to your overall total cost of car ownership. You need to account for them and understand how much you’ll need to pay annually.

Skipping out on regular maintenance can have a detrimental effect on your vehicle efficiency. Failure to do regular maintenance could end up costing you more money long term. If you don’t address issues as they arise, it could void your car warranty and lead to even more expensive repairs in the future.

Here we will provide you with some insights into how much you can expect to pay for car maintenance.

What Is The Average Car Maintenance Cost?

The average maintenance cost for a car per year varies based on many factors. According to Canada Drives, its estimated vehicles that drive 20,000 KM per year cost approximately $1,500 in maintenance. This number can be higher or lower depending on how much you drive and other factors.

What Is The Average Car Maintenance Cost Per Month In Canada?

If you assume the average annual cost is about $1,500, then you can expect monthly car maintenance costs to be approximately $100 to $125. Remember that some months you may have no costs, and others you could have a larger repair bill. It averages out over the span of a year.

Car Maintenance Costs By Brand

Car maintenance costs per year are unique to your vehicle brand. There are certain brands that cost more to maintain than others. Why? There is a difference in the cost for parts and some brands require specialized diagnostics and maintenance.

As you would expect luxury brands cost more to insure than more economical models. Your Mechanic provides a great list of the average car maintenance costs by brand. Here are the 10 most that cost the most to maintain :

  1. BMW
  2. Mercedes-Benz
  3. Cadillac
  4. Volvo
  5. Audi
  6. Saturn
  7. Mercury
  8. Pontiac
  9. Chrysler
  10. Dodge

What Are Some Cars With The Lowest Maintenance Cost?

Toyota is known for having the lowest maintenance costs, including their sister companies Lexus and Scion. Here are some of the less expensive car maintenance costs by brand :

  1. Toyota
  2. Scion
  3. Lexus
  4. Honda
  5. Mitsubishi
  6. Mini
  7. Mazda
  8. Nissan
  9. Volkswagen
  10. GMC

How Do Car Maintenance Costs Per Year Change Over Time?

Maintenance costs increase over time. Annual costs can start as low as $500 per year for a brand new car. Most cars hit the average maintenance cost range ($1,500) around the 10 year mark. After this costs can continue to rise and reach $2,000 or more annually. As a general rule, the longer you have a vehicle, the more it will cost you to maintain.

Car Maintenance Cost List

Dash with maintenance required lit up

Here’s a list of some of the maintenance you’ll need to perform on your car :

  • Oil changes
  • Tire rotation and winter tire change
  • Wiper blades
  • Engine air filter
  • Brakes and brake pads
  • Car wash and fluid top ups

Vehicle Operating Cost Calculator

Not sure how much your average maintenance costs are for your current vehicle? Use this simple vehicle operating cost calculator to assess your costs :

  • Get your car maintenance records together for the past few years.
  • Add up all costs and divide by 12 to determine your monthly average.
  • Take your current car condition into consideration.
  • Consider recent maintenance on less routine tasks (tires, brakes).

You’ll have a good estimate of your average maintenance costs for your vehicle.

What Factors Affect Car Maintenance Costs?

There are three main factors that will have a direct impact on the cost to maintain your vehicle :

  • How often you drive : The amount you drive per year will have a direct impact on maintenance costs. The more you drive, the more you will spend on maintenance and repairs.
  • How you treat your vehicle : Its important to take care of your vehicle. Taking your car in for regularly scheduled maintenance appointments can extend its lifespan. It can also lower the average cost of maintenance over time.
  • Vehicle age : Age caches up with all of us. As your car ages, your costs will increase.

Tips To Budget For Car Maintenance Costs

Car maintenance costs are part of owning a vehicle. They need to be part of your budget and you need to account for them. Use these tips to budget for car maintenance costs :

  • Research the average costs based on your make model and year.
  • Create a vehicle expenses account to contribute to.
  • Set aside the average monthly amount each month.
  • Keep adding to this account to build it up for unforeseen expenses and repairs.
  • Consider increasing your annual budget as you vehicle ages.

Car Maintenance Cost FAQs

The cost for car maintenance is an important factor when selecting a vehicle. Here are some more common questions about car maintenance costs :

It depends. Vehicle maintenance costs vary based on vehicle brand and model, how much you drive and other factors. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to see the recommended maintenance schedule to get an idea of annual upkeep.

Electric cars cost less to maintain than gas powered vehicles. It’s estimated that it will cost about one-third to half of the maintenance costs per year. Overall, they require less maintenance.

Higher value and luxury vehicles tend to cost the most to maintain. Brands such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are commonly on the list of most expensive to maintain.

Yes. There are two main types – scheduled and unscheduled maintenance costs. Scheduled maintenance is doing the factor recommended maintenance at defined interval. Unscheduled maintenance are repairs to parts of the vehicle that wear down. This includes the parts and mechanic costs for brakes, battery, tires, and wipers.

A Final Word On Car Maintenance Costs

Every type of vehicle needs consistent maintenance to keep running smoothly - just like how every driver needs coverage to drive safely. Don't forget to calculate your car insurance rate for the year when you do your yearly finances.