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Most Expensive Cars to Maintain

Looking for a new car? Just be sure to be aware of the most expensive cars to maintain before signing on the dotted line.


It should come as no surprise that the most expensive cars to buy are typically the most expensive cars to maintain. If you are a fan of luxury vehicles, you understand that these expensive cars come with more than just an expensive price tag. There are many different factors that go into basic maintenance and repairs on any vehicle, and if your taste is for something more high performance, the money you will spend might be a little more.

Nobody likes car shopping, but it’s a necessary evil in today’s society. If you are someone who has a refined taste for your necessities, then it is important that you understand the costs involved and which cars are going to cost more to keep running. The cheapest cars in the world may wind up costing you a lot more than than you bargained for.

There are some factors to consider when looking at how expensive it might be to maintain a vehicle. All vehicles require basic maintenance: oil changes, spark plugs, belts, fluids, etc. However, it’s when you start to go beyond the basic maintenance that you’ll want to know what to expect.

It’s important to understand a few basics first. How much do you plan on driving the vehicle? Do you plan on making modifications to the engine? Exhaust? What are some basic upgrades that you can get from the dealer versus going with aftermarket parts? All these factors will contribute to the potential expense you might incur with your car maintenance.

BMW

Source: Pexels

Everyone knows that with a BMW, you will get a great quality car that is very reliable and will last you years with the proper maintenance. However, they are also one of the most expensive cars to maintain.

BMWs are marketed as luxury vehicles, so, automatically, you know the price to maintain them will be high. BMW has many models to choose from and even their “family” cars will cost just a few pennies for maintenance. The average cost of a BMW to maintain over a ten year period is about $17,000. That means you need to prepare to budget about $1,700 a year just to keep it up and running. Your average mechanic isn’t able to do the repairs on a BMW either, so you’re automatically going to pay more by taking it to an import specific shop.

Mercedes

Source: Pexels

The other big name player on the luxury car market is Mercedes-Benz. Just like with the BMW, you’ll need to keep up with the regular maintenance. Depending on the model, your repair bill will fluctuate based on the services needed. Mercedes have traditionally been considered in the group of the most expensive cars to maintain, as well as one of the most reliable car brands on the market. 

Some of the models have a high performance V12, which will require more specialized maintenance than a V6 or V8 engine. The average cost annually for maintenance on your Mercedes-Benz will be about $1,290 or $12,900 over a ten year period. Keep in mind that when you need a more major repair like a water pump, that can drastically change the annual maintenance costs.

Audi

Source: Pexels

Another in the German manufactured cars, Audi tends to be on the expensive side to maintain. Just like with the BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the Audi will require maintenance that most “regular” mechanics are unable to complete. Any time you have to take your car to an import specific mechanic, the price tag is going to increase.

Just like any car company, Audi has a variety of vehicles to maintain and repair. On average, your annual cost for maintenance on an Audi is about $1,200 annually, or $12,000 over a decade. As with the other manufacturers of the most expensive cars to maintain above, the routine costs will spike if the car is in need of major repairs.

Chrysler

Source: Boriskin Vladislav

Chrysler, overall, has a fairly modest price tag at about $1,000 annually for maintenance. However, it should be noted that the Chrysler Sebring tops out at a whopping $17,000 for maintenance costs over a 10 year period. It seems like somewhere around year seven or eight, everything starts to go on these vehicles. It’s a very hefty price tag for a car that doesn’t really compare to some of the other luxury brands listed above.

Volvo

Source: Florian van Duyn

Volvo is known as a bullet-proof type of car. You can drive these like a maniac and they will keep coming back for more. Rated consistently as one of the safest vehicles on the road, the Volvo does have a fairly pricey maintenance cost, topping out at around $12,500 over a ten year period. The safety of the Volvo, though, gives people a good reason to purchase this brand of the most expensive cars to maintain.

Acura

Source: Pexels

Acura has been the luxury model from Honda since 1986. The luxury tag that Honda places on the Acura models come with a significant price increase over the rest of the Honda manufactured vehicles. The ten-year cost to maintain an Acura is comparable to a BMW or Mercedes, with a cost of about $12,000. This ranks Acura up there as one of the most expensive cars to maintain.

Ford Mustang

Source: Pexels

It should be noted that Ford makes some reliable vehicles that are relatively cheap to maintain. However, the Ford Mustang is a different story. Ford’s signature muscle car (for over 4 decades), the Mustang is known for having some pretty pricey repair costs associated with it. It averages about $1,900 annually, but that figure can be deceptive. Since it’s not traditionally the most reliable vehicle to own, the odds of you having a severe maintenance issue are higher with the Mustang than with some of the other vehicles in Ford’s fleet.

Volkswagen

Source: Pexels

Volkswagen is yet another German made vehicle on the list. Volkswagen has been around for a very long time, with roots in Nazi Germany. Volkswagen is known as a reliable vehicle, but, as with some of the other German vehicles when major repairs are needed, it can get costly. The average annual cost to repair a VW is about $800 with the Passat being the most expensive of the models at around $1,100.

Cadillac

Source: Stefan Gessert

One of the most iconic car brands for such a long time, Cadillac is one of those brands where the cost of maintenance carries a decent price tag. Similar to the BMW and Mercedes costs, owning a Cadillac sedan or sports car will cost you about $1,250 annually. Still though, they are loved throughout the world even though they are one of the most expensive cars to maintain.

Saturn

Source: Unsplash

Many of the car manufacturers on this list are considered top selling, expensive models in the car industry. In terms of maintenance, Saturn ranks right up there with some of the more notable brands. Even though they are affordable, Saturns are considered one of the most expensive cars to maintain, coming in at $1,240 a year to maintain.

Regardless of the type of car you choose to buy, from a sports car to a pickup truck, there's going to be certain costs associated with ownership. Even doing regular maintenance so that small issues don't become bigger issues can save you massively down the road, so getting one of these cars and using the best car maintenance apps while you drive could be in your best interest. It's all about knowing which are the most expensive to maintain to help inform your decision, guaranteeing your wheels aren't in the shop when you need them on the road.

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