Contact Us Privacy Policy Site Map Home

      Car Reviews
      Truck Reviews
      SUV Reviews
      Hybrid Reviews
      Reviews by Make


      News Archive
      How to buy a car

Car Upkeep Costs

Chapter 5: Counting The Cost (Continued)

Maintenance costsUpkeep: maintenance, repairs and depreciation:

All vehicles cost money to maintain properly and this is a substantial factor to consider.

The following table gives a breakdown of appropriate maintenance versus mileage.

Mileage (Kilometers)
Maintenance Required
Estimated Cost ($)
Every 4 to 6000
Oil Change
Every 40,000
Every 70,000

Note: Even a lower priced new vehicle will cost nearly $5,000 over five years of ownership for regular scheduled maintenance.

Repairs are a substantial expense that should be accounted for in the car buyer's annual vehicle budget. This cost can be affected by a couple of factors, warranty and vehicle choice.

  •  Today's new vehicle warranties commonly cover 3 years or 36,000 miles and apply to all items except those mentioned in the table above. Outside these costs, it is estimated that repair costs typically range between $800 and $2,400 over the first five years of car ownership. This amount is affected by the warranty you have. A lesser warranty, of 1 year and 12,000 miles, for instance, will make open you up to the possibility of higher expenses.

  •  Don't underestimate the cost of maintaining a luxury car such as a Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar or Porsche. The estimate for the first five years of ownership of a vehicle in this class is $2,400 to $6,000.

Depreciation is a factor if you lease a vehicle or if you buy new with the intention of selling within four years.

  •  With a leased vehicle the payments themselves are a reflection of the depreciation and they can be lower if the vehicle you are leasing maintains its value better.

  •  If you plan to sell a vehicle within four years of buying it, an expected depreciation difference of a few percentage points may impact your selling price in the thousands. For example, if you buy a car for $30,000 that is expected to be worth 70% of its value after four years, you should be able to get $21,000 for it. If you spend the same amount on a car expected to be worth 60% of its value, you may only receive $18,000 for it when you sell it. The second car therefore cost you $3,000 dollars more for the same four-year driving period-close to three dollars a day!


TIP: When dealers compete for your business - You Save!

Compare dealer prices from multiple discount dealers in your area using Edmunds.

With multiple price quotes you'll be able to get the best deal on the vehicle you want.

It's the fast, easy and headache free way to shop!

Although checks with auto manufacturers and their representatives to confirm the accuracy of the data, it makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.

Copyright © 2002-2009