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When it comes to maintenance costs, not all cars are created equal. 
Just like you can expect higher insurance premiums for a more expensive vehicle, pricier cars tend to come with higher maintenance costs. But it’s not just your car’s sticker price that affects your repair and maintenance expenses. 
On this page, we’ll break down how your car’s make, model, and powertrain can all impact the amount you pay at a repair shop—and how
Jerry
can help you save money on insurance for any vehicle. 

Origin of make

In general, European-manufactured cars have higher maintenance costs than Asian or American cars. According to
Consumer Reports
, European luxury brands like BMW and Audi are the most expensive to maintain and repair, while American and Asian makes like Ford, Buick, and Toyota are among the cheapest. 
There are a few reasons that you’re likely to see higher maintenance and repair costs if you buy a European vehicle: 
  • European luxury makes emphasize high-quality materials and advanced engineering—which raises the cost of parts
  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts may need to be shipped, increasing the final price of repairs
  • American and Asian manufacturers tend to prioritize durability over style and comfort, so they’ll typically withstand more wear and tear
Here’s a breakdown of average service costs for several popular European, Asian, and American makes. 
Make
Origin
Average service cost
Audi
European
$344
BMW
European
$360
Chevrolet
American
$290
Ford
American
$267
Jeep
American
$256
Honda
Asian
$277
Mercedes-Benz
European
$367
Porsche
European
$477
Subaru
Asian
$334
Toyota
Asian
$304
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Body type

Your car’s origin isn’t the only thing to keep in mind when weighing maintenance and repair costs. There’s also a big difference between individual models—particularly when it comes to the overall type of vehicle you own. 
In general, a smaller vehicle like a coupe or a small sedan will come with lower maintenance costs. The major exception is luxury and performance cars, which tend to see higher repair estimates because their parts are more expensive. On the hand, you can typically expect lower insurance costs with traditional sedans
By comparison, you’re likely to see a higher maintenance cost with an SUV, truck, or minivan. There are a couple of reasons for this: first, these vehicles tend to be larger, and second, they’re more likely to carry heavy loads, which puts greater wear on key components like brakes and tires. However, SUVs are often cheaper to insure than sedans, and their maintenance costs are getting lower as more SUVs are built on car chassis. 
Let’s take a look at one vehicle make to see how the maintenance costs of different body types compare. The average annual cost to maintain a Toyota Camry is about $539, while the annual cost for a RAV4 SUV is $636. If you own a Toyota Sienna minivan, you can expect to pay about $739 a year for maintenance, and for a Tacoma pickup truck, the average annual cost comes to a shocking $839

What about EVs and hybrids?

Electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and hybrids have a reputation as fussier cars that are more expensive to maintain—but it’s not necessarily true. While EVs and hybrids come with certain added maintenance costs, they also save on repairs and maintenance in other areas. 
Coolant changes and battery pack replacements for electric and hybrid cars can be expensive, but almost every component specific to hybrids is covered under a new vehicle warranty. Despite their complicated design,
Consumer Reports
found that PHEVs may actually be less expensive to maintain than traditional gas-powered vehicles. 
However, you’ll likely pay more to insure a Toyota Prius or a Hyundai Ioniq than a comparable gas-powered vehicle. Insurance costs for electric and hybrid vehicles are often 15% to 20% higher than for traditional cars. 

How to keep maintenance and insurance costs low

While your car’s origin, body type, and powertrain may all influence your overall maintenance costs, one of the best ways to save money on repairs is to follow the manufacturer’s prescribed maintenance schedule
The other best way is to shop for an insurance policy with
Jerry
. The average Jerry user saves $887 a year on car insurance—and finding cheaper coverage might allow you to build up better protection to help you out at the repair shop. 

FAQs

What is the average maintenance cost for a car? 

According to research by AAA, the average yearly cost to maintain a new vehicle is approximately $1,186

Which car has the highest maintenance costs?

BMW is the most expensive make to maintain, with 10-year maintenance costs running between an estimated $13,780 for a 2 Series sedan to over $18,000 for an X7 SUV according to CarEdge.  

Which car has the lowest maintenance costs?

Look to Toyota for low maintenance costs. The hybrid Prius costs just $4,008 to maintain for 10 years, while the ever-popular Camry costs $4,203

How much does it cost to maintain an electric car?

Maintenance for electric and hybrid vehicles is comparable to the cost for cars that run solely on gasoline. Although the up-front costs are typically higher and insurance premiums are steeper, you can often get a tax credit for buying one of these environmentally-friendly vehicles. 

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