Cheapest and most expensive luxury car brands to maintain?

German cars are the most expensive

German manufacturers don’t just make cars that are expensive to buy; they also make cars that are expensive to repair. But Land Rover eclipses them. The average repair among Land Rover’s models covered by MotorEasy costs £958. The four German brands, BMW, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, follow. 


Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Repair

Your power control module (PCM) or engine control module (ECM) is the brains of your car, and although replacing it isn’t terribly complicated, getting to it sure can be. It involves work on both the engine and the transmission, and according to CarBrain, it can cost as much as $2,000 to repair. Not only is it a costly repair, but it’s one that’s usually required only on cars that are too old to justify dumping thousands of dollars into.

Cylinder Replacement or Repair

Like cracked engine blocks, broken cylinders and pistons require mechanics to remove the entire engine in order to fix them. That makes for a big, expensive job that requires a lot of time and labor. Also, like a cracked engine block, a cylinder replacement is likely to cost you as much as a whole new engine.

Most Expensive Car Brands To Maintain

Out of all car brands, the most expensive ones to maintain are luxury cars that originate from Germany; primarily, BMW, Audi, and Mercedez-Benz. Being luxury cars, their engines, inner mechanisms, and individual parts are more complex and thus the labor to repair it will reflect that. On the other end of the spectrum, the least expensive car brands, in terms of maintenance and repairs, are Lexus, Toyota, and Scion.

What are the most expensive car brands to maintain?

The most expensive car brands to maintain are those that necessitate high amounts of money for their yearly maintenance. For instance, the following top is based on the estimation of the sum of money an owner has to spend on the total maintenance of their vehicle over ten years.

According to the research done by YourMechanic, these are the most expensive car brands to maintain over years:

  • BMW
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Cadillac
  • Volvo
  • Audi
  • Saturn
  • Mercury
  • Pontiac
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Acura
  • Infiniti
  • Ford
  • Kia
  • Land Rover
  • Chevrolet
  • Buick
  • Jeep
  • Subaru
  • Hyundai

These names are followed by Volkswagen, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, while Toyota is placed at the end of their top, in the 30 position.

Top DIY Tips Easy Procedures for Proper Car Maintenance

Most car problems can be easily and cheaply fixed

Most car problems can be easily and cheaply fixed if they are detected as soon as possible. This means getting your car serviced regularly and doing whatever other maintenance and routine checks you can do yourself. Unfortunately, more than half (55%) of Aussie motorists we surveyed about car servicing said they take as long as they can between services to save money. However, with a lot of things in the automotive world, prevention is the best cure and regular maintenance is the best way to prevent the financial catastrophe that comes when a major repair is needed.

A mechanic can only do so much though. Proper car maintenance starts at home in your garage. There are a few things you can do to make sure your car is running well. Top things you can easily do yourself are:

Check Tyre Air Pressure

Check the air pressure in your tyres regularly and top up when necessary – this can be done at most service stations. Your recommended pressure is in your car manual. This also lets you check tread depth.

Check Lights Regularly

Spare bulbs can be found at the auto store and while broken lights won’t stop you operating your car, it is a safety issue and can result in a fine from the police. A light may illuminate on your dash to signify which light is out. Some vehicles make it hard to access headlights without bumper removal – in this case, a trip to the mechanic may be easier.

Check Your Fluids Regularly

Check the garage floor if there are any leaks. The

Check the garage floor if there are any leaks. The last thing you want is a power steering failure. Fluids can be topped up with the right fluid from the auto store. Consult your car’s manual for the correct type of fluid – it’s easy to get the wrong one! Red or pink usually signifies transmission or power steering fluid, while green usually signifies coolant. Brown usually means oil, while a bit of water is usually nothing to worry about.

Change a Punctured Tyre

If you’re stranded on the side of the road, it can often be quicker to just replace your blown tyre instead of waiting for roadside assistance to come. While it’s harder to actually fix a puncture, using your spare can put you on the road much sooner. Often rolling your sleeves up and using elbow grease is all that’s needed. Of course, use safety precautions, try and wheel off to a safe part of the road shoulder and put your hazard lights on.

Check Electrical Faults

If your check engine light has come on, it can be instinctive to go directly to the mechanic. However, purchasing an OBD2 scanner (if your car is manufactured after 1996) and plugging it into the port (usually in your driver footwell) can yield a lot of information about what needs to be done.

  • Often it’s as simple as getting a little dirty and changing a sensor in the engine bay, which involves only a bit of effort and less than $100 for the part at the auto store.

Retailers such as Super Cheap Auto often provide an engine diagnostics service for a small fee, but buying a basic OBD2 scanner can cost less than $200.

Out-of-Warranty? Look elsewhere!

If your car is out of warranty, then this opens up some freedom for servicing and parts. There are several things you can do with your car out-of-warranty than when it’s in warranty:

  • Use non-genuine parts or hunt online for parts overseas, which can be much cheaper.
  • Use any mechanic you like.
  • Do your own basic maintenance like oil changes and brake pads, though the time cost and disposal of used parts can make it more convenient to just head to a mechanic.

Even if your car is out of warranty, if you have a particularly old or exotic car, your dealership can still be a valuable resource for information. Run-of-the-mill mechanics might not be familiar with the particular quirks of your 1980 Ferrari Mondial, so it can still pay to head to a relevant dealership.

8. Catalytic Converter

Cost: $1,500

In a now eco-conscious world, a lot of cars now have catalytic converters. They convert harmful emissions into safe ones. We all value the job it does, but as far as costs go its an expensive part to replace.

You’re going to be looking at around $1,500 if not more. And the real issue is that if something goes wrong with one, you can’t often repair them. So replacement often the only answer.

2. Hybrid Car Battery

Cost: $6,000

Hybrids might be better for the environment, but their parts come at a higher cost. Especially their batteries. If your hybrid needs a new battery, you’re looking at shelling out around $6,000.

Rechargeable batteries of any type will lose their ability to hold power over time. It’s thought that before 10 years are up, the battery will die. And to make it worse, when you change the battery you have to change the car’s computer system.

What are the cheapest cars to maintain?

Typically, you’ll find a smaller car will always be cheaper to maintain than a 4WD. We know that obviously, smaller cars will use less fuel, but their servicing costs are also cheaper. It’s because there will be more labour involved in servicing a larger car. 

A larger car will also earn itself a more expensive registration cost. This is for differing reasons across our different states and territories, but the result is the same. In Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania, you’ll pay extra to register your car depending on the cylinders. In NSW and ACT, your rego will be based on the tare weight of your car. In Northern Territory, you’ll pay based on the capacity of your engine. Victoria, however, charges a flat fee for all “light” vehicles. 

Larger cars aren’t all bad when it comes to expenses though. It’s typically cheaper to insure an SUV than one of its smaller counterparts as SUVs have a lower accident rate. 

What about specific cars’ maintenance costs though?

Well, RACQ took all of this into consideration. They calculated the cost of the depreciation, servicing, insurance, registration, fuel, tyres, and possible interest earned on a loan on nearly 140 different vehicles. They calculated the average running costs by basing the cost on the car being owned for a year and travelling 15,000 kilometres per annum. 

The average annual cost for a small car comes to $8,203 — the cheapest small car to maintain? A Kia Cerato at $7,096. A 4WD ute will be the most expensive to maintain over a year, with an average cost of $13,662 a year. A Mitsubishi Triton GLX will be the cheapest of its kind to maintain at an annual average of $12,012. 

What are the most expensive cars to maintain?

In the smaller car category, a Volkswagen Passat 132 will be the most expensive to maintain. It racks up $8,908 in maintenance fees a year. As for 4WD utes, a Toyota Landcruiser Workmate is the most expensive at $17,937 per annum.


What about smaller manufacturers?

As with the reliability rankings, we excluded manufacturers that were represented by fewer than three models. If they had been included, the Suzuki Swift would be the cheapest car to repair. The Saab 9-3 would also have featured in the top 10, as would the Lexus RX

How can we help?

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