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Most people try to find a reliable automobile when shopping for a new car. Unfortunately for BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz fans, these vehicles have the highest average annual cost over the years. Before buying one of these used cars, make sure you have a high-quality repair shop on hand. You might need it.

BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles are expensive to own

BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have the highest average annual cost of a 10-Year-Old Car
Used cars are displayed at a dealership | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Consumer Reports looked at the cost of car ownership over time. The periods used are five years and 10 years, as many new cars come with free maintenance for the first two or three years. Also, most new vehicles won’t need much work in the first two or three years. Looking at the 2021 Annual Auto Survey from Consumer Reports, drivers note the amounts paid out of pocket for car maintenance. This includes things like oil changes and similar maintenance items.

Owners noted that the average cost of a five-year-old car, a 2017 model, was $208. Moving up to 10 years, a 2012 model, the number increases to $406. After five years, most cars will require fixes and maintenance that a warranty won’t cover.

For 10-year-old cars, Cadillac was the cheapest at $225. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz had the highest average annual cost for 10-year-old vehicles. Mercedes-Benz came in at $817 for the average annual cost of a 10-year-old car. Audi owners reported $840 as the average yearly cost. BMW came in at the highest amount at $911 in out-of-pocket expenses.

Cadillac, Buick, and Chrysler are cheaper to maintain than BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz

Over five years, Cadillac, Buick, and Chrysler came in as the cheapest vehicles to maintain. Toyota came in at $183, the fourth most affordable option over five years. Consumer Reports says the cost of ownership isn’t much different for a three-year-old car from that of a five-year-old option.

MakeThe average annual cost for a five-year-old carThe average annual cost for a 10-year-old car

When it comes down to it, buying a pre-owned or used vehicle offers plenty of savings upfront. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the maintenance and repair costs you might be responsible for down the line. If you are looking at a used BMW, Audi, or Mercedes-Benz vehicle, take the cost into consideration.

The most reliable 2017 and 2012 vehicles according to Consumer Reports

Some of Consumer Reports best cars of 2017 include the Toyota Highlander midsize SUV and the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck. The Toyota Prius and Mazda MX-5 Miata also made the list of best 2017 vehicles. Some of the 2012 models that have stood the test of time include the 2012 Toyota Camry and the 2012 Subaru Impreza. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz are missing from these lists for the most part.

Having an expensive vehicle to maintain doesn’t mean it is a bad car.


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