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Luxury cars aren’t cheap. That’s true for the purchase price and ownership costs. However, average maintenance and repair costs differ among brands. Here’s a look at new data that confirms German luxury cars are the most expensive to maintain and repair.

What recent owner surveys reveal about car maintenance and repair costs

German cars maintenance costs, German luxury cars maintenance costs
Porsche dealership mechanic | Hannelore Foerster Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumer Reports recently published data from its Annual Auto Survey, an annual poll asking owners about their cars, including maintenance and repair costs. Because CR has been conducting this survey for many years, it shows a long-term look at how cars and brands have performed over 10 years.

CR gathered this data from thousands of real-world owners, so the data is highly accurate. Overall, the survey results have few surprises. Well known for reliability, Toyota is the car brand with the lowest maintenance costs over 10 years. Owners say they spent about $3,000 over 10 years maintaining and repairing their Toyota vehicles.

One of the somewhat surprising findings from the Consumer Reports surveys is that American brands performed well. Lincoln, Buick, Ford, Chevy, and Tesla all have average 10-year maintenance costs of around $3,400. That makes them competitive with Asian car brands like Mazda and Hyundai, and they’re all cheaper than Honda’s and Kia’s average 10-year maintenance costs. 

German luxury car maintenance and repairs are expensive

Another unsurprising finding is that German luxury cars have the highest maintenance and repair costs. The four brands with the highest 10-year maintenance costs are all German.

Audi has the cheapest costs among German luxury car brands, but that’s still far more than the brand that follows it. The average Audi vehicle costs about $5,900 to maintain and repair over 10 years — much higher than fifth-place Volvo, costing $5,000 over 10 years.

Meanwhile, BMW isn’t much more expensive, as its 10-year costs are around $5,900. However, the two most expensive brands have a massive cost jump. Mercedes-Benz is the second-most expensive brand, with average 10-year maintenance and repair costs of around $7,000. Porsche has the highest, with $8,700 over 10 years. 

One of the main reasons for German luxury cars’ high maintenance and repair costs is that these models are expensive to begin with. Not only are they expensive, but they’re also complex. That makes them prone to failure. And when they do fail, they cost a lot to repair. Consumer Reports highlights the Audi Q5 as an example. This SUV has an optional adaptive suspension costing upward of $2,000 to repair.

Here’s how Volkswagen compared to its German luxury counterparts

Though German luxury cars will put a dent in their owners’ bank accounts, high costs are not necessarily an issue with all German automakers. For instance, Volkswagen is a German brand. Its 10-year maintenance and repair costs come in at about $4,100.

That’s higher than many other brands, but it’s lower than many too. Overall, that amount puts Volkswagen right in the middle. VW’s 10-year maintenance and repair costs are much lower than its German luxury counterparts and lower than mainstream rivals like Subaru and Jeep. 


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