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People tend to think the price of a vehicle is what it costs to own a car. The truth is, that is only the cost of buying it. Owning a vehicle costs far more money with registration, repairs, and routine maintenance. These costs are what make a car, pickup truck, or SUV a good one or not. Based on a new study, it costs less to own a Ford pickup truck than a Chevrolet pickup truck over a 10-year span. 

A Ford Motor Dealership with a parking lot full of Ford pickup trucks.
Ford F-150 pickup trucks at a dealership | David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

How much does it cost to own a Ford?

According to Consumer Reports, Ford falls in 6th place for the cheapest car brands to own. The average cost to repair/maintain a Ford product averages about $735 a year. Considering that Consumer Reports didn’t rate the 2023 Ford F-150 as being super reliable, this is an interesting thing to note. On average, the ten-year cost for repair and maintenance for a Ford product is $3,450.

It’s also worth noting that the Ford F-150, as with most other new trucks, comes with a three-year, 36,0000-mile basic warranty and an optional extended five-year, 60,000-mile warranty. Considering this, the first few years are always the cheapest to own any new vehicle. 

How much does it cost to own a Chevrolet?

Views From An Auto Dealership showing the tail gates of multiple Chevy pickup trucks.
Chevy Silverado pickup trucks sit on display | Acker/Bloomberg

The same study found that Chevrolet ownership, on average, costs drivers about $765 a year and $3,495 over a ten-year period. A Similar thing is true for Chevrolet as it is for Ford; the Chevrolet Silverado, in particular, scored very poorly on CR’s reliability survey. Again, while that number is for all Chevrolet models, the Silverado 1500 could have more issues than some other Chevrolet models. 

How to find out the average cost of ownership? 

Obviously, the older a car is, the more its ownership will cost you. As trucks get older, more things begin to break. This is true for all vehicles, but the nature of pickup trucks is such that the wear and tear of doing truck stuff can wear them out faster than a car your drive to and from work every day. 

Most vehicles offer a three-year warranty that covers maintenance. However, during this period, most cars and trucks need little maintenance outside of oil changes and tire rotations. What tends to happen is this period of time costs little to no money, then, as soon as that period is over, costs skyrocket. 

Do American cars and pickup trucks cost more to own than European models? 

A Volkswagen truck, the Tanoak concept is based on the VW Atlas.
VW Truck | Volkswagen

No. In fact, it’s the opposite. Consumer Reports says, “When comparing cumulative costs by brand for years one through five and six through 10, we found that Toyota had the lowest maintenance costs. At the opposite end of the rankings, several German automakers are clustered as the most expensive brands, namely Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi.” 

While Toyota isn’t an American company, its trucks are made here. More to the point, Ford,  Chevrolet, Chrysler, Buick, and other American companies occupy the middle of the pack, while the German brands hold the tail end down, representing the most expensive cars and trucks to maintain.