Skip to main content

Tesla, the leading EV maker, has been scrutinized for its cars’ reliability. However, recent survey results from Consumer Reports suggest no carmaker can compete with Tesla for the lowest five-year maintenance and repair costs. Despite being relatively young, the brand has established a reputation for luxury and quality. Let’s take a look at the new data.

Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey reveals maintenance and repair cost data

Tesla maintenance costs
Tesla EVs in a servicing area | Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey collects data from real-life car owners. One of the areas is maintenance and repair costs. The survey shows data on many makes and models and provides valuable information about the reliability and cost of ownership.

The data collected by Consumer Reports includes routine maintenance costs, such as oil changes and tire rotations, and unexpected repair costs, such as engine or transmission fixes. The data comes from CR members who report the prices they paid for maintenance and repairs.

CR uses the responses to generate reliability ratings for each make and model, helping consumers decide which vehicles to choose. The ratings consider repair frequency and cost and are based on a statistical analysis of the survey data.

Overall, the maintenance and repair cost data collected by Consumer Reports is a valuable resource for car shoppers looking to make informed decisions about the cost of ownership for a specific vehicle.

Tesla maintenance and repair costs are low

According to Consumer Reports, Tesla’s one-to-five-year maintenance and repair costs are significantly lower than all other brands. They’re only $425, remarkably below the average, especially among luxury vehicles.

For example, one-to-five-year costs for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche are $930, $1,770, and $2,410, respectively. Lincoln, Buick, and Toyota — with one-to-five-year costs of $540, $650, and $685 — are the only automakers that come close to Tesla.

Tesla’s low maintenance and repair costs can be attributed to several factors, including that electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, resulting in less wear and tear.

Furthermore, Tesla’s unique service model relies heavily on technology to diagnose and repair issues remotely, reducing the need for pricy in-person visits. Additionally, the company provides over-the-air vehicle updates, so most software-related issues can be fixed without a physical service appointment.

However, it’s worth noting that as Tesla vehicles age, their maintenance and repair costs can increase, particularly regarding battery replacement. Nonetheless, Tesla’s low maintenance and repair costs are an advantage, as consumers can save significant money in the first few years of ownership compared to other luxury cars.

Why are electric cars cheaper to service?

For several reasons, EVs like Tesla cars are cheaper to maintain and repair than ICE cars.

First, electric cars have fewer moving parts, meaning fewer components that can wear out or malfunction. For example, EVs don’t have complex transmissions, exhaust systems, or radiators, which are common areas of maintenance and repairs for ICE cars.

Second, electric vehicles don’t require oil changes or other routine care associated with gasoline engines, which can save owners significantly over time.

Third, electric cars use regenerative braking, so their brakes last longer than those in most ICE cars because they’re used less often.

Finally, many electric cars, including Tesla EVs, have longer warranties than ICE cars. They can reduce the cost of repairs and maintenance for the first few years of ownership.


Tesla’s Entire 2023 Lineup Received Nearly the Same Score