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A common assumption among many people is that Volkswagens are challenging to maintain and repair. The general belief has been that parts are hard to find and that there would be a long wait for them. But the reality is far from the myth. In fact, most Volkswagens are a pretty good investment, as long as you know what to look for.

The reality behind the assumption

2008 VW Golf R32
2008 VW R32 | Volkswagen

In retrospect, some truth hides underneath these ideas. Years ago, certain VW parts were indeed hard to find because they had to be imported from Germany or Mexico.

In the early 2000s, some diagnostic codes on VW Jettas and Passats couldn’t be picked up by electronic code readers. VW mechanics had to rely on their specialized training to troubleshoot these cars mechanically. This labor-intensive process cost owners valuable time and, if the car was off warranty, considerable money.

And until 1991, Volkswagen used a boxer engine configuration in most of its cars. Some do-it-yourselfers (and some mechanics) felt that this configuration was hard to access and repair.

But Volkswagen has taken a quantum leap forward in dispelling these long-instilled beliefs. Maintenance on its cars has become easier and more economical, just as it has with a Toyota. The reason for this is because, like Toyota, VW is now one of the world’s largest vehicle makers.

Volkswagen goes global

Bentley, a Volkswagen-owned brand
Bentley Continental GT Speed on the track | Bentley

In 2018 alone, Volkswagen has sold 10.8 million vehicles. It surpassed Toyota last year and has outranked giants such as Hyundai, General Motors, and Ford in sales volume for the past few years.

Volkswagen has expanded through the acquisition of several vehicle brands over the years. It began with the purchase of Audi in 1966 and went on to acquire Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti in 1998.

The vehicle maker snapped up Porsche and Ducati in 2012 as well as European brands Skoda and SEAT. It’s also been making a strong showing in China and other Asian markets in the 2010s.

4 reasons why it’s now easier and cheaper to maintain and fix a Volkswagen

Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Volkswagen Jetta TDI | Getty Images

In 2015, however, Volkswagen was entangled in an emission scandal that seriously threatened its reputation. Since then VW has worked hard to win back car buyers. Simplifying maintenance and repair was one major way to appeal to potential customers. And while that scandal only involved VW’s diesel engines, the brand took a hit across the board. Still, enthusiasts love the Golf GTI and Golf R, while the accessible luxury of cars like the Passat, Arteon, and Tiguan have reignited Volkwagen’s popularity.

Widely available parts make VW ownership easier than ever

If you do your own maintenance, Volkswagen now has 650 dealerships where you can purchase parts. You can also buy VW parts online from Volkswagen’s website, automotive retailers such as Advance Auto Parts, and specialty automotive e-commerce sites. You might be able to save money if you shop around. Even better, if you know the specific part number, you can source it from online sites like RockAuto. Because Volkswagen Auto Group uses the same components in so many vehicles, you can often find cheaper, unbranded versions of the exact same parts this way.

Lower chance of a repair being severe

According to, Volkswagens are slightly less likely to need urgent repairs as compared to other cars. Fewer severe repairs can save you money, not mention the inconvenience. Water pump issues remain common, and poor driving and maintenance habits can lead to turbo failure. But a well-kept Volkswagen is just as reliable as any other vehicle, including Toyota.

2024 Manual Golf GTI 380
2024 Golf GTI 380 | Volkswagen

Non-dealership certified VW mechanics 

You don’t have to go to a dealership to have your VW repaired as long as the mechanic you go to is Volkswagen-certified. This may save you some money on labor as compared to going to the dealership. Volkswagen certifies repair shops outside their dealer network, and they are one of the only automakers to do so.

Cheaper to maintain over the long haul 

On the website, estimates of total car maintenance over 10 years show that Volkswagen is one of the more economical cars to maintain.

It costs $7,800 to maintain a VW over this time period, which is only $600 more than a Honda. For comparison, the BMW is the most expensive at $17,800.

Of course, you can save yourself money and grief if you maintain your Atlas or Arteon according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, fun driving that pushes your GTI or Beetle a little harder means that you’ll need to be more attentive than usual for maintenance.

Buying a Volkswagen is a good investment in a comfortable ride

With Volkswagen making it easier and more affordable to take care of your new VW these days, you can enjoy it with fewer worries. The inherent quality and affordable pricing of modern VWs gets you a lot of car for the cash. And if you take care of it the right way, you can enjoy that quality for years to come.

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