At YourMechanic, we have a massive dataset of the make and model of the cars we have serviced and the type of maintenance performed. We decided to use our data to understand which cars break down the most and have the highest maintenance costs. To get a better understanding of the cost of car ownership, we looked at which major brands cost the most to maintain for the first 10 years of a car's life. We grouped every year of all models by brand to calculate their average cost per brand.
To estimate annual maintenance costs, we find the amount spent on every two oil changes (since oil changes are usually done every six months). Routine maintenance can also cost you hundreds of dollars a year, depending on the make and model of your car and your driving habits. That's why some brands, such as BMW, are among those with the lowest maintenance and repair costs at five years and the highest costs for 10-year cars. This is actually the time when the car owner decides if the amount of money he has invested in the newly purchased car has exceeded its value, so he stays with it or upgrades it to a newer vehicle.
However, ongoing maintenance and repairs will cost you about a third of that amount over a 10-year period, making some entry-level cars quite expensive to maintain on the road. In addition to your car payments and insurance premiums, you also have to pay to maintain your car and keep it in good working order. Factors such as how well a car is maintained, how often you drive, where you drive, and how you drive affect maintenance costs. For as long as cars have existed, Americans have debated car ownership and issues of cost and reliability.
The true cost of owning a car goes far beyond the price of the label, beyond fixed costs such as annual registration fees and monthly car insurance, even beyond the exquisite pain of an occasional parking ticket. Toyota has become the most economical brand in terms of vehicle maintenance costs over a 10-year period, while BMW and Mercedes-Benz maintain their position as vehicles with the highest maintenance cost. It is important to consider these factors when deciding which car to buy in order to avoid costly repairs down the line.