What is the Average Monthly Maintenance Cost for a Car?

Owning a car is a major financial commitment, and it's important to understand the costs associated with it. From oil changes to brake pad replacements, there are a variety of maintenance costs that come with owning a car. In this article, we'll break down the average monthly maintenance cost for a car and explain how to calculate other car ownership costs. When it comes to car maintenance, it's not necessarily a matter of time, but rather the distance traveled.

The cost of vehicle maintenance depends on a number of factors, such as the type and age of the car. Generally speaking, older cars may require more expensive repair shop visits, while newer models can perform well for years with only basic maintenance. Routine maintenance can also cost you hundreds of dollars a year, depending on the make and model of your car and your driving habits. We found that there are significant differences in costs between 5 and 10 year old models, which highlights the fact that cars need more maintenance and repairs over time.

To help you prepare for these costs, here's an overview of what the average car maintenance cost looks like, including how much each service item should cost and how often these services should be performed:

  • Oil Change: $20-$50 every 3 months or 3,000-5,000 miles
  • New Battery: $100-$300 every 4-5 years
  • Brake Pad Replacement: $150-$300 every 50,000-70,000 miles
In addition to the significant savings you'll find when buying a used vehicle, reduced insurance and registration costs can more than offset the additional maintenance needed as miles increase. Simply choose the used car with an eye on 10-year costs and reliability history. To learn more about what car maintenance entails and how you can implement it in your current routine, you can change the oil and oil filter in your car at home to reduce some of the costs associated with these routine maintenance items. Look, car maintenance isn't glamorous, but it's absolutely essential to the longevity of your vehicle.

For the cost of owning a new car for a year, you could have a paid car for five years, drive it to the ground, and still have money left over for tolls.