The Cost of Car Ownership Over Time
Expenses can skyrocket when warranty and free maintenance periods are over
Car ownership costs go far beyond what you pay for a car. A key question is whether you can afford the drip, drip of maintenance and repairs for as long as you own it.
To better understand how costs increase over time and differ by brand, we asked members in our 2021 Annual Auto Surveys to tell us how much they paid out of pocket for their total maintenance (oil changes, etc.) and repairs during the previous 12 months.
We found that there are significant differences in costs between 5- and 10-year-old models, underscoring how cars need more maintenance and repairs over time. Below are the average costs over the past 12 months across 26 brands from our surveys.
- 5-year-old (2017 model): $208
- 10-year-old (2012 model): $406