What is the average cost of car maintenance for a year?

Written by nicole whitney
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What is the average cost of car maintenance for a year?
Performing maintenance keeps your car running. (luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

You have finally narrowed your choices down to two similar cars, but one has a slightly higher sticker price. The cost of maintenance can greatly influence the true cost of owning a car. Do your homework to find out if it is more advantageous to purchase the model that requires less maintenance.

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When determining the cost of maintenance, anticipate scheduled maintenance recommended by the manufacturer at certain mileage markers or calendar intervals. Replacement of batteries, brakes, headlamps, taillights, tires, bulbs and wiper blades are types of unscheduled maintenance that you will care for as the need arises.

General Guidelines

The annual maintenance cost can vary widely from car to car, but a few general guidelines hold true. The more expensive the car, the more it usually costs to maintain. Cars with lots of bells and whistles, such as heated seats and powered accessories, are more complex, and the more complicated the car the more there is to go wrong. Cars can also become more expensive to maintain the less popular they are. A model that has 20 million twins roaming the streets will have more spare parts available than a model that is not readily available. Some websites offer more detailed information on specific models of cars and their annual cost.


Car manufacturers often sell a prepaid maintenance plan at the time of a car purchase. Before you commit to purchase one, learn what it includes. The service manager of the dealership can give you a list of scheduled maintenance and their cost. Add this up and compare it with the price of the plan to determine its true value.

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