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Is the Cost of Car Ownership Brands-Based?

By TheCarzingTeam May 20, 2022 | Car News

Car News

A car isn’t just an expensive purchase, it also can be expensive to maintain. The cost of car ownership includes the monthly payment, fuel costs, insurance and upkeep. Some vehicles are cheaper to own than others.

When shopping for a car, consumers might wonder: is the cost of car ownership brands-based? Are certain brands just more expensive to maintain? Unfortunately, some brands are costly to maintain. Luxury brands, in fact, might be more high-maintenance. The following brands were noted to be costly to maintain:

  • BMW
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Cadillac
  • Volvo
  • Audi

Why are Luxury Brands More Expensive to Maintain?

Buyers who have the money to invest in a luxury automobile might be curious why the luxury brands dominated the top of the list. Why are luxury brands more expensive to maintain?

The most obvious answer could be that the more expensive the vehicle, the more expensive it is to maintain. Parts might be more expensive, some cars might need specialty services, etc. In fact, another site listed Porsche, Land Rover and Jaguar among the priciest brands to own. Consumer Reports also listed BMW as the most expensive brand to own (after 10 years), and Mercedes-Benz and Audi also followed as brands that will cost their owners.

While the luxury brands have the priciest ownership cost, perhaps the price of ownership isn’t such a concern among their buyers. After all, if a buyer has the financial means to purchase a luxury automobile, they might not be worried about the costs of repairs and maintenance.

Another reason for the high maintenance costs, though, might also be related to how owners drive luxury cars. A speedy, zippy BMW might inspire the driver to go a bit faster. Speed puts more wear on a vehicle, and, this, in turn, causes issues.

What is the Cheapest Cost of Car Ownership Brand-Based?

If luxury cars are the most expensive to maintain, what brands are the least expensive for consumers? Toyota actually takes the top spot for being the least expensive to maintain. In addition, fellow Japanese-based brands like Mazda, Honda and Hyundai also are known for being reasonable in their upkeep costs.

Other brands that will rack up less repair costs include Scion, Lexus and Mitsubishi. Mini also is among the least expensive brands. Scion, though, has been discontinued and was owned by Toyota.

For buyers, perhaps the biggest point to take away from the best-worst list is that Japanese-based brands tend to be the most budget-friendly for repairs. These brands also tend to be rated high for reliability.

Cost of Car Ownership Brands

All Cars Include Cost of Ownership

While some brands are less expensive to maintain than others, car owners will be faced with repairs and routine maintenance costs. These costs are simply part of being a car owner. The most common maintenance needs include:

  • Oil changes
  • Tire rotations
  • New brake pads
  • Battery replacement
  • Windshield wiper replacement (and fluid)

These are the most basic maintenance needs that most car owners will deal with even early on in car ownership. However, oil changes are the most common routine service for most cars; typically, the oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles. However, some vehicles can go up to about 5,000 miles between oil changes.

New brake pads also are another eventual service need. Brake pads wear down, and some drivers are more aggressive on those pads than others. Car owners should have their brake pads and brakes inspected a few times per year.

Leasing a Car Might Reduce Costs

Some drivers don’t have to pay for routine maintenance appointments like oil changes. These drivers don’t own their vehicles, though. Leasing a vehicle means that the driver is a bit like a long-term renter.

A lease for a vehicle typically extends for about three years. During that time, the dealership provides routine maintenance needs for the vehicle, including oil changes. However, leasing does restrict mileage, and drivers who drive more than their allotted lease mileage will be charged a fee.

Leasing also doesn’t negate other costs that drivers may face. If they get into an accident, they are still responsible for repairs. They also have to maintain the interior.

For drivers who don’t want to deal with—or pay for—those routine repairs, leasing could be a more affordable option. Leasing a new car also typically costs less per month than buying that same car.

Cost of Car Ownership Brands

Should Car Buyers Review Ownership Costs?

Every car brand and every car model requires upkeep, but how much upkeep owners can expect might be a consideration when finding the best car. Luxury buyers might not be thinking about the cost of maintaining a new Ferrari; instead, they might just want the car that they want and will buy it no matter what it costs.

For buyers on a budget, though, the cost of upkeep could be a deal-breaker. Even if a car offers an affordable purchase price, if the buyer will be spending thousands to maintain it down the road, it might not be the best choice.

When shopping for a vehicle, car owners can explore the cost of ownership related to both the brand and a particular model. Some models are known for needing certain repairs. Researching the cost of ownership is a smart move for buyers who want to know what the future might hold for their automobile.

However, buyers also could focus on the brands that are known for being less expensive to maintain. They might explore different models from Toyota, Mazda, Honda and others on the low-end of the list.

There also are many brands that fall somewhere in the middle. They aren’t the cheapest to maintain, but they also won’t cost owners a bundle. Sometimes finding the ideal car doesn’t always mean that the car has to check all the boxes, but it needs to check the most important boxes. Buyers might want to find the least expensive car or the safest car, and they might view cost of ownership as a trade-off.

New Models Could be a Mystery!

While certain brands are known for being low-budget related to ownership, a new model from any brand could be a mystery related to how it holds up in the future. Sometimes new models turn out to be not so reliable or they include a unique feature that turns out to be expensive to maintain.

Electric cars, for example, have one very expensive cost of ownership: the battery. Some brands have longer-lasting batteries than others. When the battery pack fails, though, this could mean that the owner needs to spend a few thousand dollars to replace it.

While newer electric models could have better batteries, car owners might not know what to expect until they are faced with repairs. For any car buyer that is considering an electric car, researching the battery life might be important.

When looking at new models that are the first of their kind, buyers might want to read up on the reviews and find out as much information as possible. Buying a new model from a brand known for reliability and low maintenance costs, though, could be an option for buyers who want a car that has just been released and who also want a reliable option.

Are some brands known for higher cost of ownership? Yes, although the most expensive brands are luxury auto brands. For those who are investing in the price of a luxury automobile, though, the price of ownership just might be irrelevant.

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