The Cheapest & Most Expensive Cars to Maintain Per Year

November 2, 2021
Written by: Zach Shefska
Categories: Used Cars

Access the full cost to maintain data set here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U1UYB3IxMzx2TdPTdHizbwL0T6MwRJRhzxDXoNlrGK8/edit?usp=sharing

Here at YAA we’re all about having the right information at the right time to make informed and educated decision. Whether it’s understanding current market conditions, spending within the 10% rule, or having access to the dealer’s invoice price to know you’re getting a fair deal, at YAA, we’re 100% on your side to make an empowered decision.

A lot of people spend days and weeks trying to get the best car deal and completely overlook another major expense: service and repairs. Fortunately we’ve gotten our hands on some really compelling data that breaks down how much it will cost (in maintenance, unplanned repairs, service campaigns, diagnostics, software updates and warranty and recall fixes) for your vehicle.

These are estimates, but they come from more than 16 million vehicles across 356 models and more than $2 billion in service costs. Costs such as gasoline, collisions, insurance and local and state inspections are not included in any of the figures.

Let’s dive in!

The Cheapest Cars to Maintain 2020

Average 12-month in-service U.S. repair costs per vehicle2020
Mitsubishi Mirage$51.00
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross$59.00
Mitsubishi Mirage G4$63.00
Chevrolet Sonic$71.00
Chevrolet Spark$72.00
Nissan NV$74.00
Buick Encore$82.00
Kia Sportage$84.00
Kia Elantra GT$85.00
Mazda CX-3$87.00
Kia Sorento$88.00
Honda Fit$89.00
Honda CR-V$90.00
Kia Sedona$93.00
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport$94.00
Hyundai Santa Fe$95.00
Chevrolet Trax$96.00
Mazda MX-5$98.00
Hyundai Tucson$99.00
Kia Optima$99.00

Again, you can access the full cost to maintain data set, which includes prior model years here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U1UYB3IxMzx2TdPTdHizbwL0T6MwRJRhzxDXoNlrGK8/edit?usp=sharing

It should come as no surprise that Mitsubishi takes the top spot on the list of cheapest cars to maintain. A 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage costs only $51 per year to maintain. That’s insane!

Each of the vehicles on this list are expected to cost less than $100 per year in maintenance, unplanned repairs, service campaigns, diagnostics, software updates and warranty and recall fixes. That means they are VERY cheap to own.

The Most Expensive Cars to Maintain 2020

Average 12-month in-service U.S. repair costs per vehicle2020
Porsche Taycan$3,190.00
BMW M5$1,362.00
Porsche 911$1,329.00
Jaguar I-Pace$1,286.00
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT$1,253.00
BMW M8$1,035.00
Audi R8$976.00
Mercedes-Benz G-Class$897.00
BMW8 Series$865.00
Ram 4500$845.00
Chevrolet Corvette$802.00
Ram 3500$798.00
Land Rover Defender$787.00
Audi S5$756.00
Mercedes-Benz GLS$748.00
BMW M4$727.00
Land Rover Discovery$712.00
Porsche Cayenne$707.00
Audi A6$698.00
BMW X6$675.00
BMW X7$675.00
Audi Q8$669.00
Porsche 718$665.00
Mercedes-Benz GLB$653.00
Jaguar F-Type$651.00
Mercedes-Benz GLE$647.00
BMW 7 Series$646.00
Ram 5500$628.00
Lincoln Aviator$626.00
BMW M2$618.00
Porsche Panamera$611.00
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque$596.00
Mercedes-Benz CLA$596.00
Audi A7$581.00
Land Rover Range Rover$578.00
Mercedes-Benz CLS$568.00
Mercedes-Benz S-Class$566.00
Genesis G90$563.00
Audi A5$561.00
Mercedes-Benz A-Class$549.00
BMW X4$538.00
Land Rover Range Rover Sport$533.00
Cadillac CT5$526.00
BMW X5$517.00
Audi Q7$516.00
GMC Sierra 3500HD$502.00
Infiniti Q60$502.00
Ram 2500$501.00

On the opposite end of the spectrum, these are the vehicles which have the highest annual cost to maintan. Every vehicle on this list is expected to cost more than $500 annually in maintenance, unplanned repairs, service campaigns, diagnostics, software updates and warranty and recall fixes.

These vehicles make great lease options because during the term of the lease they’ll be under the manufacturers warranty. The 2020 Porsche Taycan is expected to cost $3,190.00 per year in maintenance, unplanned repairs, service campaigns, diagnostics, software updates and warranty and recall fixes. That’s nuts!

The BMW M5 is the next closest vehicle and it’s not even in the same ballpark as the Taycan. The 2020 M5 will only cost you $1,300 and some change.

Extended Warranty Costs for the Cheapest Cars to Maintain

After looking at the data for the cheapest and most expensive cars to maintain, we thought it would be fun to see how much an extended warranty (which would cover most of these annual costs) would be.

To do this we manually received quotes from our extended warranty administrator, AUL for a 10 year, 100,000 mile extended warranty.

VehicleAnnual Service Costs10 yr/100k mile Warranty Cost
Mitsubishi Mirage$51.00$1,662
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross$59.00$1,762
Mitsubishi Mirage G4$63.00$1,662
Chevrolet Sonic$71.00$1,320
Chevrolet Spark$72.00$1,220
Nissan NV$74.00$2,314
Buick Encore$82.00$1,492
Kia Sportage$84.00$1,320
Kia Elantra GT$85.00$1,320
Mazda CX-3$87.00$1,392
Kia Sorento$88.00$1,220
Honda Fit$89.00$1,220
Honda CR-V$90.00$1,320
Kia Sedona$93.00$1,220
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport$94.00$1,662
Hyundai Santa Fe$95.00$1,320
Chevrolet Trax$96.00$1,320
Mazda MX-5$98.00$1,392
Hyundai Tucson$99.00$1,220
Kia Optima$99.00$1,320

Keep in mind that each of these quotes includes YAA’s $500 profit margin, so the wholesale cost is actually the number you see minus $500. It’s interesting to see the variability between vehicles. The Nissan NV Van is inexpensive to own, however the extended warranty company charges significantly more than the other vehicles. Fascinating.

Extended Warranty Costs for the Most Expensive Cars to Maintain

VehicleAnnual costs10 yr/100k mile Warranty Cost
Porsche Taycan$3,190.00N/A
BMW M5$1,362.00$6,470
Porsche 911$1,329.00N/A
Jaguar I-Pace$1,286.00N/A
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT$1,253.00N/A
BMW M8$1,035.00N/A
Audi R8$976.00N/A
Mercedes-Benz G-Class$897.00$6,470
BMW8 Series$865.00N/A
Ram 4500$845.00N/A
Chevrolet Corvette$802.00$2,650
Ram 3500$798.00$2,108
Land Rover Defender$787.00N/A
Audi S5$756.00$6,620
Mercedes-Benz GLS$748.00$6,570
BMW M4$727.00$4,074
Land Rover Discovery$712.00N/A
Porsche Cayenne$707.00N/A
Audi A6$698.00$5,174
BMW X6$675.00$5,174
BMW X7$675.00$5,174
Audi Q8$669.00$5,174

When it comes to the most expensive vehicles to maintain we weren’t able to get extended warranty quotes for many of the options. This is because AUL simply doesn’t allow us to sell warranties on these expensive vehicles. That being said, it seems like there might be some actual bargains in this group. Again, each price reflects YAA’s $500 profit margin. The Corvette and Ram 3500 10 year, 100,000 mile extended warranties seem like a bargain. Even the BMW M5 does too.

These are just estimates, and to get a full quote you do need to enter a VIN and current odometer reading, but it is interesting to see how the cost to maintain a vehicle plays into the extended warranty company’s price quote.

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