Thinking of buying a new car? A new FIXD survey reveals that the average annual repair cost for vehicles is $694.
For frugal shoppers looking for the best value, the findings highlight which brands and vehicle segments tend to have lower than average annual repair costs. Meanwhile, those looking for more premium features and capabilities may have to shell out more for annual upkeep.
By going in informed, consumers can better balance their needs and budget to make the best vehicle purchase decision. Just remember that even an affordable, reliable car will cost you almost $700 a year on average for repairs.
The report analyzed the average annual repair costs for over 50 of the most popular vehicle makes and models on the market. After compiling data on maintenance expenses for sedans, SUVs, trucks and more, the report found that the overall average annual repair bill comes out to $694 per vehicle. With this eye-opening number, consumers can get a data-driven preview of the long-term operating costs they can expect from different vehicle types and brands. The findings provide an insightful cost comparison for shoppers weighing options and budget factors as they look to make the best car purchase.
The Range of Costs:
The report reveals a wide range of average repair expenses depending on vehicle type and model. On the lower end of the spectrum, small sedans like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic have average annual maintenance bills around $570 to $590.
For frugal buyers looking for affordable long-term ownership, compact sedans represent the most budget-friendly options.
On the higher end, larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks topped the list for pricey upkeep. Many full-size options like the Ford F-250, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon averaged over $700 per year for repairs, with some exceeding $1,000 annually. Drivers valuing cargo room, towing capacity and performance can expect to pay a premium for servicing these heavy-duty machines.
Factors Impacting Costs:
Several key factors emerged that influence the average amount spent on yearly repairs:
- Japanese vehicles tend to have lower than average costs. Models from trusted brands like Toyota, Honda and Nissan routinely fell below the $694 average.
- Luxury vehicles have higher bills. Premium brands like Audi and Infiniti came out above $900 per year on average.
- Pickup trucks and large SUVs are the most expensive to maintain. Full-size options like the F-250, Silverado 2500HD and Yukon topped the list.
- Compact sedans and small crossover SUVs are the most affordable. For example, the Toyota Corolla, Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox had averages between $550-$650 annually.
So while factors like size, capabilities and brand reputation impact budgets, the analysis gives car shoppers a clear sense of the repair costs to expect.
Vehicle Type Analysis:
Small Sedans: Affordable Repairs
The data shows small and midsize sedans have some of the lowest average repair costs, coming in under $650 per year. Models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra exemplify budget-friendly options for basic transportation needs. Drivers prioritizing fuel efficiency, maneuverability and low ownership costs may find the best value in the compact sedan segment. While these models lack capabilities like cargo space of larger vehicles, their modest repair bills help offset the long-term savings.
Luxury Vehicles: Premium Costs
On the other end of the spectrum, luxury vehicles like Audi, BMW, and Infiniti came with premium price tags for maintenance. The average annual repair costs for these status models exceeded $900. With complex engineering and top-of-the-line materials, repairs and upkeep for luxury cars unsurprisingly cost more. Buyers coveting extravagant interiors, brand prestige and performance can expect to pay for the privilege when annual servicing comes around. While the repair bills are higher, devoted luxury buyers may see the enjoyment and sophistication as justifying the costs.
Pickup Trucks: Heavy Duty Costs
The analysis shows the average annual repair cost for pickup trucks exceeds $800 for full-size models. Hard-working trucks like the Ford F-250 and Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD face more wear-and-tear from hauling and towing. With their heavy-duty capabilities come more complex components and the need for regular maintenance. Buyers who depend on trucks for work or recreation should factor in costs averaging over $800 annually for repairs to engines, transmissions and chassis parts. While not cheap to fix, capable trucks provide years of reliable service when properly maintained.
Compact SUVs: Light Duty Value
For drivers wanting affordable utility, compact crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox offer the best bang for your buck. The analysis shows average annual repairs for small SUVs fall between $550-$650. With practical cargo space and gas mileage without the maintenance costs of larger trucks, compact crossovers have found the sweet spot combining capability and long-term affordability. For active families on a budget, a small SUV stands out as an ideal balance of space, efficiency and low operating costs compared to other segments.
What Consumers Should Consider
For prospective buyers, there are a few important takeaways when considering the repair cost analysis:
- Reliability and Costs – Shoppers should balance reliability ratings with projected maintenance costs. Repair records reflect design, quality and durability.
- Balancing Needs and Bills – Consider which features and capabilities are must-haves and which you can live without to control costs. Prioritize values accordingly.
- Informed Decisions – Use repair cost data as one factor in your purchase decision process. Combine with safety ratings, fuel economy and other ownership considerations.
While repairs are only one piece of the buying equation, having transparent data helps consumers make the overall best choice for their individual needs and budget. An informed buyer is a wise buyer when it comes to big ticket purchases like a vehicle.
The report compiling average annual repair costs for over 50 popular vehicle models provides an insightful comparison for consumers to consider. While repairs are just one ownership factor, the transparency around projected maintenance bills can aid buyers in making informed decisions.
The data shows lower long-term costs tend to favor Japanese brands and smaller vehicle types like sedans and compact SUVs. Those wanting more luxurious, heavy-duty or specialized vehicles should be prepared to budget more for repairs to align with their needs and capabilities.
Armed with transparent data on real-world repair costs, car shoppers can better balance reliability, capabilities and projected expenses as they evaluate options. While no one wants surprises down the road, at least this report gives clarity on the average costs to expect with different makes and models. Doing research ahead of time pays off when making major purchase decisions.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.