Car ownership has its perks and is a necessity for most people in the US. But all cars are not created equal. While every vehicle will eventually break down and need repairs, some have better track records than others when it comes to long-term maintenance costs. We tracked down some notoriously terrible brands so you know to avoid them.
A Porsche is a world-class sports-performance vehicle. It’s a rocket ship on wheels. Of course, it is going to require some precious maintenance from time to time. You don’t want just any mechanic maintaining the race car in your garage.
That’s why the average maintenance cost is so high for a brand like Porsche. Get ready to spend over $20,000 in upkeep over a 10-year life span of the car. If you buy a six-figure car, ensure you can afford to keep the car happy.
BMW has crafted a reputation for being equally reliable and a performance machine. A lot of care is built under the hood, and while the cars don’t break down often when they do, they can be costly repairs. Luckily, the warranties on BMWs are great, but without them, the costly parts can cost over $18,000 over the car’s lifespan.
3. Land Rover
Land Rover is a luxury brand model of sports utility vehicles designed to enjoy the off-road. They are used to tour the plains of an African safari, so you know they are built with quality parts. But, like the price of new quality parts, replacement parts are equally as expensive. Be prepared to spend approximately $18,500 to keep the sports utility vehicle up while you drive the truck. Hopefully, you factored that in when you drove that beautiful rig off the lot.
The Jaguar is another luxury vehicle that will keep you hoping for no breakdowns. They have built many fancy sedans and sports utility vehicles designed to exude class and sophistication. You would think they would be on top of their game with durability, but lately, they have had transmission, brake, and suspension issues. It’s not what you want in an expensive purchase. Save around $17,000 to keep this car on the road over its lifespan.
5. Ram Trucks
Ram trucks and vans are built to be tough and aggressive. They are not luxury vehicles, although advancements have been made to make them more attractive. But if you are built to haul heavy cargo and survive rough terrain, parts might break more often than a commuter truck. A truck may need gentle healing, like a football player taking many hits during a game. The upkeep cost of this rig costs almost $17,000 over the truck’s lifespan.
You would think that the best engineers worldwide would create a durable engine, and they do, but the problem is that those complex parts can be costly when they break down. The best bet is to buy new so that you get the factory warranty. A used Mercedes-Benz without a warranty can rack up expensive repairs. The average price for a Benz service lifespan will be almost $16,000.
All Volvos are imported, so the cost of repairs once the warranty expires can add up quickly. Car experts recommend keeping on top of their scheduled services so the price of repairs won’t be too costly in the future. After the warranty is over, the average cost will be about $13,000 over the car’s lifespan. It’s not too bad compared to other brands, but the average cost of one repair could be higher than others.
Cadillac has been known for its high-end luxury and comfort cars. They pride themselves on a smooth ride and high-end performance. It has been the epitome of class for several decades. Anyone rich in movies has driven a Cadillac. You might need to be rich to keep up with the vehicle’s maintenance cost. They are known to be hard to work on, and an average bill over the price of a lifespan is just north of $13,000.
The first Japanese luxury brand to make the list is the Infiniti. The Infiniti is a luxury brand under Nissan ownership and has produced sport utility vehicles and sedans since the 80s. Unfortunately, the brand doesn’t have the best reputation for durability compared to more affordable models. Service and maintenance on these cars are going to cost you around $12,000 over the lifespan of the vehicle.
Audi is another German automobile manufacturer that can be expensive to tune up. The parts are foreign, so they come with a hefty price tag. Prices on new Audis can range from $30k to almost $200k, so the complexity of these engines can be hard to work with.
Another reason to be cautious when buying a used Audi: The parts are going to be more than those of a domestic brand. The average cost of maintaining these German rides will come to $12,000 plus.
Lincoln was once a brand that was synonymous with luxury and quality performance. The American brand has been floundering as of late. The brand has scored a 3 out of 5 in reliability, making it fall short of what it once was. An average cost of $12,000 will be needed to be factored into the repair and maintenance cost for as long as you own this Lincoln.
12. Ford Super Duty Trucks
This is a combination of all of the Ford trucks, not the other vehicles in their fleet. The mighty Ford trucks have been helping people get their jobs down for decades, but the load on these trucks may catch up to them. They take on some demanding jobs, which stresses the parts of this super-duty truck.
They will get the job done, no doubt, but the average lifetime maintenance cost will average out to $15,000. These are work trucks, the average F-150 doesn’t have the high price of service as the work trucks do.
13. Chevrolet Silverado HD
These trucks suffer the same fate as the super-duty Ford trucks that we just discussed. These giant rigs haul heavy-duty equipment like tractors, land movers, and horse trailers. Of course, these harsh conditions will take a toll on your truck.
After the warranty, these trucks will keep working, but you have to keep up with the cost of maintenance. They are a little cheaper than the Ford models, as they will only cost an average of $13,000 over a ten-year span.
The average Jeep will cost you $11,000 to keep the vehicle running on the highways. Jeeps are generally pretty reliable, but the brand is known for its off-roading prowess. This may be why keeping up your Jeep may be expensive. They are built for this, so keep crawling over those rocks because a few dings and dents just make a Jeep look cooler.
Minis are one of the funniest cars to drive. They are like little go-karts on the road. Put the top down and cruise the boulevard and you will have all of the eyes on you and your squad. The bad news is they break down a lot. And the parts are expensive because they are so small.
Only mechanics with Mini hands can fix these things. Of course, I’m kidding; regular mechanics can fix these cars, but the average price will be over $8,000 over the years. The good news is that it would probably be twice that if the cars weren’t so small.
Lowest Cost of Maintenance
Not to worry—plenty of car brands offer low maintenance costs. These three consumer favorites are the best in show for reliability.
The Prius, Camry, and Corolla are at the top of the list for low maintenance costs. It’s no wonder you see so many of these on the road; their low initial costs and durability keep them on the road for years—even decades.
The Civic and Accord models are some of the brand’s best when it comes to low maintenance costs. Plus, the Honda Civic is one of the only models you can buy new that still comes with a standard transmission, if you want a new car that takes you back to your youth.
Despite Tesla’s reputation for volatility, the Model 3 boasted some of the cheapest maintenance costs in 2023. However, these cars haven’t been in production as long as some of the other models, so time will tell if they keep their spot on this list.
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