When you’re shopping for a car, it’s easy to get caught up in a shiny new paint job and beautiful roaring engine. If you find a way to swing a deal and get a price you want, it should be a done deal, right?
Not necessarily. When it comes to figuring out what type of car you can afford, there’s a lot more to consider than the purchase price. You also need to account for insurance, gas mileage, value depreciation, and more. But one of the most often overlooked factors is a car’s maintenance costs.
Most Expensive Cars to Maintain
Before you bite off more than you can chew, it’s important to know what you can expect to pay to maintain your car. This is just a small selection of the most expensive cars to keep up.
27. Chevy Camaro
The Camaro is one of the most popular American cars around, so its high maintenance costs of $9,900 for ten years isn’t happy news. But remember that you could lower that cost if you do the maintenance yourself. You just need to find the best place to buy parts for your specific needs, like this specialty shop for 5th generation Camaro parts.
26. Dodge SRT Viper
The high-powered Dodge SRT Viper should be one of the least surprising entries on this list. Yes, it costs $11,200 to maintain for ten years. With a V10 engine, 640 horsepower, and a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds, though, the maintenance costs shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
25. Volkswagen Passat
There’s no denying that Volkswagen has received some bad press over the past few years. But before we knew that running a Volkswagen wasn’t doing the environment any favors, we knew that it wasn’t great for a driver’s wallet either. For ten years of maintenance on a Volkswagen Passat, you can expect to pay $11,600.
24. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
You can expect to get some looks while you’re cruising around town in a Mercedes-Benz. Unfortunately, you’ll get a lot of looks from your auto mechanics as well, because you’ll be handing them around $11,800 for maintenance and repairs in the first ten years.
23. Ford Mustang
If you’re looking for an American muscle car, the Ford Mustang is an undeniable classic. The look is all its own, and depending on the model you choose, the performance is a head-turner. Unfortunately, the ten-year maintenance cost of $11,900 is sure to make your head spin as well. While Ford is known for having a high average maintenance cost, the Mustang is above-average even for them.
22. Chrysler 300
For the mid-range luxury market, the Chrysler 300 gives you some serious bang for your buck as far as the purchase price is concerned. Unfortunately, the costs don’t end there, though, and you can expect to pay around $12,000 to maintain it for ten years. That’s especially shocking when you compare it to the next entry on our list, which has the same maintenance cost.
21. Porsche Cayenne
If you want a luxury SUV, you won’t do much better than a Porsche Cayenne. The eye-catching design and luxurious feel can justify the high price tag for many drivers. Just be aware that you’ll also be on the hook for about $12,000 of maintenance costs over ten years of ownership as well.
20. Nissan Maxima
Generally speaking, Nissan has a rather low cost of ownership. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the Maxima is the exception to this one. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly car, the $12,000 ten-year maintenance cost of the Maxima may rule out this choice.
19. Acura TL
As any fan of luxury cars knows, the high purchase price often comes with higher maintenance costs as well. This is certainly the case for the Acura TL, which will cost you $12,100 for ten years of car maintenance.
18. BMW M5
BMW has a reputation for expensive maintenance and repair costs, so this entry on the list should come as no surprise. While the M5 has a high price tag, to begin with, the costs don’t go down after your purchase. You can expect to pay around $12,100 to maintain the car for its first ten years.
17. Subaru Forester
Subaru is one of the few major car brands that only have one vehicle on this list, so they deserve a pat on the pack for that. Still, if you happen to own a Forrester, that doesn’t make your $12,200 ten-year maintenance bill any easier to handle.
16. BMW M6
Here we are with another BMW, and the notoriety of high maintenance costs continue. As a slightly higher-end model compared to the M5, the maintenance costs are just a tad higher as well: $12,300 over ten years.
15. Ram 3500
Whether you need hauling capabilities for work or you’re just a fan of pick-up trucks, the Ram 3500 is a popular choice. Its mid-level price is still in the range of affordability. The ten-year maintenance cost of $12,400, though, may make some buyers think twice.
14. Mazda 6
This list contains a surprising number of mid-size sedans, and the Mazda 6 is no exception. While there are a few different models to choose from, a Mazda 6 will set you back an average of $12,700 for ten years of maintenance.
13. Audi A4 Quattro
For those who love the Audi brand, the A4 Quattro seems like an affordable way to get into the game. We say “seems,” though, because this sedan has a higher maintenance cost than most buyers realize. On average, it comes to $12,800 over ten years. That’s even high for Audis, though, which have an overall average maintenance cost of $12,000 for ten years.
12. Chevrolet Corvette
The Corvette didn’t need Prince’s help to become one of the most fawned-over American cars. “Little Red Corvette” certainly didn’t hurt, though. This car has one of the most passionate cult followings of any car. The $12,900 price tag for ten years of maintenance hasn’t seemed to scare away many fans.
11. Dodge Ram 1500
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see a high-powered truck on this list. In fact, it’s a bit of a surprise that there aren’t any trucks higher on the list than #11. But for a Ram 1500 owner, we’re sure the ten-year maintenance cost of $13,300 is plenty.
10. Audi S4
It’s a long-held principle in automobiles, real estate, and other high-dollar purchases that the more you pay to buy it, the more it will cost to maintain. Audis are no exception. As a more performant version of the A4, the S4 has maintenance costs that soar to $14,100.
9. Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Grand Caravan could be described as the epitome of minivans. It’s been carting families across the country since the original Caravan was introduced in 1984. The only problem is that on top of soccer equipment, it carries a high maintenance cost. You can expect to pay $14,500 over ten years of ownership. That’s even higher than Dodge’s average, which is already on the higher end for budget-friendly brands.
8. Chevrolet Cobalt
The Cavalier was a staple of the Chevrolet fleet until it was replaced by the Cobalt, which is still a popular choice. The problem, though, is that it’s not as easy on the budget as it initially seems. The cost to maintain a Cobalt over ten years is a whopping $14,500.
7. Mercedes-Benz e350
It shouldn’t be a surprise that we have yet another Mercedes-Benz on this list, as the brand is known for its high ownership cost. Unfortunately, this model has a surprisingly low fuel economy along with a ten-year maintenance cost of $14,700.
6. Nissan Murano
Nissans, in general, have low average maintenance costs, which makes the Murano a surprising #6 on our list. While the sleek crossover look is attractive, beware that you should expect to pay $14,700 to maintain the vehicle for ten years.
5. BMW 328i
Yes, another BMW. By now, it should come as no surprise that BMW has the highest average maintenance cost of all major car brands. The 328i may not be the priciest car to maintain on this list, but the ten-year cost of $15,600 is still a hard pill to swallow.
4. Chrysler Sebring
New Chrysler Sebrings haven’t been produced since 2010, but if you’re in the market for a used one, you’ve been warned. With a ten-year maintenance cost of $17,100, a used Sebring is less affordable than you may think.
3. Mercedes-Benz GLS63 AMG
At #3, we’re officially into the $20,000 range for maintenance costs ($20,100 to be precise). While SUVs are generally more expensive to maintain than sedans and other smaller vehicles, the GLS63 AMG has the highest maintenance costs of any SUV on the market.
2. Porsche 718 Cayman
The 718 Cayman has a beautifully sleek and sporty design that’s sure to turn heads as a twist on the classic Porsche Boxster. But as any car enthusiast knows, Porsches aren’t known for being budget-friendly. With a ten-year maintenance cost of $23,700, the 718 Cayman is no exception.
1. Nissan GT-R
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the fastest-accelerating production cars in the world has a high maintenance cost. With a 0-60 time of just 2.7 seconds, speed demons might happily pay the $24,200 ten-year maintenance cost.
Weighing All Your Auto Costs
Our intention isn’t to scare you away from buying the cars on this list. In fact, many of them are well worth the cost. But let it serve as a reminder to take all the costs into account when deciding what type of car you can afford.
For more tips for buying and maintaining a car you love, check out our auto mechanic’s blog.