Consumer Reports asked members of its site to report how much they paid out of pocket for their total maintenance and repairs on their vehicle during the previous twelve months. The research publication says it found “significant differences in costs between five- and ten-year old models, underscoring how cars need more maintenance and repairs over time.” The average annual cost to maintain a five-year-old vehicle was $208, while the average cost to maintain a 10-year-old vehicle was $406.
Cadillac vehicles, somewhat surprisingly, were the least expensive to maintain after five years at an average of $106 annually and were also the cheapest to maintain after ten years at $225 annually. The most expensive vehicles to maintain, by comparison, came from BMW. The German marque’s products cost an average of $206 annually to maintain at five years old and a significant $911 to maintain annually once they reach ten years old. Fellow GM brand Buick was right behind Cadillac in second, with its vehicles averaging $121 to maintain after five years and $244 to maintain after ten years.
This data appears to indicate Cadillac vehicles typically only need routine maintenance like oil and filter changes when they are between five and ten years old – making it one of the most reliable luxury brands that the publication has data for. The next closest luxury brand was Lincoln with a $116 average after five years and a $306 average after ten years. Lexus was behind Lincoln at $219 after five years and $365 after ten years. Mercedes-Benz and Audi were second and third last in front of BMW, with Volvo and the BMW-owned Mini brand rounding out the bottom five.
Consumer Reports says motorists can save money by purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle from some of the least expensive brands with regard to maintenance, as these vehicles will also have lower insurance and registration costs, as well.