How much does it cost to maintain a car per year in 2023?

Ideally, you should perform monthly maintenance checks on your car. The purpose of these checks is to increase the life of your vehicle. They allow you to evaluate the degree of wear of the parts and thus to prevent breakdowns. They target the parts that are vital for the proper functioning of the car. The repercussions of these breakdowns can be very serious. In this regard, the maintenance booklet provides you with a schedule to follow to ensure the maintenance of your vehicle. This maintenance is mandatory in some countries like France. Discover here the annual price of a car maintenance.

Do it yourself or go to the professionals

The cost of maintaining your vehicle can typically be three times the normal cost, depending on the option you choose. Of course, the savings will be there if you take care of the maintenance yourself. However, even if you have access to some parts, this does not guarantee proper maintenance. You may need a professional to take care of the most fragile or hard-to-reach parts. Incorrect handling could cause serious damage to the car.

Just remember to change a few parts from time to time, continuous full maintenance would be far too expensive. If you can handle replacing some parts, do so, but leave the tricky stuff to the pros. The price of maintenance is usually around €800 to €1,600 per year. In the same way, the status of the professional to whom you turn, can greatly influence this price. So when you know that according to this study on the annual cost of a car all expenses included (maintenance, insurance, fuel, …) the total cost of a car is more than 7000 € per year, it is better to make the right choice if you decide to delegate the maintenance to not risk to increase the total bill!

At a dealership, the price of maintenance can be up to 40% more expensive than at a garage. For any complex operation, however, it is almost the same. In any case, if you continuously maintain your car, you will gain much more. First of all, you won’t have to pay for repairs all the time. Second, your fuel consumption will be greatly reduced.

The revision: a global maintenance

Servicing is the periodic evaluation of the functionality of your vehicle’s components. It is done by following the indications provided by the manufacturer via the maintenance booklet. Therefore, if too many parts have traces of wear or are obsolete, the revision will inevitably cost you more. On the other hand, if everything is in order, you will be entitled to warnings at the most.

You should know that hybrid and electric cars are more fuel efficient than gas-powered cars. As a result, maintenance and upkeep costs are much lower for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Price for a maintenance by parts

Here is a summary of the prices that could be incurred for the maintenance and/or replacement of certain parts. Note that these are the parts that are most targeted in case of revision.

Focus on filters: from €20 to €50

Replacing these wires is usually easy, so you can do it. It should be noted that a vehicle has many different filters. These include the particulate filter, the air filter and the oil filter. They sometimes need to be changed repeatedly depending on the use of the vehicle. Expect to pay 20 to 50 € per filter. The oil filter, for example, is changed when the engine is changed every 10,000 km.

The air filter takes more dirt in the city than in the country, considering the same distance traveled. On average, it should be changed after 60,000 km of driving. Nothing prevents you from doing it before. For the pollen filter, it is better to check it yourself to estimate when it should be replaced. The level of clogging also depends on the environment, and the filter should be replaced after an average of 15,000 km of use.

How much does the oil change cost? At most 150 €!

It’s best to change your engine’s oil regularly to keep the entire vehicle running smoothly. Already after 15,000 km to 30,000 km at the most, consider doing so. It is not very complicated to change the oil in your car, so you can easily do it yourself. Asking a professional to change your oil would be an additional expense. The maintenance booklet tells you what type of oil to get.

Not following the guidelines for oil change selection can seriously damage the engine. Basically, it means starting extra expenses that you could avoid. The price of oil is usually between 40 € and 100 €. If you prefer to leave the task to a professional, be aware that the cost of the work should be between €80 and €150.

Brakes: to be taken with a pinch of salt

There is no question of saving money here, only the mechanic must change your brakes! Don’t even think about doing it on your own: the slightest malfunction can lead to serious accidents. So, for your own safety as well as for the safety of others, only consult the garage. Note that drum brakes are much more resistant than disc brakes.

For a vehicle equipped with disc brakes, the brakes must be changed between 30,000 and 60,000 km. In contrast, drum brakes require up to 90,000 km. The cost of purchasing and installing new brake pads for your brakes is usually in the range of 50 to 150 €.

Changing tires

Changing your vehicle’s tires can occur for a variety of reasons. These include a flat tire or wear and tear, or a 30,000 km meter. You can perform this type of maintenance yourself. For more assurance, you can always go to a garage or dealership. A simple mechanic is just as capable of helping you, they are also in the field.

Depending on who changes the tires and the type of tires you use, the price can range from €280 to €1,600. This is of course valid for a change of all four wheels simultaneously.

Shock absorbers: a safe bet

With model driving, you could well pass the 100,000 km mark with new shocks. That’s right! Shocks are among the most durable parts of your vehicle. They require much less maintenance and do not need to be replaced as often as other parts. Plus, with this kind of durability, you’ll be able to see it coming.

However, when it comes to maintenance, the bill is high. Indeed, it is necessary to count between 400 and 1 000 €. This considerable sum varies according to the type and make of the vehicle and the shock absorbers. The best way to avoid being caught short is to consider having a check-up every 50,000 km. Fortunately, this test is free of charge in most garages.

Recharge your air conditioning

Using the air conditioner year-round increases the chances of needing a replacement. In such a situation, you may well have to make a replacement many times in the same year. Because air conditioning is sometimes used for heating and sometimes for cooling, the length of time after each recharge varies greatly.

The cost of such an operation is around 100 €. A little tip: think about turning your vehicle’s air conditioner to eco mode. This is an effective way to increase the duration of use of each recharge. On the other hand, you will be more or less exempt from the recurring expense of replacing this part alone. It is therefore a very economical alternative for you.

The battery

It doesn’t always take just a couple of turns of the cable to get your battery to work. You need to consider changing the battery itself sometimes. When the battery indicator light on your dashboard flashes, just remember to have the battery changed. Again, you should carefully follow the vehicle’s maintenance booklet. You will need to evaluate four basic criteria:

  • Starting power;
  • Dimensions;
  • Capacity;
  • Voltage;

For the purchase of a brand new battery, expect to spend approximately 120 €. This is a fixed price, but it can go higher depending on the brand of the vehicle and the type of battery you are looking for. If you go to a professional to do this, you’ll have to spend about €40 more. The whole thing will probably cost you between 120 and 360 €.

All in all, when it comes to servicing your vehicle, the price can vary greatly depending on its use. If your vehicle has too many faulty areas, you may need to have a complete overhaul. Depending on who does it, all the maintenance operations on your vehicle can be very expensive.

To avoid any inconvenience, try to follow the maintenance schedule or change the oldest parts after a while. Changing some parts requires little expertise and is therefore manageable by yourself. It is better to contact a professional for anything delicate.

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