Cheapest and most expensive cars to maintain revealed, and how you can save cash
A car may be a necessity for many of us, but it’s certainly not cheap. There are so many additional costs to bear in mind, from fuel costs to car tax and insurance.
All of these costs swiftly add up to some incredible amounts. In fact, a study from AutoEurope.co.uk last year found that the average British motorist will fork out an almighty £168,880 on car running costs over their lifetime.
While fuel costs make up almost half of that figure, in second spot is the typical £40,000 spent on MOTs, servicing and repairs. Of course, these costs can vary significantly between models – some cars are more expensive to put right when things go wrong.
So which are the most expensive motors to maintain? We take a look:
The priciest motors to look after
WhoCanFixMyCar.com has run the numbers to find the most expensive models and premium models to repair and maintain across three categories: hatchbacks, saloons and SUV/MPVs.
Peugeot was found to be the most costly when it came to both hatchbacks and saloons. The average repair quote for a Peugeot 207 came in at £208.37, while for the 407 it reached £230.15.
In the SUV/MPV category, the Toyota Rav-4 came top with an average repair quote of £297.83.
The firm also looked at the most expensive premium models in each, with the Audi A3 (£215.02), Jaguar X-Type (£234.59) and the Land Rover Freelancer (£271.64) topping their respective categories.
WhoCanFixMyCar.com pointed out that it’s the big non-routine jobs that push up the price of repairing the Rav-4, as while it isn’t the most expensive across the board, it makes the top three for a lot of jobs.
For example, a clutch replacement will cost on average £428.26, yet for the Rav-4 you’re looking at a bill of £651.97.
Similarly, the national average cost for a head gasket repair stands at £499.99, yet for the Toyota you’ll have to shell out £700.25.
Saving money on MoTs
Spiralling repair costs
In truth, even if you don’t have one of the models picked out by WhoCanFixMyCar.com, the cost of getting your car fixed is likely to be painful.
Last year the Association of British Insurers announced that the amount paid out by insurers to cover vehicle repairs had passed the £1bn mark, the highest ever for a single quarter.
It noted that the average cost of repairing damage had jumped by 33% over the last four years, with the typical claim now worth almost £1,800.
How to lower the cost of driving
There are a few reasons why sorting out repairs for our cars has become a more costly exercise.
The first is simply that today’s cars are more complex and technologically advanced than they used to be.
Typical cars now have more sensors, cameras and other gadgets fitted than was the case even just a few years ago.
As a result, when a car is involved in a prang, getting it sorted may be a far more involved process than simply getting rid of a bump or two or a few scratches – there may be a need to replace expensive tech as well.
The ABI reckons that the state of the pound hasn’t helped either. As the value of sterling has struggled following the Brexit vote, it’s made it more expensive to import some replacement parts.
Save cash on your motor maintenance
So what can you do to ensure that the costs of running and maintaining the condition of your car is kept to a minimum?
The first step is doing your research before you actually buy a car.
How reliable is it as a model? There’s no point saving a few quid on the initial purchase price, if you then have to pop back to the garage for regular repairs every couple of months.
There are plenty of different resources you can turn to here, including the Reliability Index from Warranty Direct and Auto Express magazine’s Driver Power survey .
Once you have actually bought the car, it’s vital that you then ensure that you do what you can to keep it in decent nick.
The study from WhoCanFixMyCar.com found that clutch repair is the most common issue to spur looking for a garage, which is a useful reminder that even if you go for the most reliable car around, if you drive like a boy racer chances are you will end up needing repairs before long.
Similarly, keeping an eye on the general condition of everything from your tyres to your coolant is a smart move. There’s a nice guide to car maintenance measures on the PetrolPrices.com website .
Finally, if you do have an issue that needs an expert eye, be sure to shop around your local garages to get an idea of what you’re likely to pay.
The bill you face can vary significantly between garages, and while they may not be able to tell you precisely what costs will be incurred without giving it a full once over, you can get a decent idea.
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