How much money should I be spending per year on car maintenance on a Toyota camry?

Hi guys. Since I joined the site, I have gained a lot of knowledge and assurance when it comes to car business. Now I’d like to know how much should I expect to spend on car maintenance per year on a 2012 Toyota Camry SE with current 58K mileage.

I understand this varies and depends on parts failure at random or at a surprising event. But in general, how much should I be spending per year?

I want to know so I can put aside money for the regular and expected amount.

And if you can, share what I may need to repair throughout the year, including oil change, etc.

Many thanks in advance for your insight…

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It depends.

Are you doing the repairs?

Or paying someone else?


When my Corolla was 6 years old … hmm … beyond routine maintenance, I think I had to replace the starter, and replace a drive axle boot. A starter motor costs about $400, and 2 hours labor, so figure $600. The boot parts cost was $50, about 2 hours labor, so $250 for that. For routine maintenance for the year, maybe $350.

Repairs: $600 + $250 = $850
Maintenance: $350

So figure a total yearly cost of about $1200 for repairs and routine maintenance.


I’ll be paying for labor ( I am unable to repair cars on my own due to health reason.)

Very little.
Easily less than half of what you’d pay for a Mercedes, perhaps half of what you’d pay for a Jeep, based on my son’s statements less than half of what you’d pay for a BMW.

And you’ll be paying very little for a long, long time based on the miles you’re putting on.
An auto critic wrote some years ago about a Camry that
“it’s so boring to drive that you’ll scream… and so tight that nobody will hear you.”

Happy motoring. Keep that car maintained and you’ll have it for a very long time.

NOTE: I have an '05 Scion tC with the Camry 4-banger in it. It has 250,000 miles and it’s still going strong. Over the years I’ve had to replace the alternator, a motor mount, two calipers, and scheduled maintenance items. Oh, and the air struts that hold up the hatch. I need to replace the valvecover gasket, but I procrastinated and suddenly the temperature dipped below zero and it’s been too cold ever since. But I don’t mind. I know that won’t manifest itself as serious damage as long as I monitor the oil level… which I do.

Thanks for your reply. Any number for yearly expense? I wouldn’t know the cost to maintain a BMW, as I havent owned one. So I would like to know your opinion and number on yearly cost.

I would figure about a nickel a mile.

Your maintenance and repair costs will vary widely depending on the type and amount of driving you do. Some folks are able to get 100,000 miles out of a set of front brakes, others replace them every 30,000.

5 cents per mile might seem like more than you’d need to spend over a year, but remember anything left over gets banked and added to next year’s budget, so when big ticket items like tires come along you’ll have enough saved up.

If you are into budgeting I would do $1000 per year, Brakes, tires, maintenance, and some padding for trans or coolant or other issues


I’ve never kept track, I just get what I need when I need it, but including tires, brakes, and other routine items I’d guess that $1,000 per year is about right for that car. Heck, the last set of tires I bought, budget ones, cost $600 after mounting and balancing if I remember correctly.

There is a publisher with a website that estimates annual cost of ownership, but I cannot remember who they are. I’mm sure someone else here will post the link.


@Clueless33 Outside of general maintenance your manual will have a service schedule . If you have the original tires they should be replaced just because of age .

I guess we can assume you did decide to not lower your car .

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It really depends on what wears out. This year(2018) I bought a battery at a cost of $150. Last year(2017) I bought a caliper and 2 snow tires for my Corolla.Total expense: $200 In 2016 I had my serpentine belt replaced and an oil change at a cost of $200. In 2015 I replaced my front brake pads and rotor at a cost of $150.

After 19 years of owning my Corolla, the average yearly maintenance cost is around $200

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The answer to this question depends on where you live and how fastidious you are about car maintenance.

The best way to answer this question is to get quotes from where you like to take the car for maintenance, look at the maintenance schedule, and calculate how many miles you average per year. I’d create a spreadsheet if I wanted an accurate estimate.

I would suggest a dime a mile @asemaster. Or as a rule of thumb set aside a dollar for repairs/maintenance for every dollar spent on gasoline. But that should handle everything from taxes and insurance to tires and insurance deductables. Of course my guestimate is based on experiences back in the GOOD OLE DAYS when gasoline was $1/gallon. has a feature called True Cost to Own. They estimate the cost over the next five years for a vehicle given 15,000 miles per year and all work done by the dealer. They estimate $5285 for maintenance and $2943 for repairs. You drive less than 15,000 miles per year, so your costs should be less.

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If you can afford the monthly payment for a new modestly priced vehicle, then put that much into this account every month. Use it to cover all your maintenance requirements, including tires, brakes etc as well as oil changes and filters. When you decide to dump the car, use the left over money towards the replacement.

Despite my most ardent efforts, I was unable to find this feature. I went everywhere I could find on the Edmunds site.
Could you offer a direct link? It’d really be appreciated.


Sincere thanks for the link. It is greatly appreciated.

In looking up a 2012 Camry, the cost of ownership included depreciation, taxes, financing, fuel, and insurance. I looked at the OP’s post and he/she was only seeking the cost of maintenance. I assume the OP’s assumption is that most of the other costs will be similar for most comparable cars.

The maintenance and repair estimate is listed as $789 total ($376 maintenance and $413 repairs). That’s more in line with what I was thinking based on my own experience.

I strongly recommend to the OP that he/she look at the link. It’s comprehensive and provides an excellent profile of what it costs to own a car of any type.

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The estimates I offered were for the next five years (total) for the 4-cyl engine. There was a big bump in year 3 of th estimate. There’s no timing belt, so it must be some other big expenses at year 9 in the cars age. Here’s the link to the page. From the Edmunds home page, go all the way to the bottom. True Cost to Own is in the rightmost column. They make it easy to see cars for sale, and hard to just collect information.

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True cost to own is not the same as the expected cost of maintenance.
Maintenance and repairs are the only large variables for two similar cars. And that’s what the OP asked for. Well, depreciation might be another, but I didn’t compare that. Total cost to own for five years is misleading as a response to the query about projected cost of maintenance.

I’m very pleased that we now have direct links so we all, the OP and myself included, can get an accurate picture of maintenance costs for the vehicle in question as well as others that the OP might consider.