The cost of the average maintenance intervention

Hey guys,
for my master thesis I’m trying to understand the average cost of maintenance during the lifecycle of the average car…any chance some of you know a database that can help me?

Thanks in advance :smiley:

This one tells you the average cost of ownership based on km, including maintenance and insurance. Of course,the more expensive high end cars will cost you more.Its a Canadian site

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It differs greatly from car to car. It differs greatly depending on where you live. The labor rates and parts cost in Chicago will be much higher than Jellico, Tennessee. And that’s just the USA. We don’t even know if you are in the USA.

Used and new car seller sites like and Edmunds have estimators but I don’t think they break the costs down. Plus, they are averages across the country.

I think you have chosen a subject that just has too many varibles to be relavent to averages .
The place I use for oil changes on our 2010 Volvo is one of the highest prices but I trust them . The Volvo oil changes are 7000 miles or 12 months - our 2018 Ford Fiesta is 10000 miles or 12 months - the 2014 Nissan Frontier was 6000 miles or 6 months .

The average between those will not be good for all vehicles .

There are so many variables it all seems pointless to me.
One car may be 5 times pricier to maintain compared to another and the same goes for locale where one area may be double what it is in another area.

Thirty dollars for an oil change on a Corolla vs 20 grand for a Bugatti. Extreme example but…
A 30k miles service is generally considered major. On some cars major is a lot more major than others and which can mean double the cost.

If you try to average car costs out it’s essentially a shotgun blast; one general direction but all over the place.

A quotation from Abraham Lincoln comes to mind.
In an obvious snide reference to his extreme height, someone once asked Abe…
“How long should a man’s legs be?”.
Abe’s sarcastic answer was…
“Only long enough to reach the floor”.

Just as the question asked of Abe had so many possible–wildly variable–answers, so does the
OP’s question.


Oh, gas vs elec? I see

Naw, if it’s a masters thesis I would guess it’s the cost of an ICE versus a Reddy Kilowatt vehicle, playing to the audience.

My guess is major auto manufacturers have this sort of information readily available. It’s their business to know about their customers and cost of ownership, etc.

Good luck getting any of the details from them, though (smile).

I think we saw a similar question here a few years ago, but I deign to try to search for it.

As I recall, same responses: Too many variables for a single metric to be meaningful. (Sort of like my friend who planned to buy a car based on it’s mpg rating.)

OP, try reframing your question. And good luck.

Edumunds has this calculator.


I use the Edmunds TCO when buying new cars. I believe the maintenance component is calculated based on driving 15,000 miles per year, using the manufacturer recommended maintenance program, and having the maintenance done by the dealer. If you use a calculator that functions this way, you can compare maintenance costs between vehicles.


Suggest you focus on one make/model of car. Choose one of the widely sold econoboxes like the Corolla, Civic, Mazda 3, something like that. Not sure if it was mentioned above, but Consumer Reports maintains cost of ownership data. That’s basically just the price of the new car, plus the cost for the manufacturer’s maintenance over a fixed length of time.

Labor hourly fees vary place to place, but the number of labor hours for most every maintenance item and common repair is available. The AllData website data usually has this information; and there’s a free website with that sort of info as I recall. RepairPal , something like that. Nothing stopping you from stopping by a local shop and asking the experts there; i.e. get it straight from the horses’s mouth.

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