Data compiled by WhoCanFixMyCar.com reveals which cars are the cheapest and which are the most expensive to maintain and repair in the UK.
The repair quote comparison site compared maintenance costs across six categories – luxury and non-premium hatchbacks, luxury and non-premium saloons and luxury and non-premium SUVs.
Peugeot made the most expensive cars to maintain in the non-premium hatchback and saloon categories. The Peugeot 207 came out on top in the hatchback category with an average repair quote of £208.37, while the 407 topped the saloon category with an average quote of £230.15.
Toyota made the most expensive car in the non-premium SUV category, with the Rav-4 costing an average of £297.83 to get repaired. This was actually more expensive than the most expensive luxury SUV repair bill of £271.64 for a Land Rover Freelancer.
The Audi A3 and the Jaguar X-type topped the remaining luxury categories with average repair bills of £215.02 and £234.59 respectively.
WhoCanFixMyCar.com pointed out that the Rav-4 was not the most expensive car across the board, but for some larger jobs it was significantly more expensive.
Replacing the clutch on a Rav-4, for example, cost around £651.97 compared to an average of $428.26 for other cars.
No other Toyota models made it into the top five spots of expensive cars.
Duffy Motor’s Lee Atkinson believes that this is because of the supply of Japanese parts in the UK.
“Non-serviceable items on European cars are usually cheaper than parts for Japanese vehicles because it can be difficult to get hold of these parts,” Lee said.
He continued: “It’s also important that Manufacturers like Toyota and Peugeot don’t have as much market share in the UK compared with your Volkswagens, Vauxhalls, Fords and even BMWs. I would say that Rav-4s are particularly rare, and that’s why the big repair jobs are so expensive.”
Separate research that takes account of costs like fuel and insurance found that the average British motorist will spend £168,880 on car running costs over their lifetime.
The research from AutoEurope.co.uk found that MOTs, servicing and repair costs account for around £40,000 of that total figure.
Independent garages cheaper than main dealers
WhoCanFixMyCar.com previously found that getting your car serviced or repaired by a main or franchised dealer is significantly more expensive than visiting an independent garage.
There are always variables with repair costs, but their study found that independent garages were, on average, 18% cheaper than the main dealers.
For relatively simple work, such as providing MOTs and servicing, independent garages were only slightly cheaper. But if these regular checks lead to more complex ‘off-the-menu’ work, requiring more intensive labour, it is much cheaper to go with an independent fixer.
Tips for bringing down maintenance costs
Here are Lee’s top tips for bringing down maintenance costs. These apply to all cars, not just German brands.
- Get your car serviced regularly. A low-cost service each year can identify problems and help you avoid an expensive repair job.
- Avoid cowboys. These can be difficult to spot but you can usually find a good mechanic by reading online reviews, such as those published by the Good Garage Scheme.
- Don’t go for the cheapest price, because you will get the cheapest work.
- Change your oil regularly and make sure you only use oil that’s recommended for your car.
- Check your tyre pressure regularly. Incorrect tyre pressure can cause your tyres to wear very quickly.