Are German Cars Expensive to Maintain? How Exactly?

Germany is home to some of the best automakers including BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Volkswagen and while these automakers produce phenomenal vehicles, they are also difficult and expensive to maintain.

In this article, we will discuss whether German cars are expensive to maintain and what makes their maintenance so costly.

Are German Cars Expensive to Maintain?

German cars are generally expensive to maintain compared to Japanese or American vehicles as reported by Consumer Reports. You can typically expect to pay anywhere between $700 to $1,500 per year on maintenance depending on the type of car you own.

A study was conducted by Consumer Reports where they compared the fixing cost of common issues such as AC compressor replacement, alternator replacement, fuel pump replacement, starter replacement, and more. The study revealed names of German automakers in almost all of the categories representing the highest repair cost.

For example, the average cost of started replacement was $630 in all cars, while the Audi RS5 and Mercedes GL63 AMG starter replacement cost more than $2,600.

Which German Brands are the Most Expensive?

BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche are some of the Germany based automakers which are most expensive in terms of maintenance. According to YourMechanic, BMW cars are most expensive to maintain with an average yearly cost of repair ranging from $1,000 – $1,700.

Whereas, Mercedes has a yearly repair cost of about $908. Audi and Porsche are also expensive car brands to own whereas Volkswagen vehicles are excellent in terms of reliability. The average repair cost of Volkswagen vehicles is $676.

Read it: Are Audi Cars Good? (Pros and Cons)

What are the Costs of Typical German Car Maintenance?

Some of the most popular German car brands have a high routine maintenance cost. For example, the oil change in a standard BMW costs between $150 to $175. Whereas for a Porsche, the oil change can cost up to $400. Replacing tires on your BMW can cost around $200 to $500 per tire depending on the vehicle as well as the tire brand.

For more expensive brands such as Porsche, you can expect to pay up to $500 for routine maintenance while more affordable brands such as Volkswagen have lower yearly maintenance as well as cheap repair cost.

Do German Cars Break Down Often?

German cars do not break down as often as American or UK vehicle brands even though German cars are considered to have low reliability and expensive repair costs.

Some of the German car brands such as BMW indeed have a low-reliability rank but they are still less likely to break down or leave you stranded in the middle of a road. That is because most German cars are equipped with sophisticated features and sensors which can warn you before any major repair is required.

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According to, the top vehicle brands that are most likely to break down include Alfa Romeo, Land Rover, Chevrolet, Vauxhall, and Chrysler. Whereas, BMW and Audi rank on numbers 7 and 12 respectively.

How Expensive is it to Fix a German Car?

Fixing a German car can be expensive and it usually depends on the brand and type of car you own. On average, you will pay up to $300 to $800 for a major repair on a Volkswagen while a major repair on a BMW can cost up to $,3000.

Besides routine repairs which I already mentioned are expensive, the major repairs are also costly if you own a BMW or Audi. For example, a major repair such as fixing the transmission for an Audi can cost up to $875 which is higher compared to a Toyota vehicle which should be up to $450.

Usually, buyers who prefer German cars opt for the extended warranty from the automaker to cover any major or minor repairs.

Read it: 5 Serious Reasons Why Mercedes are so Expensive

Are German Car Parts Expensive?

German car parts are expensive compared to Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, and other automakers. However, the cost of parts depends on the model you own, for example, the parts for a 2010 Audi A3 will be cheaper compared to the 2010 Audi R8.

Most German car parts are expensive as they source these brands source the parts from premium companies. A company like BMW relies on top-class manufacturers such as Bosch or Bilstein for their parts and these companies are known for developing high-quality and expensive car parts.

Is it Hard to Find Parts for a German Car?

You can easily find parts for a German car from the official dealership or even buy used parts from individual sellers.

Finding car parts for a German car that is not too old should not be a problem as you can easily source them from the official dealership. However, since dealerships usually charge extra it is also possible to get them from a local auto shop.

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Is a German Car Insurance Expensive?

German cars can be a little expensive to insure especially if you plan to buy a luxury vehicle from BMW, Audi, or Porsche.

Compared to other automakers such as Toyota or Nissan, German cars are expensive to insure. For example, the average car insurance for a BMW costs $1,788 per year whereas for Audi it costs up to $1,606 per year which is 36% more than average.

For a more luxurious option such as a Porsche, the insurance could cost you about $2,342.

Volkswagen vehicles which are usually not categorized as too luxurious or sporty have an annual insurance cost of about $1,468. The most expensive German car to insure is the Audi R8 which costs $4,568 per year.

Also read: 30 Male & Female German Names for Cars

Do German Cars Rust?

German cars do not rust easily owing to their phenomenal build quality and the use of anti-corrosion technologies and materials which are used in the construction of the car.

German cars are some of the best vehicles in the market which resist corrosion and rust. According to, the Audi A3, A4, and S4 series along with Volkswagen Golf, GTI, Jetta and BMW 3-Series are some of the best cars when it comes to preventing rust.

Another study by suggests that the BMW 3-Series is amazing at handling rust and it can go for years before seeing any signs of rust.

Read it: 10 Car Brands that Rust the Most (Don’t Buy Them)

How Much Does it Cost to Own a German Car?

The cost of owning a German car varies according to the automaker and type of car. The 5-year ownership cost of a luxury vehicle such as BMW can be up to $50,000 while for a Volkswagen it is comparatively less.

The average 5-year cost of owning an Audi A4 is estimated to be about $44,000. This cost includes depreciation, insurance, maintenance, financing, and also fuel. Talking only about maintenance, the 5-year cost should be about $2,500.

For a non-luxury German car such as the Volkswagen Passat, the total 5-year ownership cost is about $30,000 (incl deprecations, maintenance, fuel, financing, and insurance) which is much lesser than a BMW or an Audi.

Whereas the monthly cost to own a Volkswagen could be somewhere around $100 to $300 while for a BMW, Audi, or a Porsche it should be more than $500.

Tips on How to Own a German Car Without Paying too Much for it

You can buy a used BMW, Audi, or Porsche which are more affordable compared to the newly released models, and also opt for an extended warranty plan to save on repair costs.

Buying a German car can be expensive as they come with a hefty price tag and are costly to maintain as well. One way to save cost is to go for a used model which will have a depreciated value and will be relatively cheaper than the new model.

Another tip to save money on German cars is to opt for after-market parts in case of a repair rather than going for company parts. The aftermarket parts are cheaper and can be bought from a local repair shop.

What are Cheaper Alternatives for German Cars?

The cheaper alternatives for German cars include Korean and Japanese brands such as Genesis, KIA, Hyundai, and Toyota.

While buying an Audi or a Mercedes can be expensive, you can opt for the new Genesis or the Hyundai Ioniq which offers the same level of luxury and comfort but at a comparatively lower price.