How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Luxury Car vs. Standard?
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Luxury cars offer a higher level of comfort, performance, and features than many of the standard vehicles on the market.
Despite popular belief, you can find good deals on luxury cars – you just have to know where to look. Not only that, but luxury vehicles can actually be pretty affordable to maintain over the long run. Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of maintaining a luxury car vs. a standard vehicle.
What Goes into Maintaining a Vehicle?
Before we compare the standard vs. luxury car maintenance costs, it’s important to know what goes into maintaining a vehicle (of any kind). Every car owner should be aware of three main vehicle maintenance categories: preventative, diagnostic, and general. Let’s take a closer look at each.
1. Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is defined as regularly scheduled services meant to keep your car running smoothly and prevent larger issues down the road. This type of maintenance is typically outlined in your car’s owner’s manual. It includes services such as:
An oil change is one of your car’s most important preventative maintenance items. Oil changes help to keep your engine clean and running efficiently.
How often you need to change your oil will depend on the make and model of your car. For example, luxury car brands like Porsche and BMW typically only require oil changes every 10,000+ miles. Standard vehicle brands, on the other hand, often need oil changes more frequently.
An engine tune-up is a series of inspections and services meant to keep your car’s engine running smoothly. These services typically include checking and/or replacing the spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, and other engine components.
How often you need an engine tune-up will depend on your car’s make and model. Most cars require a tune-up every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. That said, some luxury car models may last longer between tune-ups than standard vehicles – so it’s always best to check your owner’s manual.
The purpose of a tire rotation is to even out the wear and tear on your car’s tires. Over time, your front tires will naturally wear down faster than your rear tires. By rotating your tires, you can help extend their lifespan and prevent having to replace them prematurely.
Most carmakers recommend getting your tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Yet, it’s always best to check your owner’s manual or dealership, as some luxury cars allow longer intervals.
Whether you drive a standard or luxury car model, getting your brakes inspected and serviced regularly is crucial. Your brakes are one of your car’s most important safety features, and they must be in good working condition at all times.
If you notice any strange noises or smells coming from your brakes, it’s vital to have them inspected as soon as possible. Otherwise, you should plan to get your brakes inspected and serviced at least once every 1-2 years.
2. General Maintenance
This is maintenance that’s not specific to any one system in your car – but is necessary to keep your vehicle running and looking its best. It’s getting your car detailed and doing everyday things to keep it clean and running smoothly.
Services in this category include things like
Interior and Exterior Cleaning
Keeping your car clean on the inside and out is vital for both its appearance and its longevity. Over time, dirt, grime, and other debris can build up on your car’s exterior and interior, causing it to look old and worn.
Regular cleaning will help keep your standard or luxury car looking its best and prevent long-term damage. Washing, vacuuming, and polishing your vehicle regularly will go a long way in preserving its beauty.
Windshield & Window Maintenance
Your windshield and windows are another critical part of your car. Not only do they protect you from the elements, but they also play a role in your car’s appearance.
To keep your windshield and windows looking their best (and maintain good visibility), it’s important to clean them regularly. You should also consider getting them professionally serviced every few years to prevent long-term damage. A detailer will wax the glass to make it shiny and temporarily weather resistant.
Headlights are an essential safety feature, and so you must keep them in good working condition. Over time, however, they can become cloudy and yellowed, making it difficult to see at night.
If your headlights are looking dull, you can have them professionally restored. This process will remove the build-up of grime and convert them to its original clarity.
Waxing and/or Clay Bar Treatments
Waxing your car not only makes it look great, but also protects the paint from dirt, debris, and UV rays. Clay bar treatments are also a great way to remove build-up from your car’s surface and make the paint look smooth and shiny.
If your standard or luxury car looks dull or dirty, you may want to consider getting a professional clay bar treatment or waxing. With the help of a detailer, your car will look new in no time.
Wheel & Tire Protection
Your wheels and tires are two of the most important parts of your car. They play a vital role in not only its function but also its appearance. Over time, however, they can become worn and damaged from driving and exposure to the elements.
To keep your wheels and tires looking their best, it’s a good idea to protect them with regular cleaning and waxing. You should also consider getting them professionally serviced every few years.
Diagnostic maintenance is required when your car displays signs or symptoms of a problem. This type of maintenance is typically performed by a mechanic who uses various tools to diagnose the issue. Once the problem has been diagnosed, the mechanic can perform the necessary repairs.
Services in this category may include things like:
OBD 2 Diagnostic Scan
The OBD (on-board diagnostic) scan is a crucial part of maintaining a car. This computerized system monitors a vehicle’s performance and provides an analysis of:
- Air temperature
- Crankshaft and camshaft
- Engine RPM
- Road Speed
This analysis provides a detailed examination of the health of the vehicle. At Big’s Mobile, the OBD 2 diagnostic is part of our 12-point inspection checklist.
If your check engine light is on or you are experiencing engine trouble, it’s time for some diagnostic maintenance. An engine diagnostic will help identify the root cause of the problem so it can be fixed.
Of course, ignoring your check engine light is never a good idea. If you do, you could end up causing serious damage to your engine. This can be very costly to repair, especially if you own a luxury car with more complex engine components.
As mentioned earlier, your brakes are one of your car’s most important safety features. It’s recommended to get your brake pads examined every 10,000 miles. If you catch brake wear early, you can replace the brake pads for a few hundred dollars. If you wait too long, you’ll likely have to replace the rotors as well – which will be much more expensive.
Transmission problems can happen to any type of car, whether it’s a standard or luxury model. So, if you notice your vehicle is having trouble shifting gears, making weird noises, or leaking fluid, it’s time to get it looked at by a professional.
Transmission repairs can be costly, so it’s best to get it looked at and spot problems early so they don’t get worse. Otherwise, it could cost you even more money down the road.
How Does the Cost of Maintaining a Luxury Car Compare to a Standard Car?
Now that we know what goes into maintaining any vehicle, let’s compare luxury car maintenance costs to standard cars. As you could assume, the cost to maintain a luxury vehicle will be more expensive than a standard car. It’s harder to find specialized parts, routine care is more complicated, and luxury vehicles require higher-grade materials. In some cases, you may need to go to a specialized mechanic.
Cost of Maintenance for Luxury Cars vs Standard
Even routine maintenance on luxury car models can be extremely expensive. For instance, an oil change on a Bugatti can cost between $20,000 – $25,000. Even a less expensive luxury car, like an Audi, will run about $143 – $170. For a standard car like a Toyota Camry, the average oil change is between $68-$94.
Different car brands have different maintenance expenses. On average, here are the ten-year maintenance costs for luxury car brands down for standard car brands:
As you can see, the cost of maintaining a luxury car is not always as high as you might think.
We can’t deny that owning a luxury car is more expensive than a standard vehicle, but that simply comes with the territory. Depending on the luxury car model you choose, it’s not that much more expensive – considering you get much better performance along with the other benefits of owning a luxury vehicle.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what you’re willing to spend to keep your car in good condition.
Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to be proactive about your car’s maintenance. By staying on top of things, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come.
As we mentioned before, a big part of preventative maintenance is getting your car detailed regularly. If you’d like to schedule an auto detail, Big’s Mobile Detailing is ready to serve you. We offer a wide range of solutions to keep your car looking its best, inside and out.
Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
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