5 Reasons luxury cars expensive to maintain

After their home, the most expensive item most Americans own is their car. The average American spends 5% of his or her income on a car. 

Another 5% is allocated to ongoing maintenance and insurance costs.But not every car costs the same to keep it running.

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And different cars have varying risks of leaving their drivers suddenly not driving any car.

Are you thinking about buying a Luxury car?

Nowadays, there are many things to consider and make sure of before purchasing a luxury car. Luxury cars are expensive to buy, Plus they are often most expensive to maintain.I

In this blog post, we let you know 5 reasons why luxury car maintenance is expensive.

So, what makes luxury cars expensive to maintain?

luxury cars expensive to maintain

Luxury cars use higher grade materials

Luxury Cars cost more to maintain because they have a smaller batch size and with a same fixed cost (for simplicity) your cost/vehicle will be higher. In addition luxury cars use higher grade materials thus that adds to the cost.

For your specific example, Mercedes Benz BMW,  and Audi these cars by and large are manufactured in Germany.

These OEMs have some of the highest labour costs in the automotive world. 

Furthermore, some of the more expensive manufacturing processes are on these high-end vehicles, which in turn costs more to repair (part cost, repairs ,disassembly, etc).

  1. Higher cost to produce because of more expensive parts
    1. Some parts are just made of better materials (premium leather, wood, and other quality materials)
    2. Some parts are produced in lower volumes
  2. Higher cost to produce because of more labor involved – more complex assembly plus better quality control
  3. Pricing of premium cars is value based pricing rather than cost plus pricing
  4. Veblen effect. The high price in and of itself makes some premium cars more desirable.

Key takeaways:

Luxury cars such as Mercedes ,BMWs, are the most expensive and Toyotas & Hondas are the most cost efficient.

Driving style also affects car maintenance costs.

According to the research done by YourMechanic, these are the most expensive car brands to maintain over years:

  • BMW.
  • Mercedes-Benz.
  • Cadillac.
  • Volvo.
  • Audi.

Higher Insurance cost

The cost of maintenance of a luxury car is more than the cost to maintain a standard intermediary. 

If you have a luxury car or an exotic car , then its insurance cost will never be less. 

Any kind of repair costs more for a model having hedonism.

Even a small fender bender can cost you more to repair. The luxury speed machines usually have massive engines. 

For that reason, they are highly performable but no so fuel-efficient.

That means the cost associated with gasoline is another factor that plays a key role in increasing the overall cost to maintain a car. 

Also read: Why Is Insurance Less Expensive on Newer Cars?

Get to know the Smart Ways to Insure a Car that can save you tons of money

Limited production Volumes

Luxury cars are more expensive because of their limited production volumes.

A lot of people believe that luxury cars cost more that regular cars because of their superior quality parts, their bigger and better options, because they’re made from more expensive materials, etc. This is only partially correct.

A natural leather seat cover, for example, does cost more than one made from cloth or vinyl…but it’s not as if the cost difference is extraordinary. 

Same goes for luxury features like heated seats and steering wheels, all glass roofs, etc.

The dirty little secret of the auto industry is that the costs of luxury options are typically incremental. In the words of industry expert and consultant Jim Hall (of 2953 Analytics):

“Automakers profit hugely [from luxury packages]…the incremental cost of adding the new materials and features is way short of what they can charge [for the upgrades].”

Cutting-edge technologies

There are a number of factors. Some of it is quality of materials.

Some of it is R&D for cutting edge safety and/or performance features, and yes, some of it is for marketing/brand cachet. 

Still more is for reliability/tolerances of parts and build, the number of hand-assembled bits, the number and degree of final inspections, etc.

Additionally, you have volume to consider. The economies of scale come into play. 

A company like Porsche very simply DOES NOT sell as many cars as Ford.

Ford can negotiate significantly better deals on parts, labor, and many other things, in addition to being able to spread their fixed costs over a significantly higher product sales base. 

In essence, the same reason why WalMart can sell you something for $4.99 where your local mom and pop store sells the same thing for $8.99, and may even make less profit on it.

Also read: Guide to Buying your First Used Luxury Car

Some parts may need to be Imported

The most expensive luxury imports are from Germany, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as the domestic luxury brand Cadillac.

Simply in terms of maintenance, a Honda or Ford  are about $10,000 less expensive over a ten-year period.

The majority of domestic brands, such as Ford and Dodge, are in the middle of the pack.

In general, What is the annual maintenance cost for any Luxury car

A luxury car can cost no more than a regular car to maintain under the warranty period.

Knowing the relative maintenance costs of brands can be informative, but it’s also important to consider how car costs change with age. 

This chart looks at the median annual cost of maintenance across all brands.

The top 20 most expensive car models in terms of maintenance cost all require at least $11,000 to maintain over a 10-year period. 

These estimates include expensive one-time costs, such as transmission rebuilds, which raise the mean.

According to statistics and reports, Chrysler’s Sebring is the most expensive car to maintain, which is most likely one of the reasons Chrysler redesigned it in 2010.

German imports (such as the BMW 328i and Mercedes-Benz E350) as well as many luxury or full-sized models (such as the Audi A4 Quattro) are also quite expensive.

Many vehicles today only need their oil changed 2 to 3 times a year. And since it’s a luxury car we’re discussing.

If we say that their dealer is the one changing their oil. So, at roughly $ 100.00 a pop, that would be $ 300.00 per year. 

However, most other cars, if changed by their dealer as well, would cost roughly the same $ 300.00.

If you luxury car is out of warranty It is out it would start costing more.

Many of the interior items cost more than their “regular” car counterparts. 

And some of the exterior body on the luxury could be carbon fiber, so that definitely costs more.

The Regular Yearly service cost for a Benz will cost around $600-$700/annum.

The  other cost associated with a luxury car during the first 3 years that will be more is the insurance, and let’s say for Mercedes Benz  and the individual has good driving record, we’d just say a minimum of $ 1,200.00 more per year.

Some Luxury/Exotic cars Service costs annually

Let’s begin with the German cars:

BMW offers free maintenance for all its new vehicles for 4 years/50k miles. 

Audi & Mercedes have prepaid maintenance packages which you can buy from dealership.

Audi care plans are between $800–$1200 depending on the model, additional 4 year maintenance plan (plus plan) cost similar.

For Mercedes it ranges from $1200 – $2500 for 4 years depending on model, additional coverage varies per dealership and subject to negotiation.

Porsche prepaid maintenance for 4 years is $2000-3000 depending on the Model. 

All these packages include oil changes, filters and labor associated with routine maintenance, It doesn’t include cost of spares which has to be paid out of pocket. 

As per my experience with normal driving expect ~$200 per year on these vehicles in addition to the regular maintenance, for Porsche add a small premium ($300).

For Tesla, we pay around  $1450 ($1750 in Australia) for 3 years for a Model S which goes up to $2300 for 4 years, I believe its the same for Model X. 

Tesla provides power-tarin warranty for 8 years, you can buy service pack for additional 4 years for $4300 (after initial 4 years).

For  Range Rover the servicing costs around $1550 for 4 years ($2100 in Australia). 

The cost of packages for Diesel models is higher around $2400 for Range Rover. 

Moreover, there are additional packages for around $4500 which would cover everything including brakes and rotors (once).

Lexus offers 5 year packages for $1400–2200 range, though you can get it serviced way cheaper at a local garage or anyone providing service for Toyota as its exactly the same as a highlander (at half the price).

Similarly Lincoln can be serviced as local garage or Ford service (Average Service is $150 for a Lincoln without any packages, though they have come up with packages for $599-$899.

Some Exotic cars  Servicing Details:

 Maserati: $2499-$2799 for 4 years PPM on all models

Aston Martin: Fix price service at $1385 (V8 engines) and $1630 (V12 engine) per year (10,000 miles), fifth year service is $2250, plus spares

Bentley: Fixed price service at $4000 for first 2 years, $5000 next 2 years and $3600 every 2 years thereafter, plus any spares. GT models are $2200 extra.

Ferrari: $800 – $1200 per oil change, every 5000 miles everything extra!

Lamborghini: $2000-$2500 per service, everything extra

Rolls Royce: Service are inclusive but general maintenance costs around $5000 per year.

Also read: Should I buy a Tesla or a Mercedes?Things you need to consider to decide

How do you maintain your Luxury cars to be Looking fresh and new

You’ve accomplished it. You’ve invested in your ideal automobile.

Also Read: Best Luxury Car Air Fresheners for Women ( My Top Picks from Amazon)

Years of dedication, personal sacrifice, and daring risks in your personal and professional life have brought you here. 

Maintaining a new luxury car requires a bit more upfront work than maintaining a standard automobile, which is self-evident.

Additionally, it goes without saying that your dream will be dashed in an instant if your new investment fails to perform as expected or requires repair.

Here are seven tips for keeping your luxury car in top condition.

Also Read: How to retain my cars resale value? 7 Nifty Tips to consider

Regular Servicing of your Luxury car

Despite their beauty, luxury automobiles require more maintenance and servicing than standard vehicles.

With other automobiles and trucks, the common practise is to bring them in only as a last resort – after our patience with a problem has been strained to the breaking point. 

Conduct a thorough examination of the owner’s manual. 

This manual will provide you with the precise dates for your scheduled maintenance.

Replace the oil on a regular basis to keep your new baby running as smoothly as possible for as long as possible.

Vacuum the Seats & carpets

Vacuum the seats twice a week to keep them immaculate and beautiful. Additionally, vacuum the interiors—including the floor, doors, dash, and consoles—to maintain the vehicle’s luxury status. 

To clean the seating areas’ surfaces, use a leather cleaner in conjunction with a micro fiber cloth.

Because dirt and debris are a natural part of life, use the same leather cleaner with a bristle brush to remove them from your seat.

Here is my fav car vacuum cleaner that I use for my Mercedes.

After caring for your seats, it’s time to take care of the healthy (and jaw-dropping) appearance of your interior trim. 

Vacuum as necessary and switch to a non-abrasive cleaning product. Dry wipe the interior with a new micro fiber cloth to remove any streaks.

Regular Car washing :

Regular car washing is critical to maintaining the luxury status you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Whichever route you take, always remember to use a model-safe polish. 

It’s also a prudent investment to inspect the windscreen wipers during this process.

Replace them if they squeak or show visible signs of wear. 

When caring for your luxury car, try not to get carried away with the task of maintaining your dream.

Whether you use your car to demonstrate your wealth, display it in your driveway, or take it out for evening joyrides, maintaining the health of your baby on a regular basis is critical to ensuring it outlives you.

Ideally, you have 2 Options to wash your Luxury car Exteriors and the Interiors

  1. Get it manually cleaned by any Car Wash Companies around your local area
  2. You can clean your car at home.

My Partner & I do our Mercedes cleaning at home on the days I do not get  free time to go for a car wash outside Or I m a bit bored at home.

Here is the list of my fav products that I use to wash my Mercedes.

1. Wet or waterless car wash-This car wash kit features a powerful formula that provides a quick, easy and quick clean without water or soap.

2.VARSK 4-in-1 Car Vacuum Cleaner- 

It is a 4-in- 1 device with  vacuum cleaning and tire inflation in one portable machine.

Besides these two essential functions, digital tire pressure LCD display is easy for you to read, and built-in LED work light illuminates your surroundings to provide extra safety and security when operated in the dark.

If you are looking at a cheaper Vacuum cleaner  Thiswork Car Vaccum Cleaner – will be suitable for your budget.

It’s a Portable, High power and Hand held- This one is the cheaper version and

This is A mini vacuum for car or truck that is compact, lightweight (2.4 lbs), and easy to use.

The large dust bin capacity is ready for ash, dust, or drive-thru food spills.

A fully loaded interior car detailing kit housed in an ergonomic design.

3. Auto-fiber [Scrub Ninja Interior Scrubbing Cleaning Tool]

4. LUCKLYJONE 10Pcs Car Cleaning Tools Kit, Car Wash Tools Kit

5. Armor All Original Protectant Spray and Refill, Car Interior Cleaner with UV Protection 

Final Thoughts

It is true that they are made with better quality than ‘regular’ cars.

However, most of the over-the-top prices are due to three things:

1. High Engine quality & Power, engines can be very expensive especially when you enter the elite class of engines

2. Rarity & Exclusiveness of product combined with planning and research

Not many cars are built but millions go into the research and testing, so you can see where I’m going with this: the price of research is much more heavy with rare cars, as opposed to regular mass produced cars where the cost of research is spread over all the millions of cars produced.

3. Brand image. It’s the same with any apple products, for example; without that  half eaten apple, those products would be kind of worthless, but it only cost so much because of the brand image. For a Lamborghini, you’re paying for the image, not just the material.

About Author: James Haines

James Haines is an avid traveler across Australia (mostly on road trips) and a car specialist by occupation. The perfect combo for our cars for road trips

James is a motor mechanic and Luxe Car detailing expert based in Melbourne, Australia.

Know more about the Author

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