Here’s How Car Maintenance Costs Increase With Mileage

The more you drive your car, the more it costs to keep up and running. Besides just endless re-fueling, cars also burn through engine oil, brake pads, spark plugs, and timing belts, too. As your car racks up these miles it can fall victim to even more problems, like a bad starter motor, leaky radiator, or cracked engine mounts.

But how much does it cost to keep a car on the road? First things first— what kind of car you drive? Each of these cars are different, some being low-mileage weekend cruisers and others high-mileage daily workhorses. With this data, we’ve been able to make determinations about which cars have the highest and lowest maintenance costs as the miles go up and up. We’ve also figured out what kind of maintenance become more common over time.

To do this, we examined how much it costs to maintain a car from 0 to 25,000 miles, then compared that to how much it costs from 25,001 to 50,000 miles. We estimated maintenance costs by distance by taking total costs for each mileage category, then dividing it by the number of oil changes. Assuming oil changes occur every 5,000 miles, we can find the cost of maintenance per mile.

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