Are VWs Expensive to Maintain?
When talking about how expensive (or inexpensive) a make or model is to repair or own, it’s important to look at the cost over time instead of looking at the cost of a single repair. While replacing the motor that powers your windows may cost more on a Volkswagen than a comparable domestic car, you might never have to replace that part of your VW.
So, how much does a VW cost to own and maintain over a period of 10 years? Obviously, this will depend on your driving habits and the climate you live and store your car in. But let’s look at some data.
Median Volkswagen Maintenance Cost
YourMechanic dug into data collected from their customers to find which cars tend to be the most expensive and least expensive to maintain. They included 30 makes of cars, everything from BMW to Toyota, and ranked the average cost of maintenance over the first 10 years of the car’s life, including twice-yearly oil changes.
Volkswagen came in at #22, costing an average of $7,800 in maintenance over the course of the car’s first decade. This is less expensive than Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep, and Kia. It’s less than $600 more than vehicles from Nissan, Mazda, and Honda.
Do You Have to Take Your Volkswagen to a Dealership for Service?
No. Even if your car is under warranty, you don’t have to take it to the dealership you bought it from (or any dealership) for maintenance. In fact, dealerships can’t legally force you to bring your vehicle to a specific dealership to keep your warranty valid.
You can take your VW to any dealership or European repair shop for service, even if it’s under warranty. Just be sure to document every repair and oil change and keep your receipts. If Volkswagen ever raises questions about the validity of a repair made while your vehicle is under warranty, you’ll be glad you kept proof!
Where to take a VW for Repairs
To save some money and ensure your repairs are done correctly, you’ll want to look for a repair shop that specializes in European vehicles.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Independently-owned repair shops can obtain genuine OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for less than dealerships.
- Mechanics at import repair shops specialize are likely more experienced at servicing Volkswagens than mechanics at dealerships. An experienced mechanic is invaluable!
- The personalized service you’ll get at an independently-owned repair shop can’t be matched by a dealership.