When you’re in the market for a new or used Audi, you’ll eventually wonder what an Audi generally costs in maintenance. In this blog, we’ve done our absolute best to give you a complete rundown of the costs and what you can expect for different models and model years. Let’s start with a quick answer:
Audi have an average annual maintenance cost of $983 per year. This is much more expensive than the average $646 for all car brands and makes Audi the most expensive non-exotic car brand. Furthermore, Audi is more expensive than BMW ($968), Mercedes-Benz ($908), and Lincoln ($879).
However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below, we’ll start by looking at the annual maintenance cost of the most popular models and their corresponding model years. Furthermore, We’ll look at the eight most common service points and discuss what an Audi costs you in this regard. We’ll also compare the annual maintenance costs of an Audi to 25 other car brands and discuss why an Audi is considered cheap or expensive in maintenance. Read on!
Also read: How Many Miles Can An Audi Last? (10 Popular Models)
How Expensive Are Audi Models To Maintain?
First of all, we feel it’s essential to understand how much each model, and different model years, cost per year in terms of maintenance. For this, we’ve taken data from Repairpal. We’ve compiled this data in the table below.
In this table, it becomes clear we’ve been able to gather data on a wide selection of different Audis. We’ve included the sedans, SUVs, and sports versions of the sedans. In some cases, data from specific model years are not available. This is because certain Audis are pretty rare, and not enough data can be gathered to give reliable estimates.
However, with the information we have, we can conclude that Audi is an expensive brand to maintain across the board. For example, we see that most regular sedans (A3 and A4) have maintenance costs between $600 – $830. These costs are typically associated with larger SUVs, which is something to be aware of.
From there on, it doesn’t get any better. The SUVs (Q5 and Q7) have maintenance costs ranging from $730 all the way up to a staggering $1,300. We do understand that especially the Q7 is a large, luxury SUV. However, paying more than $1,000 in maintenance costs every year is definitely on the upper end of the scale.
Finally, things don’t get much better when we look at the S-versions of the Audi sedans. Again, high maintenance costs are to be expected here. Much like the M-series of BMW, the S-versions of the Audi sedans are focused on performance which means things break more quickly and are more expensive to replace. However, you’ll pay an average of $1,200 per year to maintain an S4 or S5, which is something to think about.
Are Parts And Services Expensive For An Audi?
Furthermore, it’s essential to discuss the average cost of general maintenance tasks. This way, you know what to expect from your Audi, and you’ll be able to see if specific maintenance is more expensive than others.
An oil change on an Audi will generally cost you $115 – $201. On average, an oil change costs $40 – $60 for conventional oil and $60 – 120 for full synthetic oil for a car. Therefore, Audi is more expensive than average. This mainly has to do with the fact that these cars will need synthetic oil and the fact that luxury cars will always pay more for relatively simple procedures.
Replacing the brake pads on Audi costs between $205 – $419 per axle. On average, brake pad replacement costs between $150 – $300 per axle. Therefore, most Audi costs are above average for this procedure. This is mainly because of the luxury aspect and the fact that Audi builds sizeable cars that need larger than average brake pads.
Replacing filters is also a task you’ll encounter from time to time. The fuel filter is generally the most expensive filter to replace. Replacing a fuel filter in an Audi costs between $140 – $715. However, we have to mention that some fuel filters on specific Audi don’t need to be replaced (or only after 100,000 miles), which is why the costs of doing so are so high. Replacing a cabin air filter is $63 – $102 and replacing an air filter is $54 – $124
Replacing a cabin air filter costs typically between $60 – $80, meaning Audi is average or slightly more expensive than average. Replacing the air filter costs usually $50 – $70, which means Audi is about average or slightly more expensive.
The average price to replace an Audi battery is between $261 – $485. On average, replacing a car battery costs between $120 – $240. This means that Audi is more expensive than average. This is because Audis are luxury cars that need larger batteries to power all the technology packed into them.
Another replacement that you’ll come across when owning a car is a timing belt replacement. Timing belts/chains need to be replaced around the 100,000 miles mark. Depending on the Audi you have, the car either uses a timing belt or timing chain. Expect to pay between $500 – $1,000 for a timing belt replacement and $1,000 – $1,500 for a timing chain.
Tire Rotation And Replacement
Replacing a set of tires on an Audi will cost $300 – $700. Audis are larger cars, to begin with, which means they require larger tires. On the lower end, you’ll pay $300 – $400 to replace a set of tires for the A3, whereas you will pay between $600 – $700 for a set of tires for the Q7.
Replacing a set of spark plugs costs between $148 – $386 per set for an Audi. On average, it costs $75 – $250 to replace a set of spark plugs. This means that replacing spark plugs on an Audi is more expensive than the average. However, this is because Audis typically have larger engines that require more durable, and therefore more expensive, spark plugs.
On average, it costs between $261 – $799 to replace a set of headlight bulbs on an Audi. On average, replacing headlight bulbs costs between $100 – $150 for a set. Audi is therefore much more expensive. However, this is because Audi uses halogen or HID lights (which are common in luxury vehicles). HID lights are much more powerful than regular halogen lights, but, therefore, they also cost more which is why the upper range of our estimate is so high.
Furthermore, luxury vehicle makers tend to make it incredibly difficult to replace the headlights for some reason, which also significantly drives up labor costs.
Is Audi More Or Less Expensive Compared To Other Brands?
Knowing everything we know now, it’s essential to have a final look at Audi as a brand. For this, we’ve compiled data from 24 other carmakers. The average annual maintenance costs of each carmaker are in the table below. By comparing all brands to each other, we understand how expensive a brand truly is in maintenance.
When we look at the data that we’ve gathered below, it becomes clear that Audi is at the bottom of the list by a long shot. In other words, Audi is the most expensive car brand to maintain when we don’t factor in exotic car brands.
However, it’s not completely fair to compare Audi to brands like Honda and Toyota. Therefore, we’ll have to see how Audi compares to brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lincoln. In doing so, we see that Audi is still quite a bit more expensive at $987 average annual maintenance costs. However, the difference is more negligible since BMW ($968), Mercedes-Benz ($908), and Lincoln ($879) have very high maintenance costs as well.
In the next subheading, we’ll discuss why Audi is so expensive compared to other brands and if their costs are justified.
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Why Is Audi So Expensive?
Finally, we’ll need to discuss the factors that differentiate the annual maintenance costs of Audi from the maintenance costs of the other carmakers in the market. There are two distinctions: Audi compared to the general market and Audi compared to its peers. Let’s have a look.
The Types Of Cars Audi Builds
First, we have to discuss the gigantic difference between Audi and brands like Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Dodge, Infiniti, Volkswagen, etc. That’s the fact that all these other car brands manufacture cars for the general public. Of course, there may be slight exceptions between these brands, but typically they focus on building affordable and reliable cars.
This means that these brands build their cars using reliable parts and technology. As a result, they don’t offer their drivers the best of the best. Instead, they offer them something reliable and high quality. The only exception here may be Infiniti. However, even Infiniti isn’t a genuine luxury brand but rather more like an upper-end brand compared to the performance and technology Audi offers.
Since Audi builds luxury cars, this also means they focus on performance and luxury and less so on affordability and reliability. As a result, if something in an Audi breaks, it’s challenging to replace, and it’s most likely also much more expensive to produce. Both of these factors drive up the maintenance costs immensely.
Reliability Compared To Its Peers
Then, there’s the comparison between Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lincoln. Even though all these brands are closer together in terms of maintenance costs, Audi is still more expensive than all of them; why is that? We believe part of it has to do with the brand’s reliability. Using data from Repairpal, we’ve gathered the average number of unexpected visits to a garage and the chance of the car having a severe problem while doing so. These are the results:
- Audis have to visit the garage 0.83 times per year for unexpected maintenance, with a 13% chance of the car having a severe problem.
- BMWs have to visit the garage 0.95 times per year for unexpected maintenance, with a 15% chance of the car having a severe problem.
- Mercedes-Benz have to visit the garage 0.73 times per year for unexpected maintenance, with a 13% chance of the car having a severe problem.
- Lincolns have to visit the garage 0.44 times per year for unexpected maintenance, with a 15% chance of the car having a severe problem.
Immediately, it becomes clear why Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz have annual maintenance costs that are quite a bit lower: they’re more reliable and end up in the garage less often.
Finally, we know that BMW and Audi have annual maintenance costs that are very similar to each other. However, BMWs statistics are worse than Audi so why is Audi still more expensive to maintain? That’s difficult to say; we guess it has to do with the fact that the repairs that Audis need to have end up being more expensive than the ones BMW needs, so that could explain the slight difference.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!