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According to RepairPal, Volkswagen maintenance costs are about $676 per year on average, which is only a few dollars higher than the industry average. However, Volkswagen's 2021 models show improved maintenance costs according to a recent Vincentric study. We'll take a closer look at Volkswagen maintenance costs in this article.

In addition to regular maintenance, you can expect to perform repairs on your Volkswagen after the factory warranty expires and as the car gets older. We’ve reviewed a number of the best extended car warranty companies and settled on a handful of recommendations. Our top picks all have great customer service ratings and industry reputations.

 

In this article:

Volkswagen Free And Prepaid Maintenance

In 2020, Volkswagen shortened its factory warranty to 4 years/50,000 miles from 6 years/72,000 miles. At the same time, it started the Carefree Maintenance program, which covers maintenance for two years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. That means you don't pay for scheduled services at the 10,000-mile and 20,000-mile marks. This goes a long way to reducing maintenance costs for new models.

After that time is up, drivers then have the opportunity to purchase prepaid maintenance packages from the Volkswagen Care program. Here’s what they look like:

Plan

Details

Volkswagen Care Basic (up to 2019 vehicles)

Provides services at 10,000 and 20,000 miles

Volkswagen Care Extra

Provides service at 30,000 miles

Volkswagen Care Packages 1–5

5 different packages provide services from 30,000 to 80,000 miles

 

Because Carefree Maintenance covers the first two services for vehicles beginning in 2020, the first prepaid plan, Care Basic, is only applicable to vehicles up to the model year 2019.

The basic idea behind prepaid maintenance is you can save a little bit of money on dealership services by paying for them in advance. With Volkswagen, you might want to go to the dealer for maintenance, but you can also find competent European auto shops that could do the work for less. You’ll just have to decide if paying for maintenance ahead of time is worth it for the convenience.


How Much Does Volkswagen Maintenance Cost?

According to RepairPal, the annual Volkswagen maintenance cost is $676, or about $56 per month. But with all repair prices, your cost will vary depending on where you live, the make and model of your vehicle, and the engine type. As we mentioned above, 2021 Volkswagen models are showing lower maintenance costs than in past years.

General Volkswagen Maintenance Cost

Standard maintenance items are pretty similar across different car brands. They include things like changing the oil, rotating the tires, and replacing things that wear out on a regular basis. Below are some common maintenance costs that you can find with Volkswagen vehicles (via RepairPal):

Maintenance Item

Cost

Oil change

$128 to $154

Tire rotation

$58 to $74

Spark plugs

$184 to $252

Cabin air filter

$64 to $108

 

With Volkswagen's free maintenance program, items like oil changes and air filters are covered during the first two years of ownership. (Spark plugs last much longer than two years, so they aren't covered under free maintenance). 

One thing that contributes to Volkswagen’s maintenance cost is the company often uses parts that require specialized tools to remove. Not every auto shop that you pass on the street could work on a Volkswagen, or at least in a timely and skilled manner. As with any kind of specialization in the marketplace, you're paying for skills and tools that are beyond what most mass-market cars require. 


2021 Volkswagen Maintenance Cost

In the past, Volkswagen wasn't necessarily known for having cheap maintenance costs. However, many of the 2021 models have beat out similar models by Asian brands according to a study by Vincentric. Here's what the study found.

  • The 2021 Jetta ranks for lowest cost of maintenance compared to other compact sedans.
  • The 2021 Passat and Arteon have lower maintenance costs than similar midsize sedans by Toyota, Honda, or Hyundai.
  • The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport has the lowest maintenance costs of the midsize SUV category.
  • The 2021 Tiguan has lower maintenance costs than other compact SUVs by Honda, Toyota, and Subaru.

From this study, it's clear Volkswagen has made improvements in its service schedule and maintenance requirements. 


Used Volkswagen Maintenance Cost

Not everyone buys a new car, so what would you pay if you bought a used Volkswagen outside of the free maintenance window? Going from RepairPal's average annual cost, you may pay $3,400 over a 5-year period. This number includes both scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs.

Again, maintenance costs can vary widely depending on how you drive your vehicle. If you keep your car well-maintained, may pay less than that. On the other hand, if you regularly push your Golf GTI to the limit, you may end up putting more money into it over that period.


Volkswagen Repair Costs

Repair costs are really where things can start to get tricky. The frequency and severity of repairs are, of course, dependent upon how you drive and how you maintain your vehicle. But even the most conservative driver is going to come across expensive repairs now and then. Here are a few examples, with data from RepairPal.

Repair 

Cost

Volkswagen Jetta head gasket replacement

$926 to $1,218

Volkswagen Jetta strut bearing replacement

$233 to $285

Volkswagen Golf oil pump replacement

$465 to $643

Volkswagen Golf window switch replacement

$144 to $213

Volkswagen Passat ignition coil replacement

$295 to $638 

Volkswagen Passat timing belt replacement

$698 to $840

 

Volkswagen Maintenance Costs Comparison By Model

Volkswagen has a particular reputation as a brand, but it’s also important to look a little deeper. Each model will have its own average repair costs – even down to the specific year and exact car. Now, we won’t get that detailed, but let's look at the average cost of maintenance and repairs by model (data from RepairPal).

Volkswagen Model

Annual Repair Costs

Jetta

$609

Beetle

$612

Golf

$630

Passat

$639

Tiguan

$730

CC

$880

 

We can see that the Jetta, Golf, Beetle, and Passat have generally similar annual repair costs. The costs are still higher than many other brands at this level. Repair costs go up more for the Tiguan, but so does the starting sale price. These numbers are based on 2019 data and don't take free maintenance into account.


Comparing Volkswagen Maintenance Cost To Other Brands

There are about 30 different auto manufacturers on the market in the U.S. If you’re looking for a new car, you’re probably not considering all 30, but it’s definitely good to look at a few different brands. To that end, let's see how Volkswagen maintenance costs stack up against different car maintenance costs by brand (data from RepairPal).

Brand

Annual Repair Costs

Honda

$428

Toyota

$441

Subaru

$617

Volkswagen

$676

Volvo

$769

Audi

$987

 

Where To Take Your Volkswagen For Repairs

We mentioned above that you can’t take your Volkswagen to any old shop. So, where can you take it? You have two choices: the dealer or a European/import auto shop. The main thing is to find a shop that has experience with Volkswagens. A quick search online for “Volkswagen repair” will show you a number of shops in your area. Read reviews and also look for certifications as you search.


How Do Extended Warranties Help With Costs?

When you're shopping for a car, it's easy to just look at the sticker price and forget about everything else that comes along with it.

Extended service contracts, commonly called extended warranties, can help with breakdown and repair costs. You can usually choose the level of coverage you want – whether you want to cover the car bumper to bumper, just the powertrain, or a level in between.

For example, instead of paying $1,200 for a head gasket replacement on your Jetta, you could just pay a small deductible – usually $0 to $100. Some drivers are able to save for those types of repairs, but others aren’t. An extended car warranty for a Volkswagen can help you keep your monthly budget even when repairs like these come up.


Our Top Picks For Extended Warranties

There are dozens of companies to choose from, but there are definitely a few that rise to the top of the list. Here are a few things that you can find with the top providers:

  • Wide range of plans that can cover vehicles up to 250,000 miles
  • Extra perks like roadside assistance, trip interruption, and rental car benefits
  • Coverage that can be added on at any time
  • Repair shop paid directly by the warranty company
  • Choice of any certified repair shop – including dealerships

Signing a warranty contract is a big decision, and the best companies will walk you through it slowly and give you time to ask questions. Find out what plans are available to you and compare quotes from our recommended providers below.

 

FAQ: Volkswagen Maintenance Cost

Is Volkswagen Maintenance Expensive?

According to RepairPal, Volkswagen maintenance costs are only slightly more expensive than average. New 2021 model vehicles are less expensive to maintain than similar models from other brands, as well.

Is Volkswagen high maintenance?

Volkswagen owners visit the repair shop slightly more often than the industry average according to RepairPal. However, that may change with recent improvements Volkswagen has made to its 2021 vehicles.

Are Volkswagens Reliable?

Volkswagens are about as reliable as the average consumer car on the market. You can expect to perform routine maintenance about every six months. You may experience a breakdown or two after the car has 100,000 miles, as well. 

How much does VW care cost?

VW care costs between $149 and $719 depending on your vehicle and whether you want Volkswagen Care or Volkswagen Care Plus. You may also find different prices from your local dealer.


Methodology

In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
  • Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.
 

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