How much does a car service cost?

This article aims to provide you a rough estimate of car service cost in Australia. A number of factors were taken into consideration: vehicle types and models, geographical location, type of services and the distance travelled.

The data is sourced from Oneflare customer profiles as well as the manufacturers. The average reported cost for hiring a mechanic is:

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT): $200-$250
  • New South Wales (NSW): $160-$240
  • Northern Territory: $550 – $190
  • Queensland: $188 – $270
  • South Australia: $139 – $190
  • Tasmania: $220 – $320
  • Victoria: $189 – $245
  • Western Australia: $185 – $250  

How does car types and models affect car service cost?

The cost of the servicing your car will depend largely on the model and make of your vehicle. This is because certain cars require special spare part replacements, different kinds of engine oils and transmission fluids, and have specific requirements when it comes down to the scheduled servicing process.

The automotive industry has taken great strides to introduce transparency into the transactions involving car serving and repairs. Car owners often had to puzzle out all the repairs and service charged added into the final bill, and had to fork out a considerable amount of money at the end of every service visit.

Auto manufacturers have now introduced a number of programs that help control the expenses involved in order to save their industry. One such program the capped price and menu-based servicing; this program seeks to help you avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the servicing when they’re presented with the bill.

Why is it useful for determining the service cost of your vehicle?

The cost may vary vehicles to vehicles but you can find out how much they exactly cost before the purchase. You can also avoid unexpected charges because the service provider explains all of the charges at the beginning and this cost is often fixed or proportionate.

This ensures you know exactly how much you need to pay in order to keep your car in working condition and ensure all its components are well-maintained. This adds a lot of transparency to the entire process. As the costs are explained and capped in advance, you don’t need to hesitate to get your car to your mechanic for scheduled servicing and worry about the cost.

Be sure to read all of the fine print included in the process to understand what’s involved to avoid unexpected charges or surprises. Some repairs and services are only provided when they’re within the warranty period. The warranty information varies by car types and models.

Here are some general information on car warranty:

  • Lifetime – Holden, Ford, Hyundai, and Mazda
  • More than five years – Kia, Nissan. Skoda, Volkswagen, and Citroen
  • Five years –Peugeot, Suzuki, Honda, BMW, HSV, Porsche, Jaguar, and Volvo
  • Four years – Mitsubishi and Toyota
  • Three years – Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Isuzu, Opel, Audi, HSV, and Toyota

Where are you located?

Location matters because mechanics and service providers will charge differently. This is because they need to earn more money to run the business and sustain their lifestyle in some cities compared to others. While the averaged reported cost will give you some idea of what kind of expenses you should expect, you will still need to contact service providers actively working in areas.

Most service providers will provide estimates before you hire them for the job so you can know exactly what to expect from the final bill. There will be differences in price even if you’re covered by the car manufacturer and have a capped servicing arrangement.

What type of car services do you need?

Car servicing can involve a number of repairs and processes and you don’t always need to get all of them in order to keep your vehicle in good condition. As a car owner, it’s a good idea to become aware of the different kinds of services involve so you can make the right decision and understand what kind of repairs your vehicle might need. Here’s a brief introduction to what you need to know about the services your vehicle will need:

Major car services–Major car services usually involve a full tune up of your vehicle and the service provider will carefully inspect all aspects of it to ensure all components are working as they’re supposed. Most of the major car servicing plans will include:

  • engine oil testing and replacement
  • filters testing and replacement
  • spark plugs repair and replacement
  • brakes inspection
  • flush and change of fluids in the car
  • road test, safety inspection
  • battery test, general checks, and other such services

Minor car services– Minor services usually involve surface inspections and small repairs like checking the car tires and filling them with air, replacing the fluid in the radiator, and other such services. These minor repairs and services are usually included in long-term service contracts so you won’t need to pay any money for it. Minor services don’t require replacing spare parts, special tools, or time-consuming repairs, which is why there’s quick and affordable.

Dealership vs. private mechanics – This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to repairs and servicing. Dealerships often attempt to convince vehicle owners that getting their cars serviced and repaired at local garages can void the warranty, but that’s not true. As long as you get your car serviced by a licensed and certified technician, you shouldn’t have any problems with the warranty. However, dealership repairs can also be quite affordable thanks to capped price programs. The repairs and servicing at a dealership is subsidised by the manufacturers under the capped programs so getting your car served by the dealership is almost as affordable a private garage.

How many kilometres have you travelled?

The older your car is, the more expensive it is to maintain so you can expect the service charges to rise based on the number of additional kilometres you’ve travelled in it. The list below illustrates how much you’ll have to pay for a two-year old vehicle based on the nmber of kilometres travelled. This should give you some idea about the amount you will have to spend in order to maintain your vehicle:

Hatchback (Holden Barina/Ford Fiesta WT)

  • 15,000 kms – $225 / $275
  • 60,000 kms – $930 / $375
  • 150,000 kms – $586 / $275
  • 255,000 kms – $348 / $275
  • 360,000 kms – $1,643/ $375
  • 390,000 kms – $783 / $275

Sedan (Holden Commodore Acclaim / Ford Focus LT / Toyota Camry Sedan)

  • 15,000 kms – $275 / $270 / $166
  • 60,000 kms – $345 / $480 / $262
  • 150,000 kms – $474 / $270 / $604
  • 255,000 kms – $338 / $270
  • 360,000 kms – $976 / $480
  • 390,000 kms – $554 / $270

4WD – (Holden Trax / Ford Territory)

  • 15,000 kms – $286 / $280
  • 60,000 kms – $423 / $280
  • 150,000 kms – $649 / $435
  • 255,000 kms – $399 / $280
  • 360,000 kms – $954 / $415
  • 390,000 kms – $512 / $280

The prices change and fluctuate with market conditions and can vary from company to company so it’s important to get the latest price list from your dealership or local garage. That will give you a good idea of what kind of expenses you can expect for your car servicing. You can expect the highest priced services at 60,000, 120,000, 180,000, 240,000, 300,000, and 360,000 kilometres.

The top 10 Popular car service cost

Here’s a brief look at the costs you can expect from the top 10 manufacturers:

  • Toyota servicing cost – $140 Toyota was the first to recognise the problem of servicing costs and introduce a good fixed price program. Based on the car you purchase and the years of ownership, the annual service cost can range from $280 and $720.
  • Mazda servicing cost– $296 – $387 Owners of Mazda cars simply need to go to the website, type the VIN number and the website will tell you exactly how much you need to spend on the service.
  • Holden capped price servicing cost$239 -$299 It is applicable to every vehicle that was ever sold in Australia so regardless of Holden model you own, you can apply for the servicing subsidy and check the service cost on their website.
  • Hyundai servicing cost $189- $500 – This company offers lifetime capped price service programs and provides the ability to prepay your maintenance costs or pay it in monthly installments to lessen the financial burden of the service.
  • Mitsubishi servicing cost $230-$600 – This company offers capped price services for the first five years, after which you need to pay for the service out of your own pocket.
  • Ford servicing cost$255-$365 Ford offers a Service Price Promise and will allow you to calculate service costs on their online platform. The price quotes by this calculator is valid for 30 days and you won’t have to pay anything over that amount.
  • Nissan servicing cost$262-$517 This manufacturer offers Service Certainty program for six years of ownership but it doesn’t cover brake fluid. The price certainty isn’t conditional upon whether you get annual servicing done so you will receive the concessions even if you haven’t serviced your car in the past.
  • Volkswagen servicing cost$405 VW offers service concessions similar to Nissan so you have a capped price for all cars sold for the first six services, which usually amounts to the first six years of ownership.
  • Subaru servicing cost$299-$528 The capped price program covers the first 75,000kms for all cars except the BRZ range. For the latter, you’re only covered for 60,000kms.
  • Honda servicing cost$259 -$297 Honda’s website provides a base price cap for the first five years of servicing. You can add prices for other repairs and service required like dust filters, spark plugs, etc.

All popular car manufacturing brands in Australia offer some capped price servicing program and the prices vary from one brand to the next. For a more detailed assessment, it’s recommended to visit the manufacturer’s websites to get more information.