What is an Average Repair Cost?

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Car maintenance costs and repairs can range in price from the cash in your wallet to a good chunk of the savings in your retirement account
  • Car insurance doesn’t usually cover repairs that result from normal wear and tear, which is why it’s so important to plan in advance for regular maintenance
  • The right insurance policy can provide coverage for various types of damage

Whether you’re on your way to work or heading out for an epic road trip, your four-wheels help you get where you’re going. But over time, the cost of having a car can add up, cutting fun excursions off your itinerary. Besides the payments on your monthly auto loan and auto insurance, there’s gas, tolls, and of course, the cost of any necessary repairs and maintenance costs.

As part of your financial planning, it’s normal to wonder, how much are car repairs? Does car insurance cover repairs or do I need car repair insurance?

In this short guide, we’ll go over the average auto repair cost and the best way to prepare for anything that goes wrong with your vehicle.

Most Common Repairs

It goes without saying that a minor scratch costs less to repair than a major engine failure.

Car maintenance costs and repairs can range in price from the cash in your wallet to a good chunk of the savings in your retirement account. But without looking at extreme cases, it’s helpful to get a sense of the most common car repairs and their price tag.

Areas you’ll eventually need to service as an auto owner include:

  • Wheel alignment – Does your car seem to pull to one side when you drive in a straight line? You could have an issue with your alignment. Another telltale sign is uneven wear on the wheels. If you think only one set of tires is misaligned, you could have it fixed for as little as $50. But an all-wheel alignment can lengthen your tires’ lifespan while setting you back just $150-$200.
  • Battery – Needing your battery jumped once is bad enough. But if it keeps dying even after a charge, you’ll likely need a battery replacement. Depending on your car’s make and model, the cost could range from $45-$250.1
  • Radiator – Your car radiator isn’t there to keep you warm—instead, it ensures your engine stays cool. While the average cost for this repair is in the $700 range, it can be much higher or lower for some makes and models.
  • Transmission – Your transmission is a complicated and essential part of your vehicle, helping it stay in the correct gear. Accordingly, there are all kinds of potential repairs, from simple maintenance to total rebuilds. While a new clutch could be as little as $800, you could end up paying $4,000 or more for a full transmission replacement.2 Transmission issues can be one of the most expensive car repairs.
  • Brakes – Like your transmission, your brakes could fall victim to a variety of issues. Replacing worn-down brake pads costs about $150 (per pad). On the other hand, replacing the pads and rotors could cost twice that much—or more.
  • Air conditioning – Getting hot on your long summer drivers? While an AC recharge could clock in around $150, an AC replacement costs $2,500 on average.3
  • Scratches – Besides the issues that affect your car’s mechanics, there’s a whole range of problems that can mar the exterior paint. How much will a scratch set you back? It depends on whether it can simply be repainted, or if a whole panel needs to be replaced. Accordingly, the price can range from $300-$1,000.

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Factors That Affect Cost

While average car repair costs are a great place to start, it’s important to know that yours could vary considerably.

We’ve noted that some cars are much more expensive to repair. Which ones?

  • Pricey cars – It’s more expensive to repair an Audi than a Honda Accord. Why? More expensive luxury cars are typically made of more costly parts. When it comes time to replace them, you’ll pay a premium for materials. Make sure you know the cheapest cars to repair before you sign a lease!
  • Antiques – If your car has reached vintage status, it could be difficult to find the right replacement parts. In fact, a repair shop might need to fabricate a new panel to fix a major dent or scratch. This can add to the cost.
  • Cars in expensive areas – In addition to parts, you pay for labor. If mechanics can charge more in your city and state, you’ll pay more for your total repair.

How 4AutoInsuranceQuote Can Keep Your Car Costs Down

Car insurance doesn’t usually cover repairs that result from normal wear and tear. That’s why it’s so important to plan in advance for regular maintenance, from oil changes to tire alignment to new brake pads.

However, that doesn’t mean your car costs are set in stone. The right insurance policy can provide coverage for damage arising from collisions, natural disasters, vandalism, and a variety of other circumstances. And when there are fewer unexpected expenses, it’s that much easier to keep your car in good working order.

Want the best rate possible? Let us do the heavy lifting for you at 4AutoInsruanceQuotes.com. 

We’ll show you the best available rates in your area so that you save. Make the best choice based on your budget and needs. Then, drive off into the sunset with a new policy tucked in the glove compartment.


  1. Kelly Blue Book. Battery replacement prices. https://www.kbb.com/battery-replacement/
  2. Sun West Transmissions. How much does a transmission repair and replacement cost? https://sunwesttrans.com/transmission-repair-replacement-cost/
  3. ADS. Auto AC repair. https://automotivediagnosticspecialties.com/auto-ac-repair-cost/

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