The cost of an oil change can vary depending on the type of vehicle you own, where you have the service performed, and the service provider you choose. But it’s important to know how often you need to change your oil and have an estimate of its cost in order to understand your true cost of vehicle ownership.
What is the average cost of an oil change?
The make, model, and year of your vehicle are factors that contribute to the cost of an oil change. For example, a compact car will be cheaper than an SUV because it requires less oil. Most cars require specific types of oil, which can also add to the cost.
As of May 2022, the average cost of an oil change based on six national franchises was $31.66 for the most basic service with no extra pints and $75.32 for the best service with no extra pints. You’re unlikely to get an oil change for less than $30.
Factors that affect the cost of an oil change
The cost of an oil change is not set in stone. Here’s how different factors affect what you’ll pay.
The type of vehicle you drive has the biggest impact on the price of an oil change. It is important to know the amount of oil used by your vehicle and the type recommended by the manufacturer before entering the workshop.
Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, may require more time and labor to complete the service. Be sure to ask the Service Advisor for any special pricing they may be offering. Some places offer discounts if you use their favorite oil or additional services.
The cost of an oil change also depends on your location. If you live in a more expensive part of the country, such as a major metropolitan area, you can expect to pay more than someone in an area with a lower cost of living.
The cost of an oil change can also vary depending on the service provider you choose. Many regions have dozens of service providers to choose from.
But don’t just compare the price when looking for which store to take your car to. It is also important to consider the reputation of the service provider you choose. If you are considering a discounted service, make sure it is from a reputable and trustworthy store.
When to change your oil
Changing your oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations is essential if you want your vehicle to continue to run smoothly. If you don’t, your car could work harder, causing excessive stress.
Although you may be tempted to save money by postponing the next oil change, you will pay more in the long run. But that doesn’t mean you should run every 3,000 miles. Newer cars have improved systems, which can last longer between oil changes. Check your owner’s manual for the specific number for your car.
Oil Service Supplements
Several additional services are offered in addition to the basic oil service. Many stores offer these services at a discount when you purchase them in combination with an oil change.
But the downside is that these add-ons add up. And there is no guarantee that you will receive a discount. Note that some add-ons are only available as part of a package and may not be offered as a standalone service.
This service is usually included in the oil change service package, but you may have to pay a small fee if you choose to get the sideways tire rotation service.
Cabin air filter change
Recommended replacement intervals for an air filter may vary by vehicle and manufacturer. Check yours before opting for this add-on.
Change engine air filter
Like the cabin air filter, the recommended replacement interval varies. Make sure you’re at a point where you need a new one before you choose to have it swapped out during your oil change.
Although you can replace your windshield wipers with an oil change, it may be cheaper to do it yourself. Make sure it’s discounted, otherwise this 15 minute task is probably worth doing yourself.
The bottom line
When comparing car maintenance costs, don’t just focus on the total cost of an oil change. Instead, look at the various costs and potential add-ons involved. And don’t forget to schedule your next oil change for when your car needs it. If you’re not sure, check your owner’s manual or ask your dealer.