Audi vs Vauxhall vs Seat: which costs the most to maintain?

Stephen Wright, 2 years ago

10 min read

  • Advice
  • cost
  • which
  • Audi
  • Vauxhall
  • SEAT
  • Seat

WhoCanFixMyCar reviews the maintenance costs of three of the most popular family cars - Audi A3, Vauxhall Astra and the Seat Leon

But when it comes to choosing the right car for you, one of the questions you will want answering is how much they will cost to run once you’ve driven them off the forecourt.

We thought we’d look under the bonnet and see for ourselves.

The Audi A3 is the most expensive on average 

When considering all job types, the Audi A3 comes out the most expensive on average with an average cost of £207.18 for all service and repair work. This makes it 11% more expensive to maintain than the Vauxhall Astra (£184.15) and the Seat Leon (£183.60).

But to understand why they stack up this way, we have dived deeper into the WhoCanFixMyCar data to reveal what jobs are impacting these price differences.

Steering and suspension is where it adds up for Audi

To investigate why there is such a significant difference, we firstly analysed the costs of routine maintenance (brakes and exhausts, electrical and batteries, servicing and MOT and steering and suspension) for all three cars.

Brakes and exhausts as well as steering and suspension costs have the biggest price difference between the Audi A3 and the other two brands.

The Audi A3 is nine per cent more expensive than the Seat Leon for brake and exhaust repair and 15 per cent more expensive than the Astra.

When it comes to steering and suspension, the Audi A3 (£204.84) is 16 per cent more expensive than the Seat Leon (£172.80) and 23 per cent more expensive than the Astra (£157.64).

The Vauxhall Astra (£164.39) tops the pile for electrical and batteries at 17 per cent more expensive than the Audi A3 (£136.86) and 24 per cent more expensive than the Leon (£125.64).

Analysing non-routine repairs

When analysing repairs that are non-routine (typically costlier repairs), the Audi A3 tends to be a lot closer cost wise to both the Seat Leon and the Vauxhall Astra

For instance, the cost of clutch and gearbox repairs for the Audi A3 is only 0.47 per cent more expensive compared to the Vauxhall Astra and for security, locking and keys it’s only 2.8 per cent more.

The Seat Leon comes in cheapest on the clutch and gearbox repairs (£423.18) but most expensive for bodywork (£388.22).

The Audi A3 is consistently more expensive over time

When looking at the maintenance costs of each car over a period of time for every category, the Audi A3 is consistently the most expensive to repair and service.

Surprisingly, the Seat Leon dips significantly in maintenance costs in its ninth year whereas the other two are the most expensive to maintain at this age, especially Audi when it comes to bodywork and repairs

Interestingly, when the costs of steering and suspension are considered, the Audi A3 is 50.85 per cent more expensive than the Seat Leon. Food for thought as they say.

So, which of the three models is the most expensive to maintain?

It will come as little surprise when we tell you that the Audi A3 is the most expensive car to maintain. So, if you are considering buying an Audi A3, Seat Leon or Vauxhall Astra, remember to factor in the cost of maintenance, as it is an unavoidable expense you will.

Fact File

The most expensive routine repair or service for each car is:

Audi A3 (Steering and Suspension) - £204.84

Seat Leon (Steering and Suspension) – £172.80

Vauxhall Astra (Electrical and Batteries) - £164.39

The least expensive routine repair or service for each car is:

Vauxhall Astra (Servicing and MOT) - £130.74

Audi A3 (Electrical and Batteries) - £136.86

Seat Leon (Electrical and Batteries) - £125.64

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