Are European Cars More Expensive to Maintain than Asian Cars?

I am looking into buy a used car and prefer to buy a European car namely a Peugeot, Skoda, Volkswagen or Renault.

However a couple of mechanics I have spoken to recently are telling not to buy European cars due to parts and servicing costs, time to get the parts etc. Is that really true?


  • +208



    • The thread didn't end?

      • +64

        Europeans in general are more expensive to maintain than Asians.
        The phenomenon isn't exclusive only to cars, but mail-order brides, husbands, and politicians too

        • -5

          What about the Americans? Don't they have MuStAnGs and Tesla?

        • +2

          not alowed to say but on newbies the warranty seems better!

      • +1

        No it didn't


    • +18

      Next question he will ask: Is water wet?

      • +25

        Technically, water itself is not wet.

        • +2

          Omg best thing I've seen today, thanks for sharing that!

      • -1

        Next question: are European women more expensive to maintain than Asian (in a relationship)?

    • +4

      OP's budget is $10-12k for those playing at home

      • +2

        Oh gees.

    • +7

      Jesus Christ OP. Listen to your mechanic/s.

      Forget 'Peugeot, Skoda, Volkswagen or Renault' … (AKA 'money sinks').

      Just do what all sensible peeps do these days, and buy the best Jap car you can get for your money.

      • +5

        Or Korean with 7 year warranty ;)

        • +3

          Mitsi is doing 10 year warranties now.

          • @Intoxicoligist: Drivetrain or whole car?

          • +1

            @Intoxicoligist: Mitsi 10 year warranty… must empty your wallet by servicing at the stealership to keep it valid. Rubbish.

            • @Techie4066: Isn't that illegal? I any warranty offered on a vehicle must remain valid regardless of where the owner takes it for servicing…

        • +2

          Ah, hello? Since you're mentioning new cars now, the Renault Koleos has very often been offered with a 7 year warranty, has capped price servicing and is made in South Korea. And that has been included in the past starting from $29,990.

          • +1

            @Techie4066: Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have an agreement to share the same platform (Nissan's).

      • +1

        Is OP a architect? I cant think why you would want a peugeot or skoda otherwise. Renault isnt common enough in Aus to be cheap to service. VW might be a win if its a new car with a decent warranty.

        Why not BMW/Merc? The servicing costs are high but at least you get a good euro experience.

        • Renault isnt common enough in Aus to be cheap to service

          It is the same cost to service at French/Renault mechanics, there's nothing that different under the skin to warrant higher pricing on standard maintenance.

          • +1

            @Techie4066: Standard maintenance sure, but parts availability is low enough to make it expensive if you need a rare bit.

            • @Intoxicoligist: That is true, however all common parts are readily available from the Melbourne warehouse in the case of Renault. That, along with parts supplies at each dealership and through specialist mechanics such as the one I go to.

    • +25

      What really shits me is OP went and got expert advice from the people who would be doing the task, then decided to discard that advice and come ask on an internet forum.
      Reality is he would be taking the cars to said mechanics to get work done, if they are reluctant to work on the car why would you not listen to them? It's not even always about the cost, there's less experience working with those vehicles vs working with common cars and that plays a massive role I diagnoses and cost…

      • +9

        Well what's so bad about that? As an anonymous member of the internet forum I appreciate the blind trust placed in me over some so called "qualified expert".

        So OP don't listen to these guys. Here's what you do. Get a second hand Peugeot souped up with an bolt-on turbo and body kit. That's where the value is. The flashier the wheels, the better. Higher mileage = more loved. Ignore any grinding noises. You cannot go wrong.

      • There's a good reason why these shitty car manufacturers still exist. there's an endless supply of dummies out there.

      • +1

        wtf? narrow view and minded is the best summary of your statement - never mind the assumption that the people OP spoke to were experts. The OP is seeking additional views on the matter, not what you think of their attempt to qualify information presented to them. /rant

        To OP - Be careful with any car you purchase, particularly with a small budget. The mechanics providing you with that advice may have skewed views given their experience. I own both German and Japanese vehicles and both have their pros and cons. My independent mechanic charges me the same price for oil changes for both my cars and I would think that is because the process is technically the same. Spare parts might perhaps have a longer delivery time, although that would be for parts that are uncommonly replaced, in general. A trained mechanic, given the time and experience (key words), should be able service/diagnose issues with any car, regardless of country of origin.

        Within your list, I might swing more towards a Renault because they may share some Nissan engineering (although I wouldn't say they are as good as Toyota).

        Find yourself a mechanic your trust and be good to your car (e.g. change your oil every 10k km - not this 15/30k km BS).

        • -2

          Oh wow, labelling me as narrow minded and narrow viewed while not actually paying attention to what OP has said:

          However a couple of mechanics I have spoken to recently …

          He stated he asked mechanics, and one would assume these are mechanics that he would be taking his car for repairs and servicing to, therefore if they are not familiar with said cars they will have to experiment and learn about the issues on OPs dime. As opposed to a more common car which they would have a knowledge about.

          OP has asked experts IRL and is now asking randoms online in a forum dedicated to "bargains" and not a car expert forum.

          Ultimately OP should buy a car he likes and wants, but he should also be informed about common issues of whichever car he goes for, he should get the said car inspected by a mechanic PRIOR to purchase, and hope for the best.

          I agree with what you have said and all is very good advice, I just don't get why you're having a go at my snarky comments. /rant

          • +1

            @OpayuOnam: A lot of Australian mechanics say a lot of things. They don't have the know-how and access to parts sources to know that mainstream Euro cars are just as reliable and can be more affordable maintained by people who know what they're doing, and successfully keep the car on the road for its lifetime.

            Everyone needs to get a second perspective by speaking to mechanics outside the usual cut-price servicing centres. There are so many enthusiast or specialist mechanics out there who are incredibly knowledgeable with specific brands and deserving of your cash.

            • @Techie4066: I stand by my words, if OP has seek advice from local mechanic who will be doing the work and he disregards their advice, he is waiting for a "I told you so" from the mechanic.
              As stated above, he will be paying for the mechanic to experience with his car as he doesn't know the common issues as he is not familiar with it.

              No one in this thread has told OP to go and seem advice from a specialist is euro car near you and ask about coming servicing items. That would be a reasonable response, but most of what I can see is anecdotal responses from one side or the other.

              If I ring my mechanic and ask him about a particular car and he gives me a meh response, I either skip the said car or find a new mechanic that knows the car.

            • +1

              @Techie4066: 100% and those specialist mechanics are the only ones qualified to make a judgement on whether a particular car is good or not.

              I would never take my Peugeot to the local corner mechanic or Kmart who have no clue. Nor would I pay any attention to the rubbish that comes out of their mouths, especially if the first thing they say is 'bloody French cars'. That says more about their lack of skill than anything, because modern French cars are not at all difficult to work on.

          • +1

            @OpayuOnam: aCtuAlLy, the OP has asked for confirmation - OzBargain citizens have delivered and you're simply responding with unnecessary commentary, exhibit A:

            What really shits me is OP went and got expert advice from the people who would be doing the task, then decided to discard that advice and come ask on an internet forum.

            Are we not allowed to ask questions anymore? <— this is rhetorical FYI. Perhaps if asking questions grinds your gears then maybe Ozbargain contributions aren't for you - i.e. posting public will attract speculation and criticism - as you know well.

            I'm very glad you concur with my first hand vehicle ownership experience. Peace duddde.

            • @balbags: We've got one of these "Are European cars good¿" questions asked almost on a monthly basis on this forum, and the conversations (as seen in this thread as well) really doesn't ad much value.
              Funnily enough the to comment of this very content chain is a joke response of:

              Yes. /thread

              I'm sorry if I've offended you in some manners was from your responses you seem a bit angry…
              Take it easy mate.

  • +1

    Not mechanically minded but this is the gist from what I've heard aswell - as far as my knowledge goes is how to change oil.

    Friends that had Saab / peugot tended to have a few issues flaring up here and there. They had trouble at the time finding the parts they had needed. Guess with Asian cars it is generally easier to find parts for.

    Asian cars certainly can have problems, my 2009 Mazda 3 TCM went which cost me a bit to replace but it was resolved quickly atleast.

    • Oh man, the Mazda 3 TCM, I had that go in my 07 model SP23 and geez, that was like $600-$700 to get fixed. Was a bit of a kick in the balls that one.

      • +7

        If you think that's a kick in the ball wait until you see the equivalent Europe part, plus cost of programming plus cost of labour 😂

        • Yeah, I won't ever own a euro. My daily is still that Mazda 3. Been considering replacing it with an new i30N.

        • I was about to say that. Also the roof liner bubbles. I now have a Skoda and in some ways service iand ownership is cheaper. Mazda and Honda are Japanese companies that want to charge like European car companies and Skoda is a European company that wants to be Japanese or Korean.

  • +7

    I am looking into buy a used car and prefer to buy a European car namely a Peugeot, Skoda, Voxwagon or Renault. However a couple of mechanics I have spoken to recently are telling not to buy European cars due to parts and servicing costs, time to get the parts etc. Is that really true?

    Basically yes. Even ignoring the fact that they are European, how many Peugeots do you see vs. how many Toyotas do you see. Which do you think it will be easier to get parts for?

    • -3

      Are you saying because we have more Toyota’s on the road vs, say a Peugeot (insert any other euro brand) that it’s easier to find parts and thus makes it cheaper?

      I’m trying to work out if you suggest causation or just correlation.

      • +3

        economies of scale. Plus more chance of accident write offs where a lot of the car is still good for used parts.

      • +2

        Of course. If you're a parts distributor, are you going to keep in stock the parts which are used by 500,000 cars or the one used by 500 cars?

        • +1

          lol, the dumb will say 500,000. The answer is the one that makes the most money.

          When I was a kid, I learnt early life ain't straight forward. The fruit shop dad owned sold 10x bananas as lychees. But so did every other fruit shop, so margins were razor thin, or even zilch sometimes. No one wants to sell expensive bananas because its the first thing people look at when deciding if they buy from you. But if they do buy from you, you can sell something exotic for some good profit.

          • +1

            @cloudy: …you just proved the point you are arguing against - rare things are more expensive to the consumer because there are fewer people that sell them.

  • +1

    I have never owned a European car but i think the general sentiment is they are

  • +4

    the answer is YES.
    and why do you prefer to buy european ?

    • They seem to be cheaper than Asian cars in the current market.

      • +52

        It's almost like there's a reason for that…

      • +10

        Supply and demand. They're cheaper because few people want to buy a used euro car. Especially not the brands you listed, yikes.

      • +1

        you know depreciation comes into play for this right ?

        and they depreciate for a reason.wonder… what that could be .. hm

        • -3

          Because Aussies haven't adopted them because of false preconceptions… Even though today's basic Euro cars priced fairly, and the luxury ultra-expensive cars with no competitors, beat all else after you experience driving them.

          • +4

            @Techie4066: Not false. Peugeot are just not reliable cars. Cost thousands to maintain annually. I'd never own one outside warranty.

            • -1

              @placard: Modern Peugeots are extremely reliable for Japanese and European standards.

              I know their early direct injection engines can get clogged, but it's been a learning process for every car brand. The Japanese and Koreans have mostly stuck with less responsive, less efficient naturally aspirated.

              Repair costs do cost more in Australia, that's just the unfortunate cost of small economies of scale and shipping parts from the European factory. This kind of situation makes it helpful to own a Korean-made Renault such as the Koleos or new Arkana, which are built to the same standard and have exactly the same parts as the Euro-built cars.

              Taking it to people with access to second hand or aftermarket parts sources, and the knowledge to service the car just as a mechanic would any other brand, is the way to go. There are multiple French car specialists in each of our capital cities.

              • +1

                @Techie4066: Re:

                'This kind of situation makes it helpful to own a Korean-made Renault such as the Koleos or new Arkana, which … (blah, blah, BS, etc.)'

                Mmmyeah, eff all that rubbish advice. Just buy a Jap car (a Toyota of some sort, I advise).

                • @GnarlyKnuckles:

                  Mmmyeah, eff all that rubbish advice. Just buy a Jap car (a Toyota of some sort, I advise).

                  So you mean to tell me you didn't know this stuff and you don't want to hear it. There is a constant stream of parts supplies from South Korea to Australia because other popular brands in the Australian market obviously require those parts. It's relatively cheap and quick to get genuine parts up to 10 years after a car is last produced. I'm sure your Toyota would bore you more than this.

            • +1

              @placard: Complete and utter rot.

              I bought my Peugeot used. Not cost me anything other than regular servicing.

              It is fuel efficient. It is a joy to drive. It looks fantastic. It is loaded with features that are only now making their way into Asian brands. It has been out of warranty for years, and it has tonnes of life left in it. 10/10, would buy again.

              It has a 6 speed Aisin transmission the same as that used by Toyota and a great engine which has been refined over many years. Use the correct oil, service on time. So tell me, what should I be expecting to go so catastrophically wrong?

              • @nubzy: Some people understand when they lucked out..

      • Owners… myself included realise how expensive they are to insure maintain.

        Next car, I'll just look at what is most popular….

  • +3

    What happened to the Suzuki you bought?

    • That's for my wife.

      • +2

        How is she going now days?

  • +5

    yes especially that voxwagon man

    • Voxy baby yeah!

  • +7

    It's actually not that expensive if you find a good mechanic and know how to find the right parts on ebay.

    • -3

      This is the correct answer. I own an Audi now and it is only about 30% more expensive for servicing/parts than the Toyota that I had before.

  • +3

    Just go and buy one and let us know how it goes.

  • +2

    Yes, speaking from experience.

    • +1

      also from experience, European cars seem fine elsewhere, except australia, i guess the aussie sun cooks the plastics ect
      parts are also more expensive here (although you'd think peugeot 30x or golfs are a dime a dozen)

    • +2

      Yes, also speaking from experience. far less reliable with worse longevity, more costly to maintain and especially fix. cheaper 2nd hand prices because of this.

  • +50

    I think I threw up in my mouth a little… There are European cars and then there are French cars… French cars are on a whoooooole other level…

    • +6

      Yep, agreed. I would even buy Lada before buying French car here

      • +1

        Lada are now part of Renault-Nissan, they are French cars.

        • Old Lada :-)

      • +3

        Having owned both, I'd go French any time of day

    • -5

      Complete rubbish. Quit living in the past.

      • +3

        Which past? Like from seven years ago, when one of the axles on four year old Peugeot broke and replacement cost was 13K?

        • -2

          So it was covered under ACL and you didn't pay a cent. Rare issues can happen with any car..

          • +2

            @nubzy: What ACL? Where do you live buddy, did you miss there are no lemon laws wrt cars in Australia?

            You forgot the guy who crowdsourced the mob to destroy and burn his jeep around the same time because… well he could not use ACL. Did you also miss the Ford's Powershit transmission saga for the past 5-6 years, and the fact they recalled Ford Focus after class action but refused to do the same for Mondeo although the same Mondeo is recalled overseas for transmission problems.

        • Peugeot has gone through so much change in the past 5 years, look at their cars now. They also often come out on top in reliability surveys.

          Same applies for recent Renaults.

          • +13


            They also often come out on top in reliability surveys.

            2020 What Car? Reliability survey;

            Citreon: 16th
            Peugeot: 25th
            Renault: 30th (only just beating out Land Rover in last place.)

            I cant supply the same info from JD Power, because in the USA, they don't even sell French shit boxes there. French shit boxes don't even rate as a mention on the Canstar Blue car reliability survey.

            As for Australian sales figures, the highest selling French shit box manufacturer (for June 2021) was Renault, who were out sold by companies like GWM, Haval, LDV and MG. Hell, SsangYong sold more vehicles that month than Peugeot and Citreon combined.

            If any French manufacturer made decent cars at a decent price with decent reliability and were good value for money, they would sell themselves. This is evident in the Chinese offerings. People hate Chinese cars, yet they sell hand over fist above French manufacturers. What does this tell you about French cars if people would rather buy/trust a cheap shit box Chinese brand like MG over a Renault, Peugeot or Citreon, it really tells you something about the quality of French cars.

            • -5

              @pegaxs: People buy Chinese because they are competitively priced. The problem with French cars in this country is the pricing and lack of support from the importer. The latter is not a problem, simply find a good independent. Modern French cars are in no way 'shit boxes', the build quality is extremely good, they drive beautifully and are packed with features. Chinese cars are the shit boxes, but they're cheap, so people buy. Of course you will continue trotting out your rubbish because you know the Ozbargain hivemind, majority who have never owned a French car or owned an old model plagued with issues, will upvote. In Europe modern Peugeot's are extremely well regarded, continue to win awards and are ranking right up there on reliability surveys. Attitudes are slowly changing in Australia too, motoring journalists are praising them for how far they have come. They are good cars, as much as you don't want to admit it.

              • +10


                People buy Chinese because they are competitively priced.

                Ok, explain how Porsche outsold Peugeot and Citreon? How about VW, BMW and Audi? They are expensive, are in the same/similar categories and waaaay outsell any French manufacturer… So it cant be a "price" issue.

                The problem with French cars in this country is the pricing and lack of support

                Over priced AND need lots of support. Questionable build quality compared to price. Poor reliability. Expensive parts. Slow parts ordering. Even non-stealership "specalists" are not cheap.

                Modern French cars are in no way 'shit boxes

                Above "reliability survey" paints a different picture… (and of the half of them that are reliable are made by or based on technology from Mitsubishi/Nissan. They literally had to ask the Japanese to help them sort their shit out.)

                the build quality is extremely good, they drive beautifully and are packed with features.

                Yet a shit box company like SAIC can churn out cars like the MG range that have questionable build quality, are uninspiring to drive and have almost no features and people would still prefer to drive them over a French car…

                Of course you will continue trotting out your rubbish

                It's only rubbish to you. I am one of those "independent mechanics" you tout as being the savior of all things French automotive, and even I refuse to book in French cars. For every owner that likes their French shit heap, I have 10 ex-owners that would be happy to disagree with you.

                In Europe modern Peugeot's are extremely well regarded… and are ranking right up there on reliability surveys.

                No they aren't. See the reliability survey above. I specifically scoured the internet looking for a Euro based study to give French cars the best chance they could to do well. Even in Europe, French cars are regarded as a joke.

                Attitudes are slowly changing in Australia too

                Again, see the latest sales results… Citroen sold 22 cars in June…. twenty two. That's less than 1 per day. Australia wide. Land Rover, the biggest shit boxes on the planet sold almost 4 times as many cars as Peugeot. I would say that Australia has just the attitude it needs to French cars. It hasn't changed from the past, and I doubt it will into the future.

                …motoring journalists are praising them for how far they have come.

                You do realise just how motoring journalism works in Australia, (and just about everywhere else in the world,) yeah? Manufacturers pay for advertising, expect to get good reviews. If a publication then gives them shit reviews, they stand to lose ad revenue and access to free loan vehicles.

                They are good cars, as much as you don't want to admit it.

                Why would I admit it? They are garbage. Reliability surveys and sales figures confirm this. No amount of your Stockholm Syndrome is going to convince me or the general consuming public that French cars are worth the dabble. Expensive compared to similar models/features. Poor reliability. Very poor resale value. Expensive to own/service/repair. Much better options in their price bracket. If you have BMW money, you're buying BMW. If you have Peugeot money, you're not buying the bottom of the range Peugeot, you're buying near the top of the range Hyundai/Kia or Toyota for that money.

            • @pegaxs: that a lot of people are tightarses and french havent invested in their distribution network.
              Also re: US, french / european cars are usually on the smaller side, americans like everything big, including their butts.
              re chinese cars, i see people mainly buy them for businesses and then just trash them

              as i said above, french euro cars just cant take the aussie climate, in addition the distribution issue

          • +1

            @Techie4066: Survey done in France?

            • +1

              @dr: these surveys (done in the UK btw) are notoriously arbitrary with unreliable sample sizes. i'll make a comment above in response with another "reputable" survey which is almost the complete inverse of the above survey, with Renault in the top 5 ahead of Nissan. additionally, the above comment fails to note that the survey quoted suggests minimal difference in reliability between the top brands, with Land Rover almost 10% behind Renault. See for yourselves in the table

              Fact is you'll have an imperceptible difference during car ownership these days, especially with Renault given they've moved on from unproven designs and more complex electrical systems.

              as i said above, french euro cars just cant take the aussie climate, in addition the distribution issue

              Categorically false. Renaults sold here are made across France, Spain, Turkey and South Korea, and are extremely popular in Southern European/Northern African countries such as Spain, Algeria and Turkey where they fare just fine. Same goes here in Australia.

              that a lot of people are tightarses and french havent invested in their distribution network.

              Shows you haven't done your research because Renault here is managed by ATECO, also managing RAM, Maserati and LDV.

    • I sometimes wonder why they even bother.
      And also Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep…

      Why are they still around?

      I’m assuming they are Zombie corporations kept alive by governments.

  • +1

    Against everyone’s opinion on Ozbargain, I had purchased a Renault Kangoo that was almost brand new (1000kms).

    Servicing was $350. First servicing they had to replace a seal in the gearbox or something like that. Had it done in 2 days under warranty and never had an issue with the car.

    Ended up selling the car $2k more than I bought it after driving it 45,000km.

    Pick the car you like, look up reviews online and see if anyone had issues waiting for parts.

    IMO obtaining parts was an issue 15 years ago and people still believe it to be the case. Renault now has production in Asia.

    In saying that, French cars have the lowest sales in Australia, so how long will they be around for is anyone’s guess.

    • +15

      Completely skewed use case, you are talking about the car you had under warranty that you sold with 45000km, I'd like to hear from your buyer few years later.

      • +1

        Sold to a car buyer and vehicle is gone to TAS and now selling $8k more than I paid for…insane

        • +3


          $10k more than what you paid for it almost new… Yeah, nah. Covid tax is crazy, but not for shit box French mini vans.

          And there is also a gaping chasm between "selling for" and "sold for".

        • OK, from their buyer few years later

        • '… and now selling $8k more than I paid for …'

          Erm, I'm calling shenanigans on that clearly BS claim … trolling maybe?!?

    • +3

      The Kangoo is a different case tho. It's a light commercial vehicle with very few things TO go wrong. They've been making those for ages under a variety of brands and model names. They're pretty good from what I've heard and seeing the amount of knocked about ones still driving around… well they must be ok.

      OP doesn't want a kangoo though…

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