The cost of an oil change can vary depending on the type of vehicle you have, where you have the service done and the service provider you choose. But it is important to be aware of how often you need to change your oil and an estimate of how much it will cost in order to understand your true cost of vehicle ownership.

What is the average cost of an oil change?

Your vehicle’s make, model and year are contributing factors to its oil change cost. For example, a compact car will be less expensive than an SUV because it requires less oil. Most cars need specific oil types — synthetic, synthetic blend, high mileage or conventional — which can also increase the cost. Conventional typically costs the least, while full synthetic is the priciest.

As of May 2022, the average cost of an oil change based on six nationwide franchises is $31.66 for the most basic service with no extra quarts, and $75.32 for top service with no extra quarts. It is unlikely you will 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 the various factors affect what you will pay.

Type of vehicle

The type of vehicle you drive has the biggest impact on the price of an oil change. It’s important to be aware of the amount of oil your vehicle takes and what type is recommended by the manufacturer before you walk into the shop.

Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, can require more time and labor to complete the service. Be sure to ask the service adviser about any special pricing they may offer. Some places offer discounts if you use their preferred oil or additional services.


The cost of an oil change is also affected by 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.

Service provider

The cost of an oil change can also vary by the service provider you choose. Many areas have dozens of service providers to choose from.

But don’t just compare the price when looking at which shop to take your car to. It’s also important to consider the reputation of the service provider you choose. If you are considering a discount service, make sure it is with a shop that is reputable and trustworthy.

When to change your oil

It’s vital to change your oil as recommended by the manufacturer if you want to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Failure to do so could make your car work harder, causing undue strain.

Although you may be tempted to save money by putting off the next oil change, you will actually be paying more in the long run. But that doesn’t mean you should be running in every 3,000 miles or four months. Newer cars have improved systems, which can go longer between oil changes. Check your owner’s manual to get the specific numbers for your car.

Oil service add-ons

Several additional services are offered alongside the basic oil service. Many shops offer these services at a discounted price when you purchase them in combination with an oil change.

But the downside is that these add-ons add up. And there’s 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.

Tire rotation

This service is typically included in the oil change service package, but you may have to pay a small fee if you choose to get the tire rotation service on the side.

Cabin air filter change

The recommended replacement intervals for an air filter can vary based on the vehicle and the manufacturer. Check yours before opting to get this add-on.

Also know that you may be able to change the cabin filter yourself. And if it’s dirty but it’s before the replacement is due, you may be able to simply vacuum it off.

Engine air filter change

Much like the cabin air filter, the recommended replacement interval varies. Make sure you are at a point where you need a new one before you opt to have it swapped during your oil change.

Windshield wipers

While you may be able to get your wipers replaced with an oil change, it may be less expensive to do on your own. Be sure it is at a discount, otherwise this 15-minute task is likely something 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 different costs and potential add-ons involved. And don’t forget about scheduling your next oil change for when your car needs it. If you aren’t sure, check your owner’s manual or ask your dealer.

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