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How Much Does An Oil Change Cost?

how much does an oil change cost

Depending upon your vehicle, the oil change cost can differ by a large quantity. For example, a standard Honda Civic is going to cost significantly less than one of the latest Ferrari’s. Most manufacturers will often charge a premium cost for labor when you take your car in for an oil change but you can use an independent garage.

If you were to change the oil yourself, the main cost would be dependent upon the type of oil you use. You may use the top of the range full synthetic oil when changing the oil or a more affordable option in order to keep costs low.

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Professional Oil Change Cost

Choosing for a professional to perform the oil change will come with a premium cost but of course, there are many benefits that come with this. The cost of an oil change by a professional is more than likely going to range between $100 to $200 depending upon the type of vehicle. The lower price range will usually involve a lower quality oil used whereas the more expensive will use a full synthetic oil.

Types of Professionals – Independent or Dealership?

Performing an oil change is one of the most basic forms of car maintenance. This means it usually does not involve any complex software or tools to perform the job, which means a range of professionals can change the oil in your car. You will have the choice between using an independent garage or your local dealership.

The benefits of using an independent professional is that it is more than likely going to be cheaper than the dealership. This doesn’t mean that they will not perform the oil change with same levels of expertise, it is just that they have lower outgoings. They will also have to keep their cost down low otherwise competitor garages will be far more desirable. This brings us onto the other benefit, which is that independent garages are often more convenient. Due to the size of most dealerships, there are only really one or two in a single city.

Using the dealerships mechanics to perform the oil change will be more expensive but it can be a worthwhile investment. It will look better upon the service history of the car and often they will provide you with a courtesy car whilst is having it’s oil changed. If your vehicle is new and still in warranty, the small print may state that it must be changed with the dealership, which is another important factor to consider.

Choosing between the two really is a matter of preference as both will stamp up the service history and have the same end result.

Oil Change Cost

DIY Oil Change Cost

Other than the fact it will require you to get your hands dirty, changing the oil yourself will always be the cheapest option. You can either save money by using a conventional oil or ensure the car has the best possible with a full synthetic formula.

Unlike many other car repairs or maintenance, an oil change does not require any special tools. Apart from an oil drain pan, funnel and sockets, there isn’t anything else that you will require. The way you change your oil may differ as some people may be lucky enough to have a garage with a car lift whereas others may have to use basic car jacks.

In terms of the oil change cost, the only real expense is the price of the oil required. Most vehicles will require 5 to 8 quarts for an oil change, which depending upon the oil you choose may cost between $30 to $80.

The benefits of manually changing the oil yourself is the reduced costs involved. However, another factor that many people may not consider is that you are guaranteed the oil you chosen is put inside your vehicle. Some mechanics may state they will use a certain type of oil but will use the cheapest oil possible but still charge you the premium. This is something to watch out for when using new mechanics.

One drawback of changing the oil yourself is that you cannot stamp the service history book yourself. However, if you keep the receipt of the oil within the documentation, this will be proof of the oil change when you come to selling the vehicle.

What is Involved in an Oil Change?

As mentioned earlier in the article, an oil change is a fairly straightforward task. In short, below are the following steps involved:

  1. Park car on level surface.
  2. Place oil drain pan underneath sump.
  3. Unbolt sump plug and allow oil to drain.
  4. Replace the oil filter and clean the area.
  5. Add the correct amount of oil.
  6. Check the oil dipstick and add more if required.
  7. Allow car to run for 5 minutes.
  8. Recheck oil level and ensure it is at the correct level.

It really is that simple and is certainly a job that the average person can do. If your local garage or dealership is charging too much, you should state the 8 steps and ask them to justify the premium cost.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Most modern vehicles will state when your oil needs to be change with an error message on your dash. However, regularly checking your oil manually is highly advised. If your car or truck has been used for hauling heavy loads or track use, you may need to replace your oil more frequently. Most manufacturers state between 7,500 to 10,000 miles but there is no harm performing more regular changes.


The cost of changing your oil can differ by a fair amount depending upon your vehicle and type of oil you use. The cheapest option is not always the best and you will want to ensure that the engine has the best to achieve optimum performance.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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