Did you know that the Chevrolet Spark costs twice as much in terms of maintenance cost compared to many other small cars? CarToq has been doing a series of reports on maintenance costs.  In this particular report, we present maintenance costs of petrol cars priced less than Rs 3.5 lakh.

Our analysis includes the Tata Nano, Hyundai Santro, i10, Alto, Alto K10, Estilo, Wagon R and the Chevrolet Spark.


We gathered data for these cars related to paid service costs for standard requirements such as charges for engine oil, air filter, oil filter, coolant top-ups, and brake fluid top-ups. We also included associated labour charges for these services.

The service charge and labour charges for each model were gathered from authorized service stations of cars. We also assumed that each car has travelled 40,000 km, and then computed service charge costs for each car over this lifetime.

The total service cost was then converted into per kilometre cost (total service costs up to 40,000 km/40,000km). We have called this number the Maintenance Cost Index for each car (which actually works out into paisa).

Listed below are maintenance costs for petrol small cars, with the car with lowest maintenance cost index listed on top. The lower the index value, the lower the maintenance cost of the car.

Tata Nano

2012 tata nano

The cheapest car to own, the Nano is also the cheapest to maintain. A 40,000 km driven Nano demands only Rs. 6,015 on maintenance, unless any major issues pop up. In fact, opting for a 4 Year/60,000 km warranty will further extend the trouble-free ownership of this little car.

Maintenance cost index: 15 paisa.

Hyundai i10

hyundai i10 front

Hyundai has always managed to offer cars that are cheap to maintain. An i10 that has completed 40,000 km would have cost you Rs. 8,100.

Maintenance cost index: 20 paisa.

Hyundai Santro & Eon

hyundai eon

The oldest horse in Hyundai’s stable, the Santro is also cheap when it comes to service. A Santro that has run 40,000 km pulls Rs. 8,600 for regular service. The same is the case with the newly launched Hyundai Eon.

Maintenance cost index: 21 paisa.

Maruti Alto

maruti suzuki alto

Maruti Suzuki’s largest selling car, the Alto, was also the largest selling car in 2010 across the world. This small car is pocket-friendly when it comes to maintenance. Over 40,000km an Alto’s service cost comes to Rs. 8,600.

Maintenance cost index: 21 paisa.

Maruti Alto K10

alto k10 front photo

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 has a premium maintenance cost when compared to the Alto (800 cc) and would cost Rs. 11,350 for regular service over 40,000 kms.

Maintenance cost index: 30 paisa.

Maruti Estilo & Wagon R

wagon r front

Both the Estilo and Wagon R coming from the same car maker and having the same engine share the same maintenance cost too. As per dealers, the Estilo and Wagon R will make you shell out Rs. 11,350 over 40,000 km.

Maintenance cost index: 30 paisa.

Chevrolet Spark

chevrolet spark

Chevrolet has struck the right chord by offering a 3 year/45,000 km maintenance package for Rs. 16,000. The maintenance package is a smarter choice because it is less than the actual service cost (Rs. 18,500).

Maintenance cost index: 40 paisa

Among small cars the Tata Nano is the cheapest maintain. Also Hyundai cars and Maruti cars are cheaper to maintain when compared to the Chevrolet cars.

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42 thoughts on “Which petrol car under Rs 3.5 lakh has the lowest maintenance cost?

  1. how come i10 has less maintaince cost than alto i didnt get it pls somebody guide me…by da way i own alto k10..thx in advance

  2. al the cars r hv been mentioned here..n definitely al thm cnt hv the same maintenance cost..so which 1 is the real winer?

  3. At 3.5 lakh Budget Alto LXI is a good bet as it’s now an entry level hatch from MS which means lower maintenance costs,easy on pockets.

    At 4-5 lakhs budget,Alto K10 will be good bet for enthusiastic drivers as the engine is peppy and fun to drive around town.Next comes the WagonR which is doing better for money’s worth and pretty good features.I10 Magna for buyer’s seeking more of decent quality.

    At 5-6 lakhs I10 Sportz or sportz AT 1.2 is really a good bet as the engine will be go

  4. Alto K10 if ur budget is 3.5 lacs
    Wagon R – 5 lacs
    Ritz- 5.5 lacs…

    But the best car if u like to DRIVE and falls well into ur budget is the Swift…jus go for it.

  5. I am driving a chevrolet spark LPG+PETROL…n it really sucksss on maintainence…i would never opt for A chevrolet in my life now….HYUNDAI STILL ROCKS IN ALL ASPECTS…<3.

  6. @[1680937225:2048:Manish Pandey] ha bahiya ye to sabko ab maana hi padega……………..par 1 prblm h aap meri chevrolet ko sare aam badnam nhi kar sakte….samaj rhe ho na aapp pandey ji………

  7. chevrolet offers the 3year service plan with no extra cost….so for 3 years service cost s goin 2 b a fraction of what s given here…..

  8. why people always say maruti maruti. give chance to other companies also.
    no one is No.1.
    There are similar to No.1.

  9. Beauty of petrol cars is that service or no service, they just “Chalta Hey”.. Castrol GTX @ Rs. 280 ltr and local made engine oil filter @ Rs. 80-200.. Good enough every 5000 to 6000 kms :P :P.. what else ??

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