Alfa Romeo maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

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red Alfa Romeo car parked on a residential street

Former “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson once famously stated, “You can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo.” To his point, Alfas combine thrilling performance, luxury cabins and Italian styling. Best of all, at the time of publishing, you can buy a brand-new Alfa for under $50,000 — or a used one for well under $30,000.

The question is: Should you? After all, for most of its history, Alfa Romeo has had a mixed reputation for build quality and repair costs — which is arguably why you might find that used Giulia for only $25,000.

So, what do Alfas truly cost to maintain and repair? How does that compare to their rivals? And is there any way you can avoid breaking the bank to keep your Alfa on the road?

Read on to find out.

Key insights

Alfa Romeo vehicles cost around $1,184 per year to maintain and repair, according to RepairPal data that we adjusted for inflation. That’s around 30% more than the average vehicle.

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That data also suggests that Alfa Romeos are more expensive to maintain and repair than vehicles from Lexus, Genesis and Acura but less expensive to own than Audis, BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes.

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Routine maintenance for the Alfa Romeo Giulia actually costs slightly less over the first five years than the equivalent Lexus IS 300. However, the Giulia is expected to incur more than double the repair costs in that time (roughly $2,400 versus $1,100).

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If you plan to own an Alfa Romeo past the factory warranty period (four years/50,000 miles), an extended warranty might be a good idea.

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Are Alfa Romeos expensive to maintain?

RepairPal data from 2019 suggests that Alfa Romeo vehicles cost around $834 per year to repair and maintain. Adjusted for inflation, that figure is around $1,141 in 2024 — roughly 30% more than the average vehicle.

Alfa Romeos cost considerably more to keep running than the average vehicle.

That’s no surprise, given that these are high-performance Italian sports cars — some of which contain Ferrari DNA.

If you own an Alfa Romeo after its four-year/50,000-mile warranty expires, you can expect the cost of ownership to be much higher. Edmunds’ True Cost to Own tool suggests that, during its first year out of warranty, an Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan will cost around $544 in maintenance and $1,460 in repairs for a total of $2,004.

So, yes — Alfa Romeos are expensive to own. But are they more or less expensive to own than their rivals from Germany and Japan?

How Alfa Romeo compares with other automakers

Compared to their closest luxury/performance rivals, Alfa Romeo vehicles fall somewhere in the middle in terms of ownership costs.

RepairPal’s data suggests that Alfas are actually less expensive to maintain and repair than Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles overall. However, as you might expect, they’re not as cheap to own as equivalent vehicles from Lexus, Genesis and Acura.

If you’re specifically eyeballing an Italian luxury vehicle, you should also know that Alfas are reportedly far cheaper to own than Maseratis.

*According to RepairPal (adjusted for inflation) and Rusnak Maserati

Keep in mind that these are just ballpark figures. For example, certain BMWs might be more affordable than certain Alfa Romeos, and vice versa. So, let’s look at which specific Alfas have the lowest cost of ownership.

Alfa Romeo maintenance and repair costs by model

To find out which Alfa Romeos were the least expensive to own, we looked at the Edmunds True Cost to Own figures for each model in its lineup and combined the estimated cost of maintenance and repairs during their first year out of warranty (i.e., the first year you’d be paying for 100% of all repairs).

*According to Edmunds

The results indicate that the Giulia sedan is the cheapest to own out of warranty, followed by the Stelvio crossover and the 4C sports car, which was discontinued in 2020. The large, nearly 25% gap between the Giulia and the Stelvio is noteworthy, considering both vehicles have a starting MSRP of around $45,000.

The cost of owning the Tonale, Alfa Romeo’s new subcompact crossover, is hard to predict. While it’s priced similarly to the Giulia and the Stelvio, it’s also Alfa Romeo’s first attempt at a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Historically speaking, hybrid vehicles have been much more reliable than their gas-only equivalents, but only time will tell if the Tonale follows that trend.

Alfa Romeo maintenance cost and schedule

Now that you have an idea of which Alfa Romeo is the cheapest to keep running overall, let’s cut repairs out of the equation and look at maintenance only.

When a car costs a lot to maintain, it’s normally because its maintenance services are expensive — not because it needs more of them.

Unlike repairs, routine maintenance costs are almost 100% predictable. In fact, every automaker has a routine maintenance schedule for each of its vehicles, listing out things like oil changes every 5,000 miles, tire rotations every 10,000 miles and new brakes every 40,000 miles. You can find the routine maintenance schedule for your vehicle inside your owners manual, typically toward the end. (For example, here’s the maintenance schedule for the 2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia, starting on page 257.)

For the most part, routine maintenance schedules are virtually the same across different makes and models. Unless you drive a fully-electric vehicle or a Ferrari, most vehicles need oil, brakes and multipoint inspections at roughly the same intervals.

What does vary, however, is the cost. Here’s a look at what it costs to maintain an Alfa Romeo Giulia compared to its closest rivals from Germany, Japan and Korea.

As you can see, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is actually less expensive to maintain than a comparable Lexus and far less expensive than a rival BMW or Mercedes. This indicates that Alfa’s high cost of ownership comes from repairs — not maintenance.

» LEARN: Average car maintenance costs

Alfa Romeo repair costs

According to Edmunds, the Alfa Romeo Giulia costs almost exactly the same to repair as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C 300 over the first five years of ownership. Similar sedans from Lexus and Genesis, meanwhile, cost less than half that much. Part of that is due to Genesis having a longer warranty than all the other automakers on the list — five years/60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection from new.

*According to Edmunds

Luckily, the high cost of repairing an Alfa Romeo out of warranty can be addressed with an extended warranty.

» LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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How can an extended warranty help?

Extended auto warranties can cover the cost of certain repairs once your factory warranty expires. In concept, they’re a logical choice for anyone looking to own an Alfa Romeo long-term since the likelihood of incurring an expensive repair is high.

In our full breakdown of Alfa Romeo extended warranties, we found that the best plan options weren’t cheap (around $1,200 per year of coverage), but they might still be worth it since two years of coverage could instantly pay for themselves after just one repair bill.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a specific Alfa, it might be worth grabbing a few quotes from the best extended car warranty companies. And to learn more about extended warranties in general, check out our list of the pros and cons of extended warranties.

» MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. RepairPal, “Alfa Romeo Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed March 15, 2024.
  2. Edmunds, “Cost of Car Ownership.” Accessed March 15, 2024.
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