Did you know that people remember more details about their first car than their first kiss? Whether or not that will be true for you, what is true is the fact that you’ll always remember your first vehicle. The Dodge Charger is arguably one of the most recognizable cars on the road today, and it has remained one of the most popular large sedans on the road for years. There’s no debating that people like the look of a Charger, but would it make a good first car?
The Chargers’ high safety and reliability ratings make it a good first car. However, because the cost to maintain and insure a Charger is above average, they may not be a good first car for someone on a strict budget.
There are certain questions that you should always ask about a vehicle before you decide to buy it, and we will answer all those questions below.
What Do I Need to Know Before Buying My First Car?
When you see a sleek, sporty vehicle sparkling in the sunlight, you may think, “I want that!” But before you make an impulsive decision, there are a few things you’ll need to consider, especially when buying your first car. Before you make a final choice, you should ask the following questions:
- How much does this car cost and will it fit into my budget?
- How much will the vehicle depreciate? Do I plan to trade it in or sell it in the future? Am I going to lose money on the vehicle?
- How much will it cost to maintain the vehicle?
- How much will it cost to insure the vehicle?
- How much will gas cost?
- Will the vehicle be safe?
- Is this vehicle going to be reliable?
- What are the most common problems with this type of vehicle and how much will it cost to repair these problems if they arise?
How Much Do Dodge Chargers Cost?
The Dodge Charger is classified as a large car and is surprisingly one of the cheaper large cars on the market. If you plan to buy new, you can expect a Charger to cost anywhere from $31,350 — $120,000. Of course, it depends on where you buy the vehicle, the model, and any features you add to the car.
Since a car starts to depreciate the second that you drive it off the showroom floor, it’s sometimes better to buy used. In many cases, you can get a vehicle with lots of life left for much less than it would cost brand new.
Exactly how much you’ll pay for a used Charger will depend on where you buy it, but below you can find a list of used Chargers currently on the market in 2021 along with their prices.
|Used 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat||2,518||$109,000|
|Used 2021 Dodge Charger Scat pack||4,486||$58,530|
|Used 2021 Dodge Charger R/T||6,201||$44,117|
|Used 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat||677||$82,990|
|Used 2020 Dodge Charger R/T||4,518||$41,000|
|Used 2019 Dodge Charger R/T||70,825||$31,131|
|Used 2006 Dodge Charger SE||200,496||$2,599|
What Is the Depreciation Rate for a Dodge Charger?
According to CarEdge, you can expect your Charger to depreciate up to 48% in the first five years. In other words, if you buy a charger for $31,995 it will be worth an estimated $16,638 after five years. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Knowing the depreciation rate of a vehicle helps in two ways, it allows you to calculate what your vehicle might be worth if you plan to trade it in, and it helps you figure out what you should be paying for a used Charger.
Below you can find the average depreciation rate of a Dodge Charger during the first ten years of service.
|Years Old||Depreciation||Residual Value|
How Much Will It Cost to Maintain a Dodge Charger?
If you want to get the most life out of your vehicle, you’ll want to follow the recommended maintenance schedule, but how much will this cost you?
On average, a brand-new Charger will cost $7,809 to maintain during the first ten years of its life. This is $970 more than other large sedans. Below you can find a list of maintenance tasks along with the average price of each one.
|Oil Change||Every 10,000 miles. This may need to be done every 3,000 – 7,500 miles depending on the oil that is used.||Service: $142 – $151 Parts: $107 Labor: $35 – $44|
|Tire Rotation||This should be done every 10,000 miles and tires should be changed depending on their recommended service life.||Service: $35 – $44 Parts: N/A Labor: $35 – $44|
|Replace Cabin Air Filter||This should be done every 30,000 miles or as needed.||Service: $69 – $79 Parts: $42 Labor: $26 – $33|
|Replace Air Intake Filter||This should be done every 30,000 miles or as needed.||Service: $68 -$74 Parts: $45 Labor: $23 – $29|
|Replace Spark Plugs||This should be done at 100,000 miles but checked periodically before this.||Service: $288 – $405 Parts: $56 – $113 Labor: $232 – $293|
|Change Automatic Transmission Fluid||This should be done at 120,000 miles but checked periodically before this.||Service: $150 – $176 Parts: $53 Labor: $97 – $123|
|Coolant Flush||This should be done at 150,000 miles but checked periodically before this.||Service: $123 – $155 Parts: Depends on coolant used. Labor: $123 – $155|
How Much Will It Cost to Insure a Dodge Charger?
When buying a vehicle, people often forget to consider insurance prices, but shopping for insurance is an important step in buying a vehicle. Insurance prices can vary dramatically between vehicles, and you should make sure that you can afford this extra price on top of your monthly car payment.
Although the final price will depend on individual factors such as your age, location, and driving history, you can find the average price to insure a Dodge Charger below.
|Year||Listing Price||Average Annual Cost to Insure||Best Company for This Year|
|2020||$29,995||$2,206/year $183/month||Allied: $783 Century: $1,416|
|2019||$29,470||$2,273/year $189/month||Erie: $1,321 Auto Owners: $1,510|
|2018||$28,995||$1,871/year $155/month||Erie: $1,113 USAA: $1,319|
|2017||$27,995||$1,675/year $140/month||Erie: $1,040 USAA: $1,141|
|2016||$27,995||$1,510/year $125/month||Allied: $818 Vermont Mutual: $1,182|
|2015||$27,995||$1,476/year $124/month||Erie: $1,025 USAA: $1,071|
|2014||$26,995||$1,241/year $104/month||Erie: $772 GEICO: $866|
How Many MPG Will a Charger Get?
Why is this important? When trying to fit a car into your budget, you’ll need to include gas prices. Most people have a solid routine and so it is easy to estimate how many miles a month they travel. If you know the vehicle’s MPG rating, you can calculate how much it will cost you in fuel to travel those miles each month.
Below you’ll find the average MPG for a Dodge Charger by year. It is important to note that this may change depending on the style of Charger you buy.
Are Dodge Chargers Safe?
When buying a car, you should look at the rating from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Both companies put vehicles through rigorous testing in different departments and then score the vehicle depending on how it handled the crash tests.
NHTSA Rating for Dodge Chargers
|Year||Overall Rating||Frontal Crash Rating||Side Crash Rating||Rollover Rating|
IIHS Ratings for Dodge Chargers
|Year||Front Crash||Side Impact||Rear Impact||Roof Strength||Front Driver Side Crash||Front Pass. Side Crash||Front Crash Prevention|
Are Dodge Chargers Reliable?
RepairPal has given the Dodge Charger a reliability rating of 4.0/5.0 placing it 10th out of 12, which is above average when compared to other full-size cars on the market. J.D Power has also placed the Charger above other vehicles in reliability, rating it #2 in large cars.
Let’s take a closer look at the Chargers reliability ratings by year.
|Year||Reliability Rating||Year||Reliability Rating|
|2022 #1 in Large Car||89/100||2015 #2 in Large Car||78/100|
|2021 #2 in Large Car||89/100||2014 #3 in Large Car||74/100|
|2020 #2 in Large Car||89/100||2013 #4 in Large Car||73/100|
|2019 #4 in Large Car||81/100||2012 #5 in Large Car||70/100|
|2018 #3 in Large Car||81/100||2011 #1 in Large Car||91/100|
|2017 #5 in Large Car||74/100||2010 #7 in Large Car||72/100|
|2016 #4 in Large Car||79/100||2009 #2 in Large Car||84/100|
How Long Will a Dodge Charger Last?
It would be impossible to predict exactly how long your vehicle will last. Neglected maintenance will shorten a vehicle’s lifespan dramatically, while impeccable maintenance could cause the vehicle to easily surpass its estimated lifespan. That being said, the average Dodge Charger will last anywhere from 250,000 miles to 300,000 miles, which is about 16 years of driving 15,000 miles a year.
We looked at some used Chargers on the market in 2021 to see the average mileage of a used car. This is what we found.
- Used 2006 Dodge Charger — 311,916 miles.
- Used 2007 Dodge Charger — 308,804 miles.
- Used 2010 Dodge Charger — 280,000 miles.
- Used 2006 Dodge Charger — 266,265miles.
- Used 2009 Dodge Charger — 264,837 miles.
- Used 2006 Dodge Charger — 259,038 miles.
- Used 2006 Dodge Charger — 255,025 miles.
- Used 2014 Dodge Charger — 253,911 miles.
Based on these real-life examples of vehicles that have been driven in real conditions by real people, it’s safe to say that your Charger could easily last 250,000+ miles.
What Are the Most Common Problems with Dodge Chargers?
Although manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure their vehicles are reliable, every vehicle will have issues specific to that make or model. Below you’ll find the most reported problems with Dodge Chargers and the average price to fix these issues.
|Common Problem||Average Mileage/Year||Average Price to Repair|
|Premature Engine Failure (Needs new motor)||Occurs around 94,000 miles. Common in 2006 models.||$5,500|
|Alternator Problems||Occurs around 50,000 miles. Common in 2011 models.||$650 (Replace alternator)|
|Door Panels Warping||Occurs around 40,000 miles. Common in 2016 models.||$3,500 (Replace door panels)|
|Shifting Problems (Rough shifting and shuddering during gear shift)||Occurs around 97,000 miles. Common in models between 2006 – 2013.||Software updates may fix the problem. Price unknown.|
|Inoperable Power Windows||Occurs between 22,000 – 179,000 miles. Common in models between 2006 – 2013.||Window Motor Replacement: $236 – $257. Window Regulator Replacement: $383 – $473.|
|Thermostat Problems (Fails to close completely which causes check engine light to illuminate).||Occurs between 41,000 – 170,000. Common in models between 2006 – 2013.||Thermostat Replacement: $137 – $158.|
|Musty Odor Coming From Vents||Occurs between 11,000 – 138,000 miles. Common in models between 2006 – 2016.||Cabin Air Filter Replacement: $69 – $76|
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.