How Much Does a Car Battery Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a car owner is a dead battery.  Although some dead batteries can be remedied with a simple jump, other dead batteries will require a replacement.  Replacing your car battery, while inconvenient, should prove to be a relatively easy process.  Some people choose to have a second battery on hand in case of a dead or damaged battery.

Walmart EverStart Car Batteries, Battery by JeepersMedia, on Flickr
Walmart EverStart Car Batteries, Battery” (CC BY 2.0) by  JeepersMedia

How much does a car battery cost?

The price of a typical car battery will be between $50 to $130; however, if you want to purchase a premium battery, which tends to have a longer lifespan, can cost up to $250.  With more than 40 types of batteries on the market, the price can vary.  Since all retailers will vary, check out the table below to see what most retailers will charge.

For example, a lead-acid battery can cost $100 to $140, while an absorbent glass mat battery (AGM) can cost $180 to $250.

Depending on the damage done to your battery, battery cables may also be required.  These will cost $2-$5 each.

AutoZone.com, a popular auto parts store, has one of the largest car battery choices on the Internet.  Here, depending on your brand, the cost of a car battery can range anywhere from $45 to as much as $175.

Retailer and/or BrandPrice Range
Advance Auto Parts Battery$70 to $295
Autozone Battery$90 to $180
Costco Car Battery$88 to $150
Duralast Battery$66 to $150
Interstate Battery$100 to $150
Kmart Battery$80 to $155
Pep Boys Battery$110 to $180
Sams Club Battery$80 to $170
Sears Battery$80 to $300
Walmart Battery$75 to $250



Car battery overview

Before the battery is replaced, most auto stores will test your battery to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged.  This testing should be free at most places.

When the battery is replaced, it should match the manufacturer’s recommended group size for the make and model.  The group size is located on the battery terminals or on the size of the battery.  Common sizes will include 34, 35, 65 or 75.

Most batteries will include a warranty that lasts anywhere from as little as three months to three years.

What are the extra costs?

Some stores will charge extra for installation.  However, many big name auto parts stores will install it for free if you purchase it directly from them.  If the mechanic and/or store charges, it could be up to $50.

There are some states that charge a fee for recycling purposes. You’ll be able to get the amount once you drop your old battery in recycling centers.

It’s ideal to keep a car battery charger in your car at all times just in case the battery fails.  See: “How much does a car battery charger cost?”

Top brands to consider:

DuraLast

These batteries tend to be within the $40 to $100 range.  Also noted as some of the lowest priced batteries on the market.

Exide

Popular among car enthusiasts, the average Exide battery can cost $40 to $80 depending on the output of the battery.

Interstate

As some of the most popular batteries on the market, Interstate batteries have a solid reputation among car owners.  This type of battery can cost $50 to $110.

Optima

With higher standards, Optima batteries tend to be on the higher side.  These batteries can cost anywhere from $150 to $200.

Tips to know:

Be sure to know the exact size of your battery before purchasing one.  If unsure of what the exact size is, most sales associates or a simple search will help.  Check your car’s manual to determine the exact size and specifications you need.

Be sure to research the brand.  Every brand has its own reputation online.  By doing your homework, this will give you a good idea of what the brand is going to be able to do for you in terms of reliability.

Check the manufacturing date when purchasing a battery.  Try to purchase a battery that has been on the shelf for less than six months.

Be sure to get a battery that has a limited warranty.  This is going to protect your investment just in case the battery fails within a few months of the initial purchase.

Avoid purchasing used batteries as they are generally not worth the savings.

The minute you start having problems with your battery, consider purchasing a new one so that you’re not stranded on the side of the road.

A slow engine crank is often a sign of a poor battery.  If your battery is older than four years old, it may be time to replace it.

Extreme temperatures, such as the heat, can cause the battery fluid to evaporate.  This can, in turn, damage the battery’s internal components.  In colder temperatures, the oil can thicken, causing strain on the battery.

If you notice any sort of corrosion around the battery terminals, this can be a sign of electrical damage.  Removing this corrosion is a great way to extend the battery’s life, and you can find battery corrosion cleaning products at local auto part stores.

Pay close attention to the cold-cranking amps as this is the rating that measures the battery’s ability to start in zero degree weather.

How to dispose of car batteries

Find a recycling location near you.  Sometimes, you may be able to find your local dump or hazardous waste center will have a drop-off point.  Before you go, however, make sure they accept car batteries.  Websites, such as Earth911.com, can help you find a local center.

Contact a local AAA club.  They offer the program “AAA’s Great Battery Roundup,” an event designed to round up as many batteries as possible to take them in for recycling.

Talk with a local auto parts store.  If you were to purchase one from them, they may be able to take your old one in for free or a small fee.

How can I save money?

The installation of a new car battery can be done yourself fairly easily.  Dummies.com offers a step-by-step process.

Shop around for car batteries. This will allow you to find car batteries that may be offered at a low price. Car battery prices are affected by the area where you buy it from so might as well get it from the closest store.

For those with an AAA membership, check with them to see if they can replace the battery for you at a discounted rate.  They may be able to change the battery in your driveway.


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