You may think you can afford the fuel costs and insurance premiums for your new ride, but can you afford to fix it? Car repairs can add a lot to the cost of owning a vehicle. Even the most highly-rated, most dependable cars on the market are guaranteed to have something that needs fixing after the manufacturer warranty expires, so taking that fact with you when you go to look at purchasing a new vehicle is a good idea.
Not surprisingly, luxury cars top the overall list of vehicle repair expenses. These same vehicles can rank high on dependability surveys too though, so high repair costs should be looked at relative to the overall cost of the vehicle as well, as the parts to a more expensive car are also more expensive to replace. The majority of Americans drive non-luxury passenger cars and SUV’s however, and according to Forbes.com, there are a few that routinely top the list as the most expensive to repair within their first five years:
Chevy’s now-discontinued Hummer H2 (MSRP $56,690), and H3 (MSRP $30,595), at $1484 and $1244, respectively
Ford Mustang (MSRP $19,650) at $1201
Mini-Cooper Convertible (MSRP $18,050) at $1093
Subaru Impreza (MSRP $16,995) at $1006
GMC Yukon (MSRP $35,345) and Chrysler Pacifica (MSRP $24,635) which tied at $970
There are a lot of factors as to why certain cars and SUV’s are more expensive to repair. Much of it starts with the car’s initial sticker price, but it also comes down to dependability. What parts are most likely to wear out first on the model you’re looking at? Inherent weaknesses or flaws in a particular model can make it more expensive to repair, a la the Chrysler Pacifica’s most common complaint, timing belt failure, which according to RepairPal.com can cost anywhere from $477 to $756 to fix. Another factor is safety and technology. If you drove your car off the lot with the newest, safest brake system available, expect that to cost you more to replace.
In the end, like all big purchases, researching your options beforehand is a great way to go car shopping with confidence. The Internet is an invaluable resource and can provide a lot of information on specific models and the dependability and costs of driving them. You can buy a car that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to keep on the road, and thanks to the wealth of information readily available, it’s far easier than you might think.
Jacqueline Mitchell, “Most Expensive Cars to Repair.” Forbes.com
RepairPal.com, “Chrysler Pacifica Repair and Maintenance.”