For each year that you own a car, you can expect to spend more and more on maintenance costs. This isn’t unique to certain vehicles; it’s just the reality of being a car owner. However, there are some cars that take this notion a bit too far. These cars include:
For some of these cars, the logic is easy; foreign-made cars are more expensive to maintain because they require specialized parts. Other cars don’t have the luxury of this excuse. Continue reading more to learn more about what cars will cost you in the long run and how you can make the car-buying decision that’s right for you.
What Makes a Car Expensive to Maintain?
Before we get into specifics about which cars are costly, here are some things that could increase the money you spend over your vehicle’s lifetime:
If you have a German or European-made car, you might have to take it to a specialized mechanic. Why? These cars are built differently than American models. The cost of shipping, labor, and parts could cost you hundreds of dollars even for a simple replacement.
Poor Resell Value
When you purchase a new car, you’re probably not thinking of its resell value (for instance what you may be able to get for it in scrap metal). After all, you just bought a new car. Why would you think of your next one? According to U.S. World & News Report, the average car will lose about 50 percent of its value within the first five years of ownership. However, this shouldn’t be an industry standard. Asian-made cars, like Toyota, Honda, and even Kia, can keep their resell values high.
Ideally, when you trade in your used car, you can put the proceeds toward a new vehicle. If your car has a poor resell value, however, you may not have this option.
Poor Engine Performance
Luxury cars are designed for speed––even if they spend most of their lifetime navigating local streets. As you can imagine, these cars do not get good mileage. For example, according to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, these luxury-brand makes get under 25 miles to the gallon:
With these cars, your expenses only start to pile up once you drive them off the lot.
These Cars Will Cost You More in the Long Run
We looked at the following cars in terms of their depreciation values, lifetime maintenance, and fuel economy. After we reveal our findings, we will explain what cars will cost you less in the long run.
Some cost-heavy cars include:
Forbes noted that within the first five years of ownership, you can expect to lose up to 70 percent of your BMW’s retail value. So, suppose you bought the 2021 BMW i3 s for $42,000. Five years later, when it comes to time to trade it in, you could only expect to get $13,000 for it.
If that still doesn’t convince you, consider the following: you can get a new Jeep Wrangler for $28,000. Over the first five years, it will lose only 30 percent of its value. You could get $8,400 upon trading it in, meaning that you put less than $20,000 into your monthly payments.
It’s fuel economy is less than impressive, with the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy noting that for 2021 BMWs (excluding electric cars and hybrids), you could get less than 25 miles to the gallon.
Needless to say that repairs are costly, as well. Remember: internationally-made cars are always more expensive to fix, maintain, and replace.
Many people associate this carmaker with the epitome of luxury. However, Mercedes’ best-kept secret is that these vehicles are incredibly expensive not only in the beginning, but throughout the lifetime of ownership. Here are some reasons why:
· Mercedes loses almost 70 percent of its value within the first five years of ownership, according to U.S. News & World Report.
· Mercedes cost a lot to maintain. According to Motorbiscuit, a popular automotive website, you could spend more than $12,000 on repairs if you own a Mercedes for 10 years.
· Overall, Mercedes gets below-average mileage, with its luxury sports models getting less than 20 miles to the gallon.
Anyone from within the auto industry could go on about how these cars could ultimately cost you.
Consumer Reports can never decide how it feels about Audi. In January 2021, the organization gave the Audi Q7 the infamous “never buy” label, per Motorbiscuit. While they admitted that Audi has redesigned some of its vehicles for the better, the car manufacturer struggles to maintain its foothold as a cost-effective buy. Here’s why:
· The Audi A6, for example, loses 69 percent of its value within the first five years, per U.S. News & World Report.
· Remember earlier how we mentioned that foreign-made cars tend to cost more to repair? That’s the case here, too.
· In terms of non-electric, non-hybrid Audis, you’ll get about 25 miles to the gallon on the high end.
Of Cadillac, Business Insider says: “Cadillac sits far down on the list of best-selling premium brands in the US.” While they started out as a top-seller at the turn of the 20th century, they simply can’t compete with German-made and Japanese-made cars. Also:
· Consumer Reports continuously gives Cadillac low ratings.
· They have average resell values.
· They get “okay” mileage.
In 2017, Cadillac sold less than 200,000 models in the U.S. To boost their sales, the once-iconic car brand is turning its sights toward China, where they hope to revitalize the brand.
When shopping for a new car, you don’t want one that’s just affordable up front; you want to make a sound investment in your equity and future. BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, and Audi have good cars out there. However, whether they’re worth the price is another story.