Who said car ownership was ever cheap?
Selecting your next ride is a delicate process. There’s a lot to consider. Not only must the purchase price be right, but you’ve got to think about the cost of ownership over the long term. A “lightly used” decade-old Mercedes-Benz complete with V12 power might appear to be a steal when you drive it off the lot, but wait until you’ve got to source a new set of brake rotors. We’ve compiled a list of those cars notorious for high ownership costs.
These are not just cars known to have issues but cars that are egregiously expensive to fix when they do. At least armed with this knowledge you can steer clear of these potentially bank-breaking chariots — or purchase one if you like to live dangerously. And we start with the: Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1. America’s sports car deserves its reputation as a great value off the lot, offering Ferrari-killer performance at a price some of us can hope to one day afford, but unfortunately recent models have proven quite fussy. Cooling issues and an unquenchable thirst for unleaded contribute to the king of ‘Vettes’ appearance on our list.
Chrysler Sebring Unlike its accomplices on this list, the Sebring isn’t a luxury car. In fact, it’s not even a car you can buy anymore. We’re guessing the unfathomable cost of ownership has something to do with that. Blame very shaky build quality that plagued Chrysler during the time that the Sebring was largely produced for this. It was available pre-bailout, after all.
BMW 3-Series The blue-and-white roundel might bring you sporting performance and a luxurious driving experience, but you’re going to pay for it. As a brand overall, BMW cars cost an average of $5,000 more to maintain for a 10-year period than their German competitor Mercedes-Benz. Parts may be cheap, but special oil, brake services and notoriously finicky performance engines are just a few of the reasons for this.
Nissan Murano Okay, so it’s ugly and available in completely asinine convertible format that no SUV should ever attempt, but the Nissan Murano is expensive, too! Owners of the snub-nosed ‘Ute are enduring 10-year maintenance costs of nearly $15,000. For that kind of money, you should at least step up to the Infiniti model.
Audi A8 L W12 Unusual and rare specimens are sure to put a sizeable dent in your wallet since their very rareness means fewer parts and fewer knowledgeable mechanics. The A8, with its W-shaped 12-cylinder, is no exception to this rule. Throw in an L for the long-bodied limo version, and you’ve got a gas-guzzling land-yacht that’ll decimate your child’s college fund in a matter of months.
Supercars We can’t in good conscience write this entry as an actual list of cars that cost the most to maintain because it’s not hard to imagine every one of them would be a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren or some other formidable exotic marque. Needless to say, don’t spend the money on one of these until you’ve got the cash to purchase a few—it’s a mistake you won’t make twice.
Anything with a Mercedes-Benz V12 If you take the plunge on one of these cars, chances are you know it’s going to sting. Yes, these Bavarian behemoths can very nearly peel tarmac off the road and shepherd you about in air-conditioned luxury all the while. Just be prepared to pay a king’s ransom when something breaks. Here’s a hint, more things break on the used models available for a steal at your local dealership.
Still fascinated by becoming the owner of that wild-eyed S-class you spotted at the local dealership? You might want to think twice. Committing to owning a car that rolled off the lot intended for a place in a well-healed garage means stepping up to the costs of ownership. If parts and maintenance for a car were high on the day it was built, they probably haven’t decreased in the time since then, even if the cost of admission has. So do your Craigslist searching with a grain of salt, lest you end up on the road to bankruptcy thanks to your sweet new wheels.