You can't afford a car you can't afford to fix

Over the years, I've driven a lot of clunkers. I used to think that it was just bad luck, and sometimes, I'm sure it has been. But I have noticed that the older my car gets, and the older I get, the better my cars tend to run. In other words, I take care of my vehicles far better than I used to.

In college, my parents gave me my mother's old Oldsmobile, and after a few months, it broke down on me with increasing regularity. I remember driving a few times from Middletown, Ohio, to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, knowing that anytime I stopped at a light or a sign, I'd have to keep one foot on the brake and the other on the gas. If I let the car come to a full stop, the motor would stop.

I vividly remember around this time talking about all of my car's woes with my father, who, quite concerned, asked, "Well, just how often do you get the oil changed?"

And quite confused, I replied: "Oil?"
So it was with a lot of interest that I read Forbes' recent article, "Most Expensive Cars to Repair," about which luxury cars are the most expensive to repair (not which cars are the biggest lemons).

Still, if you're interested, the priciest vehicles to repair are the Audi 8 and Mercedes-Benz G Class. They each have five-year estimated repair costs of $1,640.

After that, we're talking:
  • Jaguar XK at $1,629
  • Land Lorver Range Rover at $1,600
  • Mercedes-Benz Cl Class at $1,540
So while this makes me feel good about NOT driving such a fancy car (with it's fancy repair price-tag), what I'd really like to see is a list of the most expensive cars to repair in the last five years of the car's life. That's really when car repairs go out of control.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale). He currently drives an aging Saturn that has mostly given him little grief in car repairs, though lately, he periodically can only get the motor to start by putting it in neutral and letting it roll a foot or two before the engine roars to life.
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