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I’m a Mechanic: 4 Kinds of Cars That End Up Costing You More in the Long Run

©Darin Schnabel ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
©Darin Schnabel ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

When it comes to shopping for a new car, it’s easy to choose features such as interior comfort and speed over dependability and reliability. But it’s difficult to determine which car would be the best long-term investment, especially if you’re not a car expert and have only online advice to go off.

Related: These 10 Cars Could Drain Your Savings Through Constant Repairs
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To point you away from the types of unreliable cars that will end up costing you more in the long run, GOBankingRates spoke to two mechanics: John Lin of JB Motor Works and Stamatis Zotos, owner of Corfu Car Rental.

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Classic Cars

As someone who has been “elbows deep in engines for most of [his] life,” Lin said he finds that classic cars, though a great passion of many, can be money pits.

“With parts often being out of production, even a minor fix can become a high-cost adventure when you need to turn to specialty shops or online auctions to secure what you need,” Lin said. “Plus, the overall maintenance needed given the cars’ age is another ounce of gold to add to the pit.”

Zotos agreed, adding that there’s a “limited availability of replacement parts, leading to higher costs and longer repair times.” He said this is especially true of “vintage models from brands with discontinued production lines.”

According to Road & Track, one classic car to stay away from is the Ferrari F355, which is notorious for high maintenance costs and “fragility.” If you have to service its engine, it could run you as much as $10,000.

I’m a Mechanic: The Best $100 You Can Spend on Your Car’s Maintenance

Luxury Cars

For luxury cars, maintenance and repairs are “exponentially pricier, simply due to the high-quality and unique parts,” Lin explained. “In general, the minute you venture into this luxury terrain, you’re looking at costs that can soar into the thousands for regular upkeep.”

Part of the reason for this, Zotos said, is the “complex electronic systems, specialized components and high-end materials that can be expensive to replace.”

For example, certain European luxury brands are known for intricate technology and features.

One such unreliable luxury car is the Jaguar S-Type, which lulled buyers with its well-crafted interiors despite some significant problems, including parking brake problems and breakdowns of the fuel system.

Electric Cars

Everyone crows about the cost savings of electric vehicles, but Lin said that while they can save on fuel, the technology isn’t foolproof.

“Repairs can be quite complex and expensive because of the specialized skills needed,” Lin continued. “Battery replacement can cost a few grand depending on the model, and heaven forbid you have to replace the electric motor.”

Agreeing with Lin, Zotos said consumers should be wary of early models from certain electric vehicle manufacturers.

Consumer Reports pointed out in a recent survey that, on average, electric vehicles of the past three years had a whopping 79% more problems than regular gas-powered cars. Problems included issues with engine transmission, leaks and infotainment.

Midsize Sedans

Zotos warned that some midsize sedans may have issues with transmission or engine components, leading to frequent repairs. It might be better off to go with an SUV or a compact car instead.

Look at the Big Picture

No matter what kind of car you choose, Zotos stressed, “It’s crucial for consumers to be aware of these potential issues to make informed decisions. Regular maintenance is key to mitigating long-term costs, but some cars inherently pose higher risks due to design choices or availability of parts.”

Lin added, “For every car owner, I advise considering the total cost of ownership, not just the sticker price. Consider the maintenance costs, the availability of parts and the potential resale value down the line.”

Research a Car’s Safety

Don’t take a car salesman’s word for it that a car is reliable and safe. Do your own research. Check out websites like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for crash test results to get a sense of the prevalence of cars that have problems.

Check Reliability Ratings

Organizations such as JD Power, Consumer Reports and MyCarVoice rate and evaluate cars for important factors like reliability and performance. Be sure to check out any car you intend to purchase and see how it rates.

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This article originally appeared on I’m a Mechanic: 4 Kinds of Cars That End Up Costing You More in the Long Run