Five Inconvenient Truths to Consider Before Buying a Luxury Vehicle Keri Potipcoe There are a few things to remember about the cost of buying a luxury vehicle. I’m not suggesting to not buy one: owning a car that makes you smile every time you get behind the wheel is fantastic! Even a routine grocery-run becomes an adventure scored to the tune of a ridiculous exhaust note. But the key is remembering it’s not an isolated purchase, and when buying a luxury vehicle there are several increased expenses that come along with it. You’ll Spend More on Gas When calculating the annual fuel cost, increase that number by at least 20% for Premium fuel, because a high performance engine requires it. Oh you can choose to cheap out and fill it with lower-grade gas, the car will still drive. But there’s a big however attached to doing that. A performance engine is designed to operate on higher quality fuel, and sending a lower grade through it will result in compensation injuries down the road. You’ll know this is happening when the engine starts to make a knocking sound. Idling at a stop light and it’s knock knock knock, broadcasting the sound of cheapness to the surrounding drivers. Yup the knocking is that loud! Maintenance Costs will be Higher Sure the owner of “Smash Can Jimmy’s AutoBody Shop” is a good guy, he could maybe fix the problem. Maybe. The problem is Jimmy is trying to stay current on issues found in all makes and models. That’s a tall order considering how large that list is, plus how quickly the auto industry changes. Better to return to the dealership for service, for the higher level of education and training found in the mechanics and techs. They’re more likely to have seen and worked on the problem before. It’s a bit like taking a fancy, $900 smartphone in for repairs to the kiosk at the outlet mall… you may save a couple bucks, but at what long-term cost? Your Monthly Insurance Rate will Increase There’s no way around this one – it just will. The deductible may also change, too. Before buying, it’s best to make a phone call to your agent, ask them to run the numbers and determine the cost increase. Unexpected Costs are Higher The surprise costs – from emergencies to washing – are more costly on a luxury vehicle, maybe not in price but for sure in time. Performance cars usually come with high-end paint jobs that should be only taken through a touchless car wash (the brushes can score the paint irreparably.) These aren’t as prevalent as brush-washes, so you may have to hunt harder to find one. If there’s an emergency that requires towing, you can’t tow a high-performance or rear-wheel drive car, those have to be flat-bedded. That can be a more costly undertaking, plus, since there’s fewer flatbeds driving around than traditional tow trucks, you’ll likely be waiting longer at the side of the road. Small Repair Costs will Increase Little repairs will not be so little in cost. For example – nick the front bumper on an entry-level vehicle, and it’s maybe a couple hundred to fix. But nick the carbon fibre splitter attached to the bumper on a performance vehicle, and that’s a $2,500 mistake. So Should I Buy One? I’m not trying to discourage you, but do remember a luxury car is not an isolated purchase and comes with increased costs all around. Don’t worry though! The good news is that certain things about a luxury vehicle – things like a deep throaty engine note and so much torque it presses you back in the seat – have a real fast way of making you forget about all else!