I don’t think I’ve ever personally met a single person that leaves the repair shop saying, “That was a very fair and reasonable price for a very fair and reasonable service”—but that could just be because I spend time with a lot of grumpy people. But whatever the case may be, they could actually have a point. When it comes to some machines, basic repairs can cost a hell of a lot more than the national average. And now we’ve got the numbers.
This big study comes straight from the fine folks Consumer Reports, who calculated the average price of simple-sounding repairs and then compared it to machines where those repairs would cost a hell of a lot more. These are things like alternators, starters, and suspension components.
If you peruse that list, you’re going to find that there are… a hell of a lot of German cars on there representing the “very stupidly expensive repair” categories. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche—you’re going to find one of those names in every single category studied by Consumer Reports.
Let’s start by talking suspension or strut replacement. CR lists that the average cost of repair for that particular job is $937. But for a Nissan GT-R, you’re going to be out a whopping $5,867. For a Porsche Panamera, you’ll pay $4,808.
Not all of the repair costs are quite so drastically different. The most expensive serpentine belt replacement is listed as coming from a BMW X1 at $541, where the average for most vehicles is $140.
I’ll let you go check out the full details here, but I do want to add one last thing. Of the 21 expensive vehicle repairs listed, five came on an Audi, five came on a BMW, four came on a Lexus, three came on a Porsche, two came on a Mercedes, and two came on a Nissan.
CR suggests a list of ways to reduce repair costs, like getting a pre-purchase inspection or seeking out a really good warranty. I have to add another item to that list: Don’t buy a German-made luxury car.
Most all luxury car makers aim to make their machines as high-tech and comfortable as possible, which generally does make for more expensive repairs. But German automakers specifically tend to use more complicated processes. You’re getting great performance and cutting-edge technology different from other kinds of tech on the market… but if something goes wrong, it’s more expensive to fix. And it’s generally not a problem that just anyone can fix, either. You have to take it to a mechanic who excels in German car repair.