Looking to buy a car that won't drain your wallet with repairs? If you want to know which cars hold up the best, of course you can check Consumer Reports magazine. They list reliability, based on thousands of customer surveys.
But you can also ask a mechanic about which cars they hate the most, because they are are cars that rarely need to be fixed.
Mechanics like Jim Schulten hate cars that never break down, because they don't make money off them.
Darn Civic, Never Breaks Down!
So which cars are so reliable they don't bring much money to Duebber's Auto Repair in Cincinnati's Western Hills neighborhood?
"I would say that definitely at the top of the list would be Hondas and Toyotas," Jim said.
Schulten's comments echo a tongue in cheek report last year from Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the "Click and Clack" brothers of National Public Radio.
Cars that Click and Clack Hate
The brothers recently listed the cars they hate, and topping the list is the:
- Honda Civic.
Schulten said the Civic had the bugs worked out years ago, telling me "it's a simple car, and my father used to say the more stuff on a car the more there is to break. Honda's Civic is a nice simple car."
Ditto for the next car on Click and Clack's list, the:
- Toyota Corolla
Schulten explains, "The Corolla is the same deal as the Civic, a very simple car, that's reliable, because they've been making them for years."
Other cars mechanics don't see much include the:
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry (minus its sudden acceleration recall issue)
- Ford Fusion.
Schulten said "Ford is making inroads, especially with its Fusion."
Cars that Bring Mechanics $$$$$
So Hondas, Toyotas, and the Ford Fusion don't bring much money to mechanics.
On the flip side, Schulten told me the cars that bring mechanics the most money are first year models -- because they have bugs -- and luxury cars, because they come with adjustable suspension, adaptive cruise control, and other fancy features that are expensive to fix.
Schulten said , "The more the gizmos and gadgets on a luxury car, the more expensive the repairs."
Click and Clack add -- in their humorous way -- that the cars they love the most include old Fiats, Peugeots, and Alfa Romeos. They said when they see them coming in on a flatbed, they know they'll get enough money for one month's mortgage payment.
Bottom line: A car that needs fewer repairs can save you thousands of dollars over a five-year stretch. So they're worth checking out when shopping for a used vehicle, especially if you are buying a car for a teen or college student, so you don't waste your money.