I’m looking to buy a new car and right now my candidates are the Mini Cooper, Fiat 500, or Ford Fiesta. The problem is that I’ve been told the Mini Cooper is really expensive to repair and since the Fiat is brand new to the US, I have an inkling that it will be expensive to repair too.
I was just wondering if there is some resource to compare the cost of repair between different models of cars. Some people tell me I should drop the idea of a Mini all together because of the repair costs, but I am just not sure how much more the repair cost is than some other cars.
Any help you could provide would be extremely welcomed. Thank you.
The Mini is owned by BMW, and I believe the parts are just as pricey as other BMWs. I agree the Fiat 500 is new to the market, but I would imagine, just like other European brands, like Saab and Volvo, the parts and repair would also have a significant mark-up.
An updated mechanic’s labor cost book would have such information in it. But, they are pricey and not generally available for free on the internet. You’d need a subscription to a book service at a minimum. http://www.alldata.com/ is such a service
Edmunds.com has a product called True Cost to Own. The True Cost to Own is not available for the Fiat since it is too new. Estimated maintenance and repairs are $3706 and $1242 respectively for the Mini hatchback during the first 5 years. Estimated M&R for a new 2011 Ford Fiesta hatchback are $2836 and $831. The maintenance is not hard to figure out, but the repairs are estimated as half the cost of an extended warranty. That’s not a clear way to estimate repairs, unfortunately. The supposition is that half the extended warranty pays the dealer for selling it, and the other half represents something more than the manufacturer expects to pay out. That way they make money. The manufacturers use actuaries to determine how much to charge, so it’s not all voodoo. Still, the maintenance is $900 more over 5 years for the Mini and repairs are $400 more. If you like the Mini $1300 more, you might buy it.
Edmunds (TCO true cost to own) is the only thing I have seen that depicts this. Not sure how accurate it is in what you actually pay. However it maybe a decent comparison point between vehicles.