Car Buying

Do Performance Cars Cost More to Own?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2015

If you're interested in buying a new performance car, you're probably a little concerned about costs. After all, performance cars are usually more expensive to buy than normal cars, by virtue of their added capabilities, larger engines and other upgrades. But do sporty cars cost more to own and operate than a normal car? In most cases, we'd say the answer is yes, and today, we're telling you exactly why.

Repairs and Maintenance

One reason that sporty cars often cost more to own than "normal" vehicles is that repairs and maintenance costs are usually higher. While there are a few reasons for this, the major one is obvious: Sports cars are designed to perform at the limit, which means that their components are usually under more stress than you'd get from a normal car. This is especially true for drivers who spend time on the track with their performance cars, as they'll see many components wear more quickly than usual.

Another reason that sports cars often cost more to own than regular vehicles: They frequently use unique parts that are designed only for use in that one particular vehicle. This is the opposite of most traditional cars, which typically share parts to lower the overall cost of production and repairs. As a result, some sports-car issues can only be solved with a pricey replacement part, rather than a simple, shared component.

Fuel and Insurance

It's not just repairs and maintenance that make performance cars more expensive than normal vehicles. Another item to consider is fuel: Because sports cars aren't usually designed to conserve fuel, they often get worse gas mileage than their "regular" counterparts. As a result, drivers will likely find that sports cars will leave their wallets a little lighter when they visit the pump.

Another issue is that insurance is often more expensive for sports cars. Once again, the reason here is obvious: Performance cars are designed to go fast, which worries most insurance adjusters. While many drivers don't carry out crazy antics in their performance cars, some do, and that raises the insurance rates for everyone.

Worth It?

So performance cars are usually more expensive to own than normal models. But are they worth it? Of course, the answer to this depends on how much you value the driving experience. If you're looking for a car that prioritizes frugality over fun, a performance car isn't for you. But if you're willing to pay extra for a more enjoyable experience on the road, you might find that a sporty car can easily justify its additional costs over a normal model.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Do Performance Cars Cost More to Own? - Autotrader