Foreign luxury cars have long been viewed as a status symbol. Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are all foreign brand names people like to flaunt when they feel they’ve achieved the American Dream. The lofty price tag is often part of the appeal because many people feel it shows that they can afford a car that many cannot. But keeping and maintaining one of these vehicles often costs more than even their well-to-do buyers bargained for. Everything from filling up the gas tank to taking it in for a brake repair will hit your pocketbook just a little bit harder.First of all, most high-end foreign vehicles recommend or even require that the driver fill the tank with premium gas. The premium gas option usually costs around 20 cents more per gallon. Premium gas is manufactured to be high-octane and less combustible. These traits don’t necessarily make it any better than regular unleaded, but they do make it the only good fuel option for many foreign luxury cars because their engines are specifically designed to take this kind of gasoline. People trying to save money by putting regular unleaded gas into these cars likely will find the vehicle’s performance and gas mileage to be negatively affected. Furthermore, several American luxury brands, such as Cadillac and Lincoln are now manufacturing luxury vehicles that are engineered to run on regular unleaded gasoline.Maintenance is another issue. Foreign automobile drivers typically have to go to their corresponding dealership to have an oil change or any other regular maintenance done. An oil change for these cars typically requires not only a pricier synthetic oil but also more of it than many domestic cars would need. An oil change for a BMW or Audi can cost anywhere from around $80-$130. The bright side to this is that many of these cars require less frequent oil changes. A Ford or Chevy owner might be instructed to have his or her oil changed every 3,000 miles. However, a BMW or Audi owner may only have to get an oil change every 10,000 miles.Repairs can be expensive and time consuming for any automobile owner. But owners of European brands will often find that their repair rates are quite a bit higher than those of domestic car owners. This is true in part because the parts usually must be imported from the same place as the car. The parts themselves may be more expensive than domestically-manufactured parts. However, the price of shipping and the waiting involved if a part needs to be ordered all factor into an even greater headache. For example, a brake repair on a domestic vehicle can set your bank balance back a few hundred dollars, but the same brake repair on an imported vehicle could cost you closer to $1,000. Sometimes even labor costs are higher because foreign cars are considered more labor-intensive, and fewer mechanics have the skills and knowledge to work on them a fact they use to justify charging more.
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