Luxury Cars Reveal Why Car Repair Costs Vary by State

Experts are trying to solve the riddle of state-by-state car repair costs. Why does Vermont have the least expensive repair costs, and why does New Jersey have the most expensive repair costs? Keep reading for some clues.

Hurricane Sandy

The average cost of check-engine light vehicle repairs in 2012 was up 10 percent over $367.84 in 2011. The purported reason the average bill in New Jersey is so much higher than the nationwide average at $392.99 is Hurricane Sandy. According to this theory, car owners in New Jersey had to repair vehicles hit by flood damage and pay higher labor and part costs due to the number of other storm-related repairs in the state.

“In 2012, we saw a dramatic shift in the top five most expensive states for average car repairs, as many drivers along the East Coast incurred rising auto-repair costs, while they simultaneously contended with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.”

(CarMD CEO Leon Chen)

Luxury Cars

Look at the types of cars people are driving in the different states. A good indicator is luxury car sales by state. Check out the top states for luxury car sales last year compared to most expensive states for car repairs.

Most Luxury Cars Sold & Ranked Repair Costs:

  1. California — 3rd most expensive car repairs
  2. Florida — 11th
  3. New York — (see below)
  4. New Jersey — 1st
  5. Virginia — 9th
  6. Georgia — 6th

The more expensive cars people drive in a state, the more expensive the average car repairs. Simple. None of the least expensive car repair states makes an appearance in the top 10 of luxury car sales.

So why does New York come in 18th on the list of car repair costs?

Vermont Explains NY & NY Explains New Jersey

Vermont is known for hard winters and poverty. People drive tough cars that don’t break down and won’t get destroyed by road salt. High poverty keeps labor costs low, and Vermont had the lowest labor cost in the study at $115.90 per hour.

The luxury cars you see in the Green Mountain State are driven by, you guessed it, New Yorkers. But they come to Vermont for vacation, not to get their cars fixed. New Yorkers cross the river into New Jersey to get their cars fixed, further driving up repair costs in The Garden State.

What About Lamborghinis?

St. Louis residents should take heart. Missouri is 29th on the list of car repair costs. All eight states that border Missouri score well below average too. The regional cost of living is relatively low, and Missourans don’t buy luxury cars, right?

Turns out Missourans buy the most Lamborghinis of any state in America.

“It’s the bravado of the Lamborghini, the attraction. The extreme aggressiveness of the car basically just draws people to the brand.”

(Steve Burks, Motorcars International in Springfield, MO)

The most sensible way to keep car repair cost down is to buy a high-quality used car at a dealership in St. Louis.

(Photo: Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, commons.wikimedia.org)

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