Most of us middle class car folk can only dream of owning an all-out sports or supercar. The closest we ever get to owning one is through reading magazines or attending car shows. Yes, sometimes we a glimpse at a Porsche 911 Turbo for a split second on the highway and it throws us into a jealous rage, but have you ever considered the actual cost of owning something that fast?
Obviously, the greatest monetary investment into a supercar is the initial sticker price. These can vary depending on year, condition, mileage, etc. For demonstration purposes, lets concentrate on brand new models. The cost of purchasing your dream car outright will probably be in the $50,000 to $200,000 range (although there are fast cars out there for much cheaper).
Have you heard of the gas guzzler tax? Its basically an up-charge to the supercar buyer for buying a vehicle that uses too much gasoline to operate. Therefore, you are taxed an additional amount when you purchase one. This amount can range from $1,000 to $7,700 depending on the fuel economy of the automobile. Check this link out for a list of vehicles from 2009 that qualify for this wonderful tax: http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/guzzler/420b08016.pdf
The second greatest cost to a supercar owner is maintenance. If you have never priced replacement parts for a sports car, let me be the first to tell you that they are not cheap. For example, the cost to replace the front bumper cover on a Lamborghini Murcielago is over $15,000. Or if you own a Dodge Viper and you damage the plastic front lip spoiler (which hangs low and is often ruined by steep road conditions) that will cost you $1800. Depending on which car you have selected to buy, your oil changes will most likely need done by a professional dealer mechanic, and that will cost you upwards of $250 each time. Also, most of these fast cars have wide, sticky tires and those three words added together usually equal expensive. For example, replacing the tires on the newer Ford GT will set you back $400 per tire.
Lastly, lets discuss super/sports car insurance premiums. Since the cost to repair these automobiles is sky high and they have a very high power to weight ratio (lots of horsepower and lightweight construction) the amount of money you spend on insurance is not pretty. Now, this cost will vary depending on age, accident/violation history and other factors. Just for example, I did a ballpark insurance quote through Allstate.com for myself on a 2009 Nissan GTR. This resulted in a premium of $4500 per year for a basic insurance package. I would expect much higher numbers to insure myself on a 911 Turbo or Aston Martin DBS.
The hidden costs of owning and driving a fast car can really add up. Of course, there are other alternatives to buying a full-fledged supercar. The car market is full of turbocharged sedans and hatchbacks, as well as lightweight four-cylinder cars (like the Lotus Elise) that are all supercar fast. However, dont expect to pay much less to insure and repair these supercar killers. Along with the money it may take to get you into your dream car, the final cost is your safety. Speed, power and stupidity can become a dangerous mixture. Each year, drivers total certain sports cars and usually lose their lives in the process. When you buy something that can get to 100 mph in the blink of an eye, slowing it down and keeping it under control becomes a daunting task. Now, I am not telling you to buy a Toyota Prius and drive like my grandmother, but there is a time and place to use a supercar to its full potential and that is at a sanctioned racetrack.