No. of Recommendations: 13

You wrote, Vehicles I've owned since I was 18 have cost me an average of $250/year, excluding gas, oil and insurance - Some have been pretty nice, and collectible. All have been reliable, after some work (included in the $250/year average.)

I see only two ways anyone could swing $250/year in maintenance and repairs on a vehicle. 1. They live in a city where they can walk, bicycle or ride the bus most of time (so the car sits idle most of the time); or 2. They buy low-cost, high-mileage cars and do all their own repairs. I suspect you're talking about the later.

I know a guy that actually tends to make money on his cars. He used to be a race car mechanic. He buys car models he knows well, that have some problems and he can get parts cheap. He buys them cheap, fixes them up over time, drives them when they're running (he usually has two or three at any given time, so one is always drive-able) and almost always sells them for more than he puts into them.

But that's really a hobby for him. He doesn't make enough money doing it to make a living. His regular job doesn't make him a bundle and this is a way for him to cover his transportation costs, earn gas money while doing something he likes. And sometimes he winds up owning some cool cars for a while.

But not everyone is mechanically inclined (or talented) enough to do their own car maintenance. In fact, without a mentor it's easy to pick the wrong car or to create more problems with a car than you solve. The result can actually wind up costing as much or more than if you'd paid someone and you're still out your time and the money you spent on materials.

So it's great that *YOU* are able to get away with $250/year on a car. Most people can't and I'd be reluctant to suggest they try unless they're already motivated...

- Joel
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