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The Least Expensive Cars to Repair

Posted: May 14, 2010 10:52 a.m.

If you have a lot of fender benders, listen up: Ford vehicles are the least expensive to repair after a collision.  That’s the conclusion of a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Motor Trend explains that Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles all “cost less to repair after a collision compared to other automakers’ vehicles in the same segments.”  It wasn’t a close call, either.  “Nearly 80 percent of Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln vehicles matched or beat the industry average in vehicle repair.”  Second place Toyota (together with its Lexus and Scion subsidiaries) placed about 40 percent of its vehicles below the average cost.

For car shoppers, this is doubly good news, MT notes.  “Besides saving Ford vehicle owners time and money at the repair shop, they’ll find their car insurance payments to be less since insurance companies take repair cost statistics into account when calculating insurance premiums.”

To compile the report, the NHTSA explains, it used “data compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) in its December 2009 Insurance Collision Report, and reflects the collision loss experience of passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, light trucks, and vans sold in the United States in terms of the average loss payment per insured vehicle year for model years 2007-2009.” 

Ford claims that the low repair costs are the result of an effort within the company to design cars that are inexpensive to fix.  In a press release, the company writes, “In 2009, Ford opened a Paint and Body Technology Center to leverage the combined expertise of Ford's repair and safety experts, auto repair technicians and insurance companies to identify design solutions and repair procedures that will lower repair costs.”

Whatever they’re doing, it’s working.  The list of segment leaders includes ten Ford, Lincoln or Mercury products. 

The Least Expensive Cars to Repair in Each Segment are as follows:

Micro Car: Smart Fortwo

Mini Car: Mini Clubman

Two-Door Small Car: Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

Four-Door Small Car: Ford Focus

Small Station Wagon: Chevrolet HHR

Small Sports Car: Audi TT

Midsize Two-Door Car: Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Midsize Four-Door Car: Honda Accord

Midsize Station Wagon: Subaru Outback

Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette

Midsize Luxury Car: Saab 9-3

Large Car: Ford Taurus

Luxury Car: Audi A6 Wagon

Very Large Car: Mercury Grand Marquis

Large Wagon: Dodge Grand Caravan

Large Luxury Car: Lincoln Town Car

Small Pickup: GMC Canyon

Full-Size Pickup: Ford F-150

Very Large Pickup: Ford F-250

Small SUV: Mercury Mariner

Midsize SUV: Jeep Wrangler

Large SUV: Chevy Traverse

Midsize Luxury SUV: Volvo XC90

Large Luxury SUV: Land Rover LR3

Very Large Luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade

Cargo Van: Ford Econoline

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.