Home / American Cars / 10 Cars You Should Never Own


Many cars are awesome to look at, drive, and own.  Others only fit into awesome to look at and drive.    The following cars are amazing to drive, but you couldn’t pay me to own.  For many people, the low prices of these cars on the used market is too good to resist.  The relatively low resale value makes people blind to the true cost of ownership of many of these cars. Sure, if you are buying these cars new, the ownership cost is probably perfectly reasonable to you, but the second and third owners, the ones paying fractions of the original price, are the ones that need to watch out. This is because the cost to maintain does not go down with the value of the car.

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    • JustNiz

      Sure you can.
      Many of these cars cost less to buy used than that prius you thought was a good deal when you bought it new.

    • Neil Wayne Smith

      Exactly! The Shelby GT350H was a rental car, how sought after are these now?????

    • JustNiz

      The routine service costs $21k, which needs to happen every 3000 miles or 1 year. Bugatti also recommend replacing the rims every 10k miles which is another $50k.

      At top speed, you need to replace the tyres ($42k/set) every 15 minutes, but you’d be stopping before that anyway since it empties a full (26 gallon) tank in 12 minutes.

      Basically insane money. A private jet is much faster and cheaper.

    • http://neilschubert.angelfire.com/index.html Neil Schubert

      Yea, that is called the super wealthy price, I have a Sony Digital Audio Stationary Head recorder…The price of this recorder depended on who bought it.

    • Dr Gordon Freeman

      And remember, you morons, this is *THE* Mark Bayliss!! He’s not just some wannabe imitator! No sir! This is 100% the one and only Mark Bayliss (and if you’ve never heard of Mark Bayliss, well you don’t know shit!), and the *real* Mark Bayliss has spoken, and you’ve been pwned! BY Mark friggin Bayliss!!! P W N E D

    • Glenn_Blech

      Great post, Mr. Bayliss. Totally sucktastic list.

    • Nikki Santoro

      Obviously you’ve never met a rich person. Why Bill Gates plays $5 blackjack with the common folk.

      • Greg Turner

        Obviously there are a lot of rich people who are somewhat thrifty with their money (hence how they became rich), but someone buying a Veyron is buying it as a toy and is prepared to handle the costs. No one is using it as a daily driver.

    • http://unlimitedrevs.com Alex Filsinger

      If you perform a motor swap. You proved the whole point of the article. The car is unreliable unless modified heavily.

      • http://neilschubert.angelfire.com/index.html Neil Schubert

        People like the look and name of the car, but the USA knows how to make an engine.

    • http://neilschubert.angelfire.com/index.html Neil Schubert

      GM 350 and electronics is more reliable than a Jaguar engine and electronics. I agree 100 percent. A 350 will keep going…

  • AngelsandDemons1

    Thanks for sharing this information; I was in the market of buying one if these cars for everyday use; but, now I have seen the light!

  • Crystal Ball

    I still like my 2001 Chevy impala.

  • Pingback: 10 Cars you should never own (elise is #5) - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community()

  • Mike Vindler

    I own two elises and they are the best decision ever! Low maintenance street legal go karts that look far more expensive than they actually are! No down side in my book!

  • Mesayat

    Annual maintenance on a Veyron is 20 grand but an oil change alone is 21………so…wut???

    • http://unlimitedrevs.com Alex Filsinger

      My understanding is that they are charged separately. Annual maintenance is the other fluids if I had to guess.

      • twinstick1

        I bought a former rental car 6 months ago and have had no issues with it regarding anything mechanical. Of course, it’s a 2014 Toyota Camry and is still going strong with over 62,000 miles on it.

  • Troy D

    A wonderful list of cars for the passionate! The Elise is a reliable and inexpensive car to own. It’s also relatively cheap to modify into a very fast car. I bought a Ferrari 458 to replace the Elise on the track, thinking the Italian car was better. I was so wrong. A $30k car that beats a $300k car every time. How can that be a bad deal?

    And if looks matter more to someone than performance, both cars get the same amount of attention from onlookers and the valet. Since the McLaren also made this list I decided I should at least check it out because nearly every other car on here is just a remarkable piece of machinery.

  • JustNiz

    Wow whoever wrote this article is particularly clueless. E-Types are like any other high performance car of that period, you need to keep up with the maintenance. If you simply do that they are incredibly reliable.
    As a Brit living in the US I’ve seen time and again that most Americans don’t ever do the manufacturer-recommended maintenance on their cars. I guess that when you grow up with old Chevvys or whatever that are
    basically farm tractor technology in comparison to a Jaguar, you don’t
    know any better. They at most only do the cheapest possible oil changes then when the car predictably breaks down they blame the brand or anything else but themselves.

    • Mark Phillip Schuder

      As a mechanic in the US I must be servicing all British customers here you douche bag! Our technology is not compared to farm tractors either you Bum Fuck. I never heard the term you need two of one car to keep one running for an American car! NO, But is true for British! You all compare cars that cost 17,000 to 20,000 to cars that cost 50,000 to 100,000. Get your heads out of your asses! You dont like the interior plastic on an American car so you call the whole thing garbage. You are idiots! and JustNiz give me your address so I can send someone to your house for you to talk down to. You will be thanking an American doctor for sewing your ass back together! You all feel so small compared to USA you have to talk down to people. Like you are superior. GET REAL!

      • JustNiz

        Thanks Mark. Your post exactly proves my point about many American men being knuckle-draggers. With your aggressive attitude, anybody that trusts you to repair their car must be crazy.
        If you as a mechanic keep seeing the same British cars coming in, chances are its only because you didn’t know what you are doing enough to fix it properly and carefully the first time. You do realise that unlike old American cars, you can’t fix them by hitting them with a rock right? I will agree that is a disadvantage though.

        • Mark Phillip Schuder

          If you cant take it dont dish it out you tiny little man. Have you lost your mind posting that address? Better take your sorry little ass back to England. Your gonna get yourself killed! Literally! The truth makes little man mad! Do something stupid again asshole basher!

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            When you offend people it pisses them off dick weed! Thats why you get someone talking to you aggressively. Think harder and keep your mouth shut when you dont know what your talking about!

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            And I was being sarcastic about working on British cars you idiot! The people cars I work on are American if they dont service there cars like you say I wouldnt have a job you Penis!

          • http://unlimitedrevs.com Alex Filsinger

            Final warning. This behavior will not be tolerated. You are not contributing positively to the environment here, and you will be banned.

          • phillipbias

            wow did you really threaen to ban 1 of the 3 people who bother with this site.2 to go fool and then your all alone! WOW!

          • http://unlimitedrevs.com Alex Filsinger


          • JustNiz

            >> When you offend people it pisses them off dick weed!
            It seems you’re not into taking your own advice.

            >> And I was being sarcastic about working on British cars you idiot!
            …so your criticisms of British cars are not from any position of actual first hand knowledge or experience of them then?

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            I have worked on all kinds of cars, and when a British ones or German ones came in no body would want to work on them because they are not mechanic friendly. Just shut up you nob!

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            Oh the British ones would be covered in oil 90% of the time. Doesn’t matter age of vehicle. Or riddled with electrical problems.

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            Whatever rust didn’t take away!

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            I’m done replying to you nob. At least I’m not afraid to give my name and pic. c-ya wouldn’t want to be ya!

          • James

            Spelling, attitude and and grammar poor Mark – hope your mechanical Skills are better!

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            Sorry, they both are. I was very upset because JustNiz posted my mother’s address. What an ass. Sorry if I offended anyone. Wasn’t worried about Grammer or how I came off. I take my job very seriously and very proud of my work.

          • xk8ping2

            Mark you are an idiot in so many ways. First of all how are you claiming JustNIz got a hold of your mother’s address? You asked for it!!!!

            I am an American and know the history of car manufacturing. I don’t think you do. After WWII there was a surge in demand and technology. America followed what it was good at mass production to satisfy the masses. We were so good at that which helped us win the war. That focus followed a trend of over weight bloated, agricultural cast iron block technology that had poor quality. The Brits followed the aerospace technology learned in WW2 as its engineers moved into automobile development. So did the Germans and Japanese. The Japanese followed Edward Demming, an American who advocated statistical quality controls in manufacturing. Because American manufacturers ignored him he went to Japan and taught them. Japan soon surpassed us in manufacturing quality and we finally buckled to the techniques in the 80’s after losing in the economic battle of supply and demand. Mark study your history and you won’t look so ignorant.

          • phillipbias

            you poor hopless fool. your job isnt seriuos in any fasion, and anyone who believes you is a DULLARD

          • Bob61

            Says the guy who posted “and and”, and followed that by capitalizing Skills for no reason.
            Mirror, mirror poor James.

          • Mark Phillip Schuder

            Oh the only cars I have ever heard of being on mechanical breakdown insurance is Land Rover. Not talking about old ones. New ones. I know of three people. They do there regular maintenance intervals too! Thats just me, imagine the whole world!

          • http://unlimitedrevs.com Alex Filsinger

            I’m the Moderator. I removed his address. Threats and behavior like this will not be tolerated.

          • JustNiz

            Lol whatever dude. Look back at what we both wrote and tell me who actually appears to be the little man with the anger issues.

    • Doc Bird

      As a matter of interest, I have owned 4 E-Type Jaguars and commuted every day in them and not one of them gave the slightest trouble so I don’t know where you got the “Reliability” issue from!!!!

    • Mick McCall

      Oil changes? On an old Chevy? Just add oil when adding gasoline. No need to change oil! It’s how we got rid of the used crankcase oil we drained out of Studebakers and Packards back in the fifties.

  • Jeff Reeves

    Who is this person who wrote this article? One of my case in points is who cares what the maintenance costs are to the billionaire who can afford the Bugatti. The Jag X-type is a high performance machine, which also comes with high performance tuning, as most 40 year old High performance cars. The Lotus is just a fantastic driver’s car too.. all really interesting vehicles. And rental cars? Total BS as well.. If you don’t know what to look out for when buying a used car, take it to a shop that does. end of story. This person should be writing children’s books, a total kook.

    • xk8ping2

      He shouldn’t write children’s books either. His grammar would ruin kids

  • Frededrick

    Not so sure about Alfa Romeo. It is of course old by now but not necessarily less reliable than a car from the same era. Most of which are no longer with us. And Alfa Rome has been successful in motorsport. From Wikipedia:

    Alfa Romeo have won the following major victories and championships:[5]

    5 World Championships (1925, 1950, 1951, 1975, 1977)

    11 Mille Miglia (1928,1929,1930,1932,1933,1934,1935,1936,1937,1938)

    10 Targa Florio (1923,1930,1931,1932,1933,1934,1935,1950,1971,1975)

    4 24 Hours of Le Mans (1931, 1932, 1933, 1934)

    17 European Touring Car Championships

    9 Makes Championship

    4 Drivers’ Championships

    10 Italian F3 Championships

    10 European F3 Championships

    5 European F3 Cups

    8 French F3 Championships

    3 German F3 Championships

    1 Giro d’Italia (1988)

    2 Trans-Am championship (1966, 1970)

    1 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) (1993)

    2 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) (1983, 1994)

    5 Spanish Touring Car Championship (1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997)

    2 French Touring Car Championship (1983, 1984)

    6 Italian Superturismo Championship (1988, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004)

    7 European Historical Gran Turismo Championships

    4 European Classic Touring Car Championships

    3 Bathurst Unique Fuel Championships

    • Bob Gemale

      without any reference this list is useless. For all the know Fiat has won twice as much

  • asdf

    This article gave me cancer. Thanks. . .

  • Teomondo Scarofolo

    Dear Mr Unlimited Revs
    Don’t quit your day job as you clearly know nothing about cars or journalism.
    On second thoughts, could you write us all an article comparing different brands of sanitary towels or adult incontinence pads- I think that would be more your level…..

  • Neil Wayne Smith

    Dear, Dear God. What a boring list compiled by an author who, if he does possess a driving licence, should surrender it in exchange for an annual bus season ticket… The cars selected were ‘lifestyle’ cars, appreciating classics & collector-cars. This dweeb, by blathering on about insurance, running costs, reliability etc. was writing as if they were everyday motors!!!!! You cannot compare a Veyron to your or your partners Toyota Camry, sir.

    • Marky

      Nothing wrong with commuting in a lotus

  • Richard Johnston

    I don’t understand how people select the click bait garbage on the bottom of web pages and expect anything else? And then post to complain about it. Buy a NYT subscription most free content is trash.

  • Ramuel Sees

    Like most articles on this site. Retarded.

  • dee

    Many of the cars listed are not cars one would drive everyday. More then likely, people whom own these cars have about 10 or more sitting in the garage. This must’ve been a beat the deadline story…. SN: No one who owes a Bugatti drives it to the point that they would EVER have to do “regular maintaannce” on it… How about next time list cars that people who read these articles drive. Thank you!

  • GeorgeGalbraith

    Having owned a 1970 E-Type for many years, my response is, balderdash! It’s sound design, reliability and the long lived nature of its drivetrain is patent. Eish

    • Bob Gemale

      so, I have a Saturn that just won’t give up so its as good as any E-type

  • Downtown Colin Brown

    This is the most fucked up reasoning that I’ve heard in a while. Where did you pull this shit from?

  • Nikki Santoro

    Crap British cars most of them. lol! Should’ve just did one page, never buy a British car. Or anything else British.

  • Itisisnot

    What nonsense. And please edit your crrapp before publishing. To nitpick one item, the plural of Alfa Romeo is not Alfa Romeo’s. Take a writing class ferchrissakes.

  • Druid Winter

    Got it. A car review for the badly-need-some-wheels brigade. People who buy the cars on this list are hardly the desperate among us.

  • DarthVaderMentor

    Terrible list. I’ve owned 6 used ex-rental cars and many of them, one in particular have been the most maintenance free cars I’ve ever owned. My worst car to maintain and operate? The Acura 2003 TL-S. The best? A 2007 Toyota Sienna I bought used from Enterprise Car Rentals.

  • Steven Lowery

    10 cars you should never own, 9 cars plus all ex rental cars, brilliant!

    • Mick McCall

      I’ve owned 2 ex rentals. Both went well over 130k miles after I bought them. Only sold because too hard to change the radio speakers when they blew out. “The older she gets the slower we go But There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With The Radio” Aaron Tippin.

  • ProfitOverLife

    $21,000 for an oil change? These folks clearly need another massive tax cut so they can afford their transportation! Let me be the first (okay, far from the first) to propose that we make deep cuts to the social security benefits and retirement health care benefits of the middle class and working class, which they paid into all their lives to get, so that these poor (the other meaning of the term) folks can have their needed oil changes!
    Everyone with me on this?

    • Mirafiori


  • Gregg Gunzenhauser

    I disagree with the “Rental Car” thing as they ARE highly maintained. As for the rest, Any European car is great, as long as it is under warranty. Once the warranty is over it WILL cost you and it won’t matter if it is a VW or a Bugatti, they all go to shit at 50k miles.

    • Bob Gemale

      Police cars are all highly maintained, too, and they have that cool spot light next to the left rearview, making you look like a spy…

  • Bob61

    My Dad bought 2 rentals,both Buicks.One Hertz,the other Avis.
    A Regal and a Lesabre.
    Both were 2 years old,and lasted my parents longer than any other cars they ever owned.
    This “journalist” is far less reliable.

  • Bob Gemale

    If I pay $$ I expect something in return. If go to a rock concert, I expect the band to actually perform, not just dodder around stage and tell stories, like for instance VH. If Dave can’t remember the lyrics and all Ed does is wank hysterically, I’ll feel ripped off and say as much, not go all fanboy and gush “greatest ever” And so it goes with cars. If I buy a Citroen 2CV, Trabant, Vega or Pinto I can expect them to be average, but when I spend some real money, I expect the engineers to have earned their salaries.

  • HarleyGurl2

    I always wanted a MG midget and I finally bought a used one for $3000. It was like clockwork, every 2 weeks it would break down. It was fun as hell to drive tho, when it wasn’t broken, The last time it broke down, I never fixed it again. When winter came around, I always had to push start it. Glad it was small enough for me to push it. I came out of work one day and couldn’t find my car. My male coworkers got together and picked it up and took it to the other end of the parking. The brats! LOL!

    • Mick McCall

      I owned a ’69 Midget. When it was 2 years old. $1400. Learned quickly how to fill the carb pots, sync carbs. Rebuilt the starter, generator, and replaced the wiring in the first three months. From then on, dirt-simple car that was a hoot to drive around town getting 30mpg even in traffic. Tach’d out in high on the interstate and watching semis pass was not so fun. I miss driving that thing.

      • HarleyGurl2

        Very reliable to break down about every 2 weeks! (my car) Sounds like you got a good deal!

  • phicrappazappa

    A TOTAL WASTE of time – mine. Top ten articles to never waste your time reading. This is #1. The author should stick to used chewing gum affixed to the underside of desks comparisons.

  • Mr Creosote

    The rental discussion is BS. many rentals are up for sale 1 year old with 15-20K on the odometer.

    Is that supposed to be somehow really worse than the Corporate Lease/program car at the local Carmax?

    Rentals are sold all the time – because they want to only rent new cars. Used cars in the paper are being sold because somebody “Needs to get rid of it” before some problem they just fixed with a can of stop leak comes back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.welby.18 Robert Richards

    How about a list of expensive to maintain cars that the common person encounters instead of insanely expensive, limited production, elite, or long-out-of production cars?

  • TyTX

    Obviously I wouldn’t want a car that this writer has rented. I’d also keep his name on the “no fly list” if I ran a rental company. Fortunately, most people don’t trash the cars they rent and “program cars” as they are correctly described, are a great deal and provide a good value to the new owners.

  • David Williams

    Nothing about the horrific build quality, cost of parts and unreliability of American cars? “Favor”, “tires” and all prices in dollars – do I detect a bias towards a certain country? I’d rather have an “horrendously unreliable” Alfa Romeo than anything they churn out in the States. Come on, MSN – a bit less US bias please!!!!

  • Jim H

    I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of owning 3 Alfa Romeo’s, a 33, 146 and a Twin Spark 164, none of them ever broke down and I had driven over 200,000 combined miles in the three of them. As far as the E-Type Jag being included this confirms and just makes a mockery of the whole thing, very poorly and subjectively researched and with no scientific foundation to the claims

  • Mirafiori

    Rubbish! I love my Lotus 🙂 Fortunately it is but a weekend car and my Golf gets me to work.

  • flin1

    I have an ’07 Taurus which was a rental. I dumped in some Mobil 1 and got some new Goodyear rain tires and it’s great.

  • Allen Gibson

    The idiot author doesn’t know that people usually buy the Elise to take to the track. I just enjoy driving it around anywhere, screw the big tires on a truck, that truck will be in my rearview in seconds, and yes its loud its supposed to be.

  • Dewbert

    Where did this idiot learn how to write? Who capitalizes a word mid-sentence? Who puts a period mid-sentence?

  • Don DeMeritt

    Hi Mark, I am one who found a lotus elise just like you said–cheap, because it was used and red with black stripes; a real cop-magnet. Other sites–like Consumer Reports, a great magazine, but completely unable to enjoy a car without crashing it–call me a “fool” for owning one. F**ker weighs less than a ton and corners at 1g; i’m going out onto Route 83 to fool myself ‘smore. Peace.

    • Tom Harper

      I’m impressed how many people have rightly defended the Lotus Elise. I have had my daily driver/track car for ten years now. Absolutely zero problems and it’s a pure joy to drive. I’m sure many of the others on this list as almost as much fun. Buy the car you love and you’ll love the car you drive.

  • Toni Moggie

    Putting a rental with a list of specified cars?
    Well if you are going attempt to pull that off, just to pad out the list – I would rather buy an ex-rental with service history and maintained from a company garage than a car from a random guy off his driveway that probably abused it just as much as the rental.

    The pages about the atom and lotus sound like something an old sunday driver would moan about.

  • AnonDude123

    GRAMMAR school please!

  • phantomlaw

    Reading this list was a bigger waste of time than writing it was for the author. Exotic sports cars can be expensive to maintain? Well whoda thunk it? A street-legal go-kart like the Lotus is uncomfortable? My, my. I thought it was a performance model from Lincoln.

    I don’t know too much about Citroen, but I don’t think they have ever been sold in the United States. I do know that Citroen must be one of the ugliest cars I have ever seen.

  • Rob Lawson

    What a load of utter bollocks!

  • Nothing to see here

    I’ve seen some of these articles that I thought were the worst possible.

    I was wrong!

    Yeah, reliability on collector cars worth over half a million (or more) is a deal breaker!

    Mercedes 600 Grosser, once of the rarest post war Mercs.
    Jaguar E-Type. Highly collectible and very expensive (ie: worth a lot of money), oh, but there’s that reliability issues, deal breaker.
    Alfa Montreal. Yeah, who wants an extremely rare classic 70’s Italian sports car.
    Atom and Elise? Too damn impractical. No room for thee kids, the dog and groceries. Pass.

    Ok, I do agree with one, the rental car, but that’s a no brainer, which is very appropriate for the idiot that wrote this article.

  • Roger Zanker

    I’ve read some rubbish in my time about cars but this is the biggest crock of shite I have ever read. Clearly this so called journalist has never been within a hundred miles of any of them

  • eagle62

    You could have picked more obtainable cars that are expensive to repair and unreliable. such as the Audi A8 D3 or anything old with a Canbus computer system. Or how about an old lexus LS or GS.

    • http://UnlimitedRevs.com Alex Filsinger

      We just posted a new list for you with cars that started out cheaper. Keep in mind that the original article featured cars that were once expensive, but are now very affordable.

  • Douglas Taylor

    And the one car missing is the Land Rover Discovery 2 and 3. On both of mine the gearbox went before 200 000 km, and the oil pump and the hydraulic suspension and so much more. You cannot drive them out of range of a tow truck and Land Rover basically told me to tell someone who cared – certainly not them. So if you need a 4×4 that actually lasts – get a Toyota.

  • lameplanet

    What a stupid and clichéd list. Totally phoned this one in.

  • BiigJiim

    What an unbelievably stupid article. Was this written by a 12 year old? Guess what, it’s a North AMERICAN article (judging by the cost quotes in dollars) and all the cars are EUROPEAN! What a surprise. Really? You buy a 2nd hand Bugatti Veyron and then worry about the costs? And an Ariel Atom is designed as an (utterly brilliant) track-day car! Moron.