Cruising around in a sleek, black, shiny and beautiful car is a lovely feeling, no lie. Ever wonder exactly how much work, money and time go into keeping it looking like that? A while back, I had an unhealthy obsession with black cars. I’d spend all my free time going through car catalogs and online showrooms looking at majestic black cars. I couldn’t stop fantasizing about owning a black car, Black Range Rover, Black Sedan, Black Lamborghini. As long as it was black, it went straight to my list of cars most wanted by yours truly. Psychotic, right? Anyway, I didn’t think much beyond the fact that I desperately wanted to own a black car
The obsession spilled over into my marriage. I pushed my husband to buy a black car for close to two years. When he finally bought it, I understood why he was so skeptical about it. Black cars are “needy” cars; you need more time and extra care in handling them. I love taking care of our beautiful black baby. The big question is, are operational costs on black vehicles higher? It doesn’t feel that way. But that maybe my bias based on my love for these wonderfully black machines.
Repair and Maintenance.
The first time I saw a scratch on my car, I went rabidly insane. Maybe that is a little exaggerated but yes, I was livid. My neighbor grazed his car door on my car door. It was a little “bruise” on the car but in my eyes, it was a whole mess. That was the beginning of millions of “little” accidents. You cannot get away with hiding any incidents touching on a black car’s body. Brace yourself for countless bodywork repairs, especially if you are not a careful driver. You will want to paint your car yourself to a different color a few times; you may shed a few tears or just shed them unashamedly every time you spot another ‘mishap’. Have you identified the first rule of owning a black car yet? Be a careful driver, very careful.
Maintenance costs on your car are not dependent on the color, but the type and model of your vehicle. Naturally, luxury car parts cost way more than regular ones. However, you cannot get away with some costs pegged on owning a car; service cost is top of that list. If you want your car to serve you with diligence, you have to exercise diligence on your part first. Do not, and I repeat, do not miss a service day. When you start compromising on servicing your car, then you will be dealing yourself a shorthand Being extra careful with your black car will save you a lot of costs. Remember that the next time your teenage son borrows your car for a crazy night out with his reckless friends.
An insurance cost based on car color is an urban myth. Insurance companies will rarely if at all, be bothered by the color of your car. They are interested in the make and model of your car, year of manufacture and place of manufacture. All these details are accessible through your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
It is believed that black cars are at higher accident risks than other color cars and so the higher the insurance on the cars. Another popular misconception. Red cars, according to popular research, are the ones at the highest risk of accidents. But that still does not influence over car insurance. Your driving record, this one is not an urban myth. Your driving record speaks directly to the insurer. Not only might they charge you a higher rate, but they may also drop you altogether. If your record is riddled with DUI charges, numerous parking tickets and the countless number of accidents, then you may have a problem getting yourself an insurer. A clean sheet will support you in getting regular insurance rates. Talk to your insurer to find out how your record affects your insurance ratings.
Car insurance will go higher based on the value of your vehicle. Buy yourself an expensive, black, sports car if you want. Remember though; you will keep that hefty chunk of money aside for the insurance company. Sports cars are high-risk vehicles and so, higher insurance value and premiums.
There is an unproven theory that black cars consume up to 2% more fuel than other color cars. This is because they tend to overheat due to higher heat absorption. However, in my very humble opinion, 2% is a negligible margin and should not stop your love of black cars to cease. If anyone tells you that your black car consumes more fuel because it is black, you could just ignore them. When my husband bought the black car that stole my heart a second time, everyone around us (Who all don’t own black cars) kept preaching about fuel consumption. I haven’t seen a difference in consumption from other cars we’ve owned previously.
Fuel consumption of your vehicle depends solely on the capacity of your engine and the type of fuel. Diesel engines consume way less than Petroleum engines. However, the costs of maintaining a diesel engine are way higher. Vehicle color has absolutely nothing to do with fuel consumption.
Cleaning, Polishing & Waxing Costs.
One of my most therapeutic activities is washing, polishing and waxing my car. When that spot is reserved in my weekly plan of activity, I will not compromise it. Cleaning my car time is a holy hour. If you own a black car, you have to be ridiculously loyal to caring for your car. Taking your car to a carwash every time you need to have it cleaned will cost you more money than it will if you do it yourself. Cleaning it out yourself gives you a chance to pay attention to the details of the car and understand your machine better.
If you want to keep the body of your black car in tiptop condition, you are going to have to be just a little bit extra. Use high-quality cleaning products to keep the paintwork looking as new and shiny as it was. The use of substandard products will have your car paint all faded. You may need to invest a bit heavily on these. Black beauties need regular cleaning. You cannot be lazy and own one of those. Polishing should be done more often and wax not just frequently, but thoroughly.
My next-door neighbor is a real car enthusiast. He is the male version of the proverbial cat lady, only he has cars. He has so many cars in his garage, driveway and at different car yards. Some of them are scrappy little pieces that he brings back to life and sells off. His regular car is a white sedan that is exactly like my black one. He spends almost thrice as much as I do on his car running costs. I am a very DIY person but he is not, he doesn’t mind paying for a wash at an automatic carwash frequently.
Are operational costs on black cars worth it?
If you can afford to buy a car, then you have to accept that you must afford to have it registered, you will pay taxes on it, you will have to service it and of course, have the cash to pay for parking spaces and fuel it. Cars are an expense that people who do not want to take the train or a cab incur if you value your space or work in an area that has no public transport available, and then you cannot ask this question. Not having to share your breathing space, standing space, sitting space and exchanging glares with strangers in public transport, makes it worth every penny. Your black car is a necessary expense and should be treated as such. Make owning your car an experience worth all the money you put into it. Quit whining about operational costs. It is not attractive.
Trust me, Black cars’ operational costs are not exorbitant.
The die was cast the day you bought your car. Whether you like it or not, it costs money to maintain a car. The bottom line is, the operational costs of black cars are more or less like any other color car. Maintaining a vehicle is not a cheap venture and requires a tremendous financial commitment. Not to mention high-level discipline to keep it running and in excellent condition.
I took my chances with this black ride that has my excitement levels at a constant high. I have not had even a moment of regret. If a black car is what you want, please, get yourself a black car. If you do not invest in your car, you might as well prepare to board the subway a few years from now. Your vehicle will give you just as much service as you are willing to put in to take care of it. Do you doubt it? Start taking better care of your car and see for yourself.