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Top 5 European Car FAQs

Top 5 European Car FAQs - Performance Auto Specialists Wilmington NC

Are European cars safer than domestic vehicles?

Although most vehicle manufacturers keep safety near the top of their priority list, European cars typically receive the highest safety ratings.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. European manufacturers’ hyper-focus on engineering. Built for the highest level of performance, European cars not only offer a smoother, more enjoyable ride, but they specifically designed them for maximum safety on the road.
  2. They use higher-quality materials. While American manufacturers ‌pick materials based on consumer affordability, European brands prioritize quality over cost. And with premium materials come premium car parts that are more likely to withstand a crash test.
  3. They have to abide by stricter European Union (EU) safety standards. The heightened safety of European vehicles is a clear, direct result of the stringent standards manufacturers must adhere to.

Studies show that occupants of cars meeting EU standards have a much lower risk of serious injury in frontal and side crashes than occupants of vehicles manufactured according to US standards.

One of the major differences between EU and US safety standards is the consideration of pedestrians. Unlike American factories, European manufacturers are required to follow strict pedestrian safety protocols, implementing things like speed assistance, raised front seats, reversing sensors, warnings of drowsiness or distraction, smaller wheel size, and more!

Are European cars unreliable?

Absolutely not!

When given the proper care and attention, European vehicles far outlast and outperform their American counterparts. If you stick to the manufacturer’s maintenance suggestions, your car shouldn’t experience much depreciation at all–in quality OR cost.

Are European vehicles more fuel efficient?


It’s a well-known fact that Americans like to make BIG cars. And the larger the car, the greater the toll on fuel efficiency. Part of the reason Americans do this is that…well… we can. Our fuel prices are low enough to make high fuel rates somewhat affordable.

European gas prices are significantly higher. Therefore, European cars are much more like Japanese cars, relying on small, sophisticated engines built with fuel efficiency at the top of the mind.

Do European cars require more maintenance?

Short answer? Yes. But why is this the case?

European car manufacturers aim for perfection. The exceptional performance of luxury European vehicles encompasses everything from safety and speed to comfort and entertainment.

With a superior build comes the need for a higher standard of care. When you invest in any expensive luxury item, odds are you’ll need (and want) to spend a little more time, energy, and money to sustain its exceptional quality.

So, while American and Japanese cars can function reasonably well with little maintenance at all, they sell European vehicles with the assumption that you’ll take a little more care.

Why does it cost more to maintain European vehicles?

There’s no getting around it.

European car repair and maintenance can be pretty expensive. There are several factors responsible for driving up the maintenance costs.

First‌, they produce the parts in Europe. Most times, dealers and repair shops won’t ‌have the particular part your car needs in stock. Simply locating the right part incurs quite the cost–between Europe’s high labor costs and the steep price of shipping (i.e. transportation fees and import taxes).

Then, as already mentioned, the parts are made with higher quality materials. Built for enhanced performance, the car parts themselves can come with a big price tag. Even the oils and fluids used in routine check-ups are of the premium kind.

Oh! And don’t forget the brand value. On some level, a little of the cost may result from the vehicle’s extraordinary reputation.

Last but not least–the dealership up charges. Many new car dealerships will significantly mark up the price on replacement parts just to make an extra profit… because they know you’ll pay anything for top grade parts.

FORTUNATELY, these dealership charges are totally avoidable. There are things you can do to make sure you’re getting the very best price for European car service. At Performance Auto Specialists, we not only have manufacturer-standard expertise and experience, but we offer maintenance and repair services for a far more affordable price.

Performance Auto Specialists of Wilmington NC

Our team realizes the high price of proper maintenance can be daunting. 

But when you bring your beloved European vehicle to us, our manufacturer-trained, specialized mechanics will give your car the maintenance it deserves (for a much lower price than your dealer’s service department). 

Performance Auto Specialists is proud to offer eastern North Carolina efficient, affordable European car repairs, with years of experience fine-tuning our craft. We service European vehicles 3 years and older that are no longer covered under a factory, bumper-to-bumper warranty. 

Ready to give your European car the maintenance it deserves? Get fast and reasonably priced European auto repair in Wilmington here with Performance Auto Specialists! Schedule an appointment or call us at (910) 343-1650.

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