Chicago, City Of Small Car Repair Bills?

CHICAGO (STMW) – Here’s some good — and perhaps surprising — news about owning a car in Chicago: It’s a lot cheaper to keep your vehicle running here than in most American cities.

Chicago ranked ninth least expensive out of 90 U.S. cities in average monthly automobile costs, according to a new study posted this week at, a website devoted to analyzing spending patterns, with the goal of creating wiser consumers.

On average, Chicagoans spent $209 monthly between July 2009 and June, the study found. Automobile expenses include such things as trips to a mechanic, an oil change and new tires.

Bundle and study partner analyzed anonymous credit card data from some 20 million American households. Detroit was the least expensive city for car expenses, with a monthly average cost of $115.

The study also ranked the same 90 cities in terms of best and worst overall commutes. Chicago came in 63rd among the 90 cities, when other factors — including gas prices, miles traveled, time spent stuck in traffic — were taken into account. Overall, Eugene, Ore., had the best commute, while Dallas had the worst, according to the findings.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

  • kevgood 2000

    The study is out of touch with Chicago. Factor in parking garage costs, parking meter costs, parking tickets, bogus and real, towing charges, and you get a very different picture of the expenses involved in owning a car in Chicago.

    Also, the data is suspect. Anonymous credit card data was used to conduct the survey. So the survey only takes credit card payments into account in gathering their results. How did they get the credit card info? That raises questions.

    The study proves its lack of worth when it ranks Chicago as only the 63rd best, or 37th worst commute out of 100 in America. No way is the Chicago commute not Top 5 worst in the country. Average commute to work in this city is 60 minutes one way.

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