Word of warning if you're buying a smart car or a Mercedes - the service costs are constantly rising. I just dug through my old service receipts and this is what I found for the per-hour servicing fee:
Given how quickly rates were raised though 2008-2010 I am surprised I was not paying $200/hour for this service in 2012.
I'm not complaining about the quality of the service (or anything else - overall I like working with Eurotrend) so much as the arbitrary servicing costs. I mean, a rate increase of 152% over three years would be alarming in ANY industry.
This is just another reason that I am a complete car cynic/pessimist. Cars eat up an absurdly high percentage of our annual incomes for the privilege of being able to drive around. Is it worth it? I really don't know. I loved being a pedestrian in Montreal and using the Metro system, but Saskatoon's public transit isn't as good.
I spend $100/month on insurance/plates, another $100 on gas (low for most Canadians I'm sure), then throw in a few hundred dollars for service and repairs - that's upwards of $3,000/year on my car. People who lease or finance spend much more. I'd sure love to take all of that money and just go on a fun vacation instead.