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Owners of foreign-made cars may need car repair insurance

The cost of repairing vehicles from Asian manufacturers averaged about $75 more in the first quarter of 2009 than for domestic vehicles, according to an analysis from Audatex North America.

Due to the added repair costs, insurance experts say owners of foreign-made vehicles may want to consider car repair insurance. Repairs and maintenance on average make up about 4 percent of the total cost of owning a vehicle, according to Consumer Reports.

The reason for the repair costs discrepancy is that cars made by Asian companies take an average of 1.8 more labor hours than domestic to repair than cars made by American manufacturers, Audatex said.

Car repair insurance, which is separate from breakdown insurance, covers the cost of repairs for the length of time specified in the policy. Some policies offer bumper-to-bumper coverage, while others only cover certain parts of the vehicle like the engine.

The cost of car repair insurance could make the difference for owners of foreign cars that have outlived their manufacturers' warranties.

Those with Asian-manufactured cars could end up keeping their cars for longer than owners of domestic cars. According to Audatex, Asian-made cars are 22 percent less likely to be declared a total loss after a collision than American-made cars.

However, this year's most expensive car to insure, at a cost of $2,533, was the Japanese-made Nissan GT-R, a sleek sports car rated Automobile of the Year by Automobile Magazine.

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