Why Are Hummers So Expensive? 7 Reasons (With Examples)

Are you looking to buy a Hummer? Hummers are expensive (new or used). Buying a low-mileage model can set you back by $50,000 almost 10 years after production ceased.

We’ve researched this topic and bring you some reasons this truck is so costly.

Why do hummers cost so much?
The Hummers are expensive because they are no longer being produced. On top of that, they are built to be extremely durable with strong exterior and powerful engines.

Here are the facts about the wild price range of Hummers.

7 Reasons the Hummer Is So Expensive

They were built for a niche market and you had to be well-heeled to even attempt to own one. Besides the purchase cost, it is even more expensive to own and keep a Hummer in top shape.

Whether you are buying an early model H1 or the H3, Hummers do not come cheap.

You may also like to explore our article Are Hummers Street Legal? Rules Per State

Hummers are not your everyday truck. If you are wondering why they have such hefty price tags, here are some reasons.

1) Military Specifications

While later H3 and H2s are glorified SUVs, the original Hummer H1 was no different to the desert-storming Humvee.

If you’ve ever been in the military, you know everything had to be over-engineered.

Unlike your regular 4×4 truck or SUV, the Hummer had more ground clearance of 16 inches, a Central Tire Inflation System and some even had run-flat tire inserts.

The original Hummer tipped the scales at over 10,000 pounds, had a powerful diesel engine and could ford 30 inches of water.

In fact, the H1 shared the Humvee’s frame, axles, brakes, body panels, and both were made on the same assembly line.

The vehicle was also wider than your average truck. Its height allowed the Hummer H1 to ford waist-deep streams and it could climb 22-inch obstacles and 60 percent gradient with ease.

The radiator, air intakes and engine are mounted high, allowing the H1 exceptional off-road performance.

The CTIS allows the driver to adjust tire pressure with the flick of a button to suit the terrain.

In short, a Hummer allows you a first-hand experience of the capabilities of military hardware.

While the H2 and H3 are tamer versions of the Hummer H1, you can’t compare them to other mass-produced civilian vehicles.

So when you wonder why it costs over $40,000 to buy a 20-year-old Hummer H1, remember you are not paying for an ordinary vehicle. You are buying a Hummer.

2) Exceptional Branding

At its peak, the Hummer was selling at over $200k new!

In fact, some trims that came with upgrades tip the scales at over $290k!

Many people couldn’t wrap their heads around why someone would splurge so much on a box-like, sluggish and gas-guzzling beast of a truck. But you don’t want to say that to diehard Hummer heads.

The reason for this is the powerful branding that came with the Hummer message, of which Arnold Schwarzenegger contributed a major part.

Arnold was the first person to show interest in owning a civilian version of the battle-tested Humvee after seeing a convoy while on a movie set in Oregon.

Arnold was basking in the glory of a super macho bodybuilder, a rising actor, and cigar-chomping alpha male.

Driving a Hummer complemented his Spartan persona and many people who had the money wanted to key into the same image.

The Hummer transcended vehicle ownership; it was the embodiment of the larger-than-life culture of affluent Americans.

From inception, the Hummer was branded for the deep-pocketed in the society.

Not only was it expensive to buy, the Hummer needed more gas and longer time to cover the same distance as more affordable alternatives.

The target market of the H1 and the later H2 and H3 Hummer were the rich.

That was what drove GM to buy the Hummer brand from AM General after realizing there was so much money to make despite the low production volume.

3) Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Buying a Hummer is almost like a boat. It is expensive to purchase and maintenance intensive. But for people who will own one, it can seem like something is missing in their lives.

Almost 10 years after the last Hummers rolled out of GM’s Shreveport factory, enthusiasts in China and other parts of the world are now buying Kit Hummers from VLF Automobile.

And the sale of used Hummers continues unabated all over the world.

So why do people still jump at buying a Hummer when there are better alternatives at lower prices?

The only plausible explanation is that they don’t want to miss the experience.

The Hummer may never be produced again, but people who want to live the legend will continue to find ways of owning the vehicle.

If you can afford it, why not?

4) Limited Production

All the above leads to one thing; limited production.

Despite being widely popular, the Hummer was made in relatively low numbers. In fact, yearly sales didn’t exceed 80,000 vehicles.

With the low production, the price tag had to include a chunky markup for the manufacturer and dealers to make a good profit.

This helped to drive the branding of the Hummer as a unique user experience.

The vehicle was made exclusively for the US market initially, so overseas buyers had to pay extra premium price tags to own Hummers in their country.

Eventually, GM allowed a Russian firm to assemble the vehicle in Kaliningrad. Later, the company produced the H3 at its South Africa plant for the export market.

5) Expensive Parts

The Hummer H1 was a unique vehicle because it was built to military specifications.

This meant that you could not find the spare parts at any ordinary auto shop. Most of the parts came directly from AM General and later GM.

Everything from the tie rods, brakes, heating-AC systems, and the engine differed from your average truck’s.

The H3 which was based on the chassis of a Chevy Colorado was easier to maintain but was still a lot more maintenance intensive.

The Hummer was not only expensive to buy, but it was costly to maintain except for people with an extended warranty. But even the warranty could cost up to $17,000.

6) Maintenance Intensive

As said earlier, the Hummer is a needy child.

Regardless of the model or year of production, all Hummers require extensive and costly maintenance, especially if it’s not under warranty.

People who own the 2006 model of the Hummer H2 particularly have a lot of complaints while owners of the H1 Alpha praise it to the highest heavens.

If you use your Hummer on the pavement, maintenance will be minimal. Off-roading with the hulking truck is a different matter.

And not every mechanic can handle the complicated systems in later model Hummers with their high-end computer controls.

Costly spare parts, factory defects, and old age contribute to the maintenance woes of this popular automobile.

To enjoy your Hummer, it’s important to have the financial wherewithal to pay for the expensive repairs that will surely come.

Otherwise, get the mechanical prowess to DIY most of the maintenance to reduce cost.

7) High Resale Value

Another factor that makes the Hummer expensive is the high resale value.

Because production has stopped for a long time but demand is still high, the Hummer continues to retain its value.

Low-mileage models from the early 90s can go for up to $40k or more.

So even after almost two decades, the Hummer is still one very expensive truck.

What about the Hummer Limousine?

The Hummer Limousine is created by cutting the H2 behind the cab and stretching the chassis.

This allowed for a bigger passenger section that could accommodate up to 22 people.

The Hummer Limo is widely used for social events and is still a popular sight in the United States, the UK, and Australia.

It is still in high demand in the Limousine hire industry because the vehicle is customized for parties. Limousine Hummers were produced in small numbers but many private firms still convert H2s to the stretch variant to meet industry demand.

Hummer limos can cost between $30,000 to over $100,000 depending on the social facilities. Newer versions will probably cost far more with premium leather interior, air conditioning, and disco lights.

Except you have an event and party management company, it’s better to rent a Hummer limo rather than buy one.

Final Words

The Hummer was built for the affluent in society. Owning and maintaining the vehicles costs far more than other trucks in its class.

And it’s not the fastest on the road although it compensates with exceptional off-roading qualities.

So whichever model you plan to buy, remember it takes a well-padded wallet to enjoy a Hummer.

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