I purchased the car from a towing company, and it had extremely low miles, so of course a few things were bound to stop breaking.
This is the work done since I purchased it (obviously routine oil changes have been done):
25,000 - The car came with a check engine light - replaced throttle body and computer (not the car's fault - my mechanic burned mine).
27,000 - Mass air flow sensor - I went on a road trip, bad idea, my Bug wasn't ready for one.
29,000 - Trunk won't open - I don't even use the trunk, so I could care less about fixing it.
30,000 - New brake pads and rotors (routine maintenance).
35,000 - Oil gasket - Apparently I have to change this after every oil change, or else my Bug will leak oil - No biggie, it's a $2 fix.
36,000 - Radiator flush (routine maintenance) - My car overheated for 2 days due to an air bubble. Downside to Beetles - they don't have a bleeder.
40,000 - New light bulb for front head light - easy fix. Side note: Beetles are known for going through light bulbs. That doesn't bother me.
This is an excellent first car, however I do recommend that you know a mechanic or have a "car savvy" friend, because these cars are known for having their little fits.
I do recommend you purchase this car with LOW miles - 50,000, I got lucky with my car! $4,000 - 25,000 miles, and about $2,000 in maintenance and repairs. Not bad considering my car was sitting for, hmm.. like 10 years?
As long as you do all the maintenance and immediately get your car checked out when any sort or warning light goes on (my friend has the same cars as mine - her car isn't the best), it should be fine, and will last you at least 175,000 miles.
Also - It gets great gas mileage considering its age, 27-30MPG!! But I don't recommend it for road trips - I love my car, but Bugs are very dainty cars, so they are best suited for college students and people who don't commute far.
Overall this car is fun, reliable and gas saving car!