The average car costs around $0.09 per mile to maintain. That might not sound like much, but Americans drive over 13,000 miles a year on average, so those maintenance costs could climb to a staggering $1,170 a year.
Once you factor gas and auto loan payments into the equation, that cheap runaround begins to look like a massive drain on your finances.
There are cheaper alternatives, though, cars with low maintenance costs and low repair costs.
If you’re a budget-conscious driver looking at long-term savings, keep an eye out for the following vehicles.
Cars with Low Maintenance Costs
Car maintenance costs can spiral out of control really quickly, but if you stick with a low-cost, reliable compact or subcompact car, you shouldn’t have too many issues.
Luxury cars cause the most problems, and the higher the initial sticker price, the more expensive those maintenance costs will be.
Here’s a quick glimpse into the cars that are the cheapest to maintain and repair:
- Toyota Corolla
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Yaris
- Nissan Versa
- Honda Fit
- Honda CR-V
Statistically, all of these cars will cost you an average of $3,000 to $4,000 in maintenance over a period of 10 years.
When you consider that the average is over $10,000, that’s a pretty impressive saving.
Cars with Highest Maintenance Costs
German engineering is some of the best in the world, and every knowledgeable driver can appreciate the quality of Germany’s best car manufacturers. But if you’re looking to trim those annual maintenance costs, it’s best to avoid these luxury cars.
In fact, several of the cars with the highest maintenance costs are made in Germany, including the BMW M4, Porsche 911, and Audi A4 Allroad Quattro.
Forbes recently published a list of the 15 cars with the most expensive repair costs and maintenance costs, and 8 were German cars.
The maintenance cost of a Porsche 911 could edge over $20,000 for the decade while the Porsche 718 Boxster will run you an average of $13,000 to $14,000.
Sure, it’s a luxury car brand and you can expect to pay a little more, but once you’ve had that 911 for 15 years or so and you’re ready to let go, it will have cost you the price of a brand-new compact car.
Most Common Car Repair Costs
Where is that $1,100+ being spent, and why’s it so high?
Most of it goes on routine maintenance, including replacement air filters, oil changes, new wiper blades, and anti-freeze, but it also covers new brake pads, new tires, wheel alignments, and battery replacements. There’s a high chance that you will need to do most of these things at least once over the next decade or so, and those costs can add up very quickly.
Summary: Car with the Lowest Repair and Maintenance Costs
Repair and maintenance costs are based on averages, and they can vary significantly depending on the data and the way it’s being processed. You also have to consider how the car is being used-is it just there to get from A to Z or is it being driven hundreds of miles a week?
With all things considered, the cheapest cars to maintain and repair are cheap compact Toyotas and Hondas.
Cars like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Yaris have low service costs, cheap parts, and reasonable sticker prices. They are also some of the most popular vehicles in the United States, and so there is no shortage of car parts and cheap used vehicles on the market.
Just make sure you stay away from electric cars (including the Toyota Prius), sports cars (such as the Porsche 911), and other premium models. You should also check the reliability scores to make sure your car stays pristine for years to come.