Are you planning to purchase a new car and you are looking to find out more about the cars with cheapest maintenance? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be quite a bit to cover on this topic.
Maintenance is one of the most important factors that you should consider before you purchase a new or used car. Prices might seem very tempting and a lot of people are often misinformed and purchase a cheap expensive car that has a crazy high maintenance cost. Sometimes maintenance can cost even more than the car.
This is why you need to make your research and learn about the cars with cheapest maintenance if you want to save money. Not to mention that going for cheapest cars to maintain will save you thousands in the long run. That’s why you need to make your own research before you purchase a new or a used vehicle.
In this article, we are going to learn more about car maintenance in general and the reasons why to get the cheapest cars to maintain. Then, we will cover our list of cars with cheapest maintenance. So, if you want to learn more, follow along because there will be a lot of useful information.
What Is Car Maintenance
Now before we dive into the cars with cheapest maintenance, let’s learn more about what is car maintenance in general. Why do we need to do so? Well, there are a lot of people reading this with similar problems or people that are not into cars. So, we need to clarify some stuff beforehand. Now let’s learn more about car maintenance.
So, what is car maintenance? Well, car maintenance is an essential process that needs to be done in order for the life of the car to be extended.
There are many expendable components on our cars that last for a certain amount of miles. And once your car reaches a certain interval that is determined by the factory, these components are no longer good and have to be replaced.
Let’s take for example the engine oil. The engine oil is a lubricant that is used to lube the engine and allow the engine to work well.
The interval for replacing the oil is on average about 10,000 miles. After that mileage, the oil starts to degrade rapidly and convert into a sludge that is no longer good. And this sludge will no longer lubricate and will damage your engine.
So, you need to maintain your car and do the oil changes regularly. Other examples of maintenance are the brake pads and rotors, replacing the air filter, replacing the tires, flushing the coolant, flushing transmission fluid, replacing the oil filter, replacing the timing belt or chain, replacing the serpentine belt, and a lot more.
These are only the basics when it comes to car maintenance. But they are not the same for each vehicle in terms of cost. And more on that we are going to elaborate next before we learn about which are the cars with cheapest maintenance.
Why Get Cars With Cheap Maintenance
Now as we learned more about what is car maintenance. We can slowly move on and learn the reasons why to get the cars with cheapest maintenance. What are the reasons behind this type of business deal?
Well, the most important factor is the price. Price is the main factor when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. Some vehicles can be purchased for really cheap. Especially older cars that were really expensive when new.
A lot of people are tempted and buy them, not knowing that these vehicles require some really expensive maintenance and have very complex maintenance procedures. So, the repair costs are going basically through the roof.
Labor is one of the main factors that prevent people from owning these types of cars in the US. Labor is crazy expensive and costs a ton of money here in the US. That’s why going for the cars with cheapest maintenance is the way to go.
The second important factor is downtime. On cars with cheap maintenance, the repair procedures do not cost a lot and also do not take a lot to perform. This means that there is less downtime and you will be able to drive the car in a shorter amount of time compared to cars with more expensive maintenance.
This means fewer nerves and time lost on a maintenance job. For example, a timing chain sometimes requires the engine to be completely removed to be replaced. But if you own a car with a timing belt, a technician will replace the belt in an hour or two. But what are the cars with cheapest maintenance? More on that next.
Cheapest Cars To Maintain
Now let’s discuss more about the cars with cheapest maintenance and take a look at which cars should you go for in this aspect.
Take note that we are not going to list very expensive vehicles since understandably, the cost to maintain these cars are often quite expensive. But we are going to focus mostly on economy cars and other affordable vehicles.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #1: Honda Accord (2017 – 2022)
Now let’s start with our list of cars with cheapest maintenance. And the first on our list is the current model of the Honda Accord. The 2022 model year is the last in this generation and starting in 2023 there will be a completely new generation.
Nevertheless, this generation of the Accord is a very capable vehicle. And also, quite affordable. The starting price is only $27,615. Car and Driver magazine gave this model a perfect score of 10/10 and the Editor’s Choice award.
What is good about this model is that it comes with a lot of good features even for the base version. You get a peppy 1.5L inline-4 turbo engine that is producing 191hp and 192lb-ft of torque. Paired with a CVT automatic transmission that does not have major issues like other carmakers with CVT transmissions do.
This model also gets excellent fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined.
And during the first couple of years, these cars are practically bulletproof. They are built on an already proven platform and most of the issues that the early generation model years had are now sorted out. The recent ones are among the best Honda Accord model year to get.
But what about the maintenance? Is this one of the cars with cheapest maintenance? Well, according to Your Mechanic. The costs of maintaining and repairing an Accord vary between $95 and $2,300. With an average cost of only $279 for one repair. And the annual cost to maintain an Accord is about $550.
Granted, there are some Honda Accord model years to avoid. With some of the more troublesome model years, you might come across a variety of Honda Accord problems, such as Honda Accord transmission problems, or a ‘check fuel cap’ issue with your Honda Accord.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #2: Toyota Camry (2017 – Present)
Now let’s cover another car on our list of cars with cheapest maintenance. And this is the good old Toyota Camry. So, why the Camry?
Well, mainly because it is a true legend when it comes to reliability. Camrys are some of the cars that can be pushed to unimaginable limits. And if you purchase one new, you will not even have the need of buying a new car ever again.
The current model can be purchased exactly for $27,040 which is the starting MSRP. And this model comes with a 2.5L inline-4 engine that is producing 203hp and 184lb-ft of torque. The transmission used in the Camry is an 8-speed automatic with overdrive.
The fuel economy is also excellent. You can get 28 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined.
What is good about the Camry is that this is one of the cars with cheapest maintenance. The average annual cost of maintaining this model is about $586 for the first 10 years.
But once the car gets older, things become more expensive. So, the repair costs, later on, can increase quite significantly up to $3,000 annually. But this number really depends on the mileage of the car in general. If it’s a low-mileage car, you can push it up to 15 years with no major problems.
Just be sure to know which are the Toyota Camry years to avoid, or else you might come across issues like how your Toyota Camry cranks but won’t start. Now let’s continue our list of cars with cheapest maintenance.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #3: Mitsubishi Mirage (2012 – Present)
Now let’s cover something really small and cute on our cars with cheapest maintenance list. And this is the Mitsubishi Mirage.
The Mirage is a small subcompact car that is in production since 2012. This model sells really well, even though some of you never heard of it. It manages to sell around 20,000 units annually.
What is good about this car is the inexpensiveness to own and operate this vehicle. The Mirage only starts at $16,000 and for this amount of money, you get a 1.2L inline-3 engine that makes 78hp and 74lb-ft of torque. The transmission used in this model is a 5-speed manual. But you can also opt for an automatic.
Even though, if you want something really cheap in terms of maintenance, the manual is the way to go because you will not need to service this transmission at all. And this brings the maintenance prices down quite significantly.
In fact, the average maintenance cost for a new model is only $213 according to Your Mechanic. Which is really good. This is why if you look for something really small, the Mirage will be a perfect buy. Now let’s move on to the next on our list of cars with cheapest maintenance.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #4: Nissan Versa (2020 – Present)
Next on our list of cars with cheapest maintenance is another compact car. And this is the Nissan Versa. The current generation Nissan Versa is a relatively new model. It was only introduced in 2020.
And not only that it is new. But it is also really affordable. The base price is only $17,000. And compared to what you get more with the Versa than the Mirage, we would say that is a better deal overall. The best thing that you get is the extra space. The Versa is much more spacious and luxurious than the Mirage.
Also, you get more powerful engines. Namely, a 1.6L inline-4 engine that is producing 112 hp and 114lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive.
You can also spec one with an automatic. But honestly, we would not recommend getting a Nissan with a CVT transmission because these transmissions can often be unreliable and more expensive to maintain in the long run.
The fuel economy of the Versa is also excellent. It gets 27 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.
Also, the annual maintenance costs of the Versa are about $580 for the first 10 to 12 years. Which is rather cheap maintenance. But make sure that you get the manual (just like an Audi TT manual transmission) unless you want to deal with CVT issues that can be somewhat expensive to fix and can cost up to $4,000.
So long as you’re vigilant about those Nissan Versa problems, such as the widespread nature of the 2012 Nissan Versa problems, you should be good. Now let’s continue with the next cars with cheapest maintenance.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #5: Toyota Corolla (2019 – Present)
Now let’s cover another car on our list of cars with cheapest maintenance. And this car is the Toyota Corolla. So, why we decided to add the Corolla? Well, first because it is dirt cheap to buy. Costing only $22,000 new and also it is very reliable.
The current model of the Corolla is also rather fresh. It was released in 2019 and sells really well in the US market. If you’re buying one used though, make sure you’re careful about the Toyota Corolla model years to avoid. Instead, opt for the best Toyota Corolla model year.
The base spec of the Corolla comes with a 2.0L inline-4 engine that creates 169hp and 151lb-ft of torque and this engine is paired with a CVT automatic transmission with overdrive.
The fuel economy of the Corolla is excellent. This model gets 32 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. With a combined fuel economy of 35 mpg is probably one of the best cars around that are non-hybrid.
What is worse is that it doesn’t come with a manual transmission (as is the case with the Mazda CX-5 manual transmission). So, the maintenance costs are a bit higher overall when compared to cars with manual transmissions.
The annual maintenance costs for the Corolla are around $677 for the first 12 years according to Your Mechanic. So, considering this, the Corolla is very affordable to own, especially when purchased new.
While it’s pretty reliable, you should still be diligent about some of the more uncommon Toyota Corolla problems. Certain model years are more unreliable than others, which is proven when you look at the 2010 model year Toyota Corolla problems.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #6: Honda Civic (2022 – Present)
The next model on our list of cars with cheapest maintenance is the Honda Civic. So, why we decided to add the Civic?
Well, because it is a really new model. 2022 is the first model year of this new generation and this model is a completely new redesign with a ton of modern features and improved specs in every aspect. That’s something to consider if you’re looking at Honda Insight vs Civic, to consider which one should you get.
The Civic if you didn’t know is the smaller brother of the Honda Accord that we reviewed previously. The Civic is a compact family car, quite similar to the Corolla. It is a bit more on the expensive side and costs about $25,745. But considering that the Civic is more spacious and offers more features, we think it is worth it.
The engine used in this model is a 2.0L inline-4 that is producing about 158hp and 138lb-ft of torque. The transmission used in this model is a single-speed CVT with overdrive. With some sportier models, the Civic instead opts for manual transmissions instead of an automatic, like with the Honda Civic Si.
If you want to spend a bit more money, we would recommend going for the 1.5L turbo engine that makes about 180hp and 177lb-ft of torque. This engine is a lot more powerful.
The fuel economy is also excellent with 37 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined. But what about the maintenance? Is the Civic one of the cars with cheapest maintenance?
According to some media outlets, the annual costs of owning a Civic during the first five years vary between $200 and $600. But it can rise to almost $900 for the next five years of owning the model. Now let’s continue with the next on our list of cars with cheapest maintenance.
Thus, that should alleviate some of your concerns about how long do Honda Civics last. Nonetheless, you should still be cautious of sporadic problems, such as coming across a Honda Civic that won’t start. And, keeping a close eye on stuff like the Honda Civic air conditioner recall.
Cars With Cheapest Maintenance #7: Mazda3 (2019 – Present)
Now let’s cover another model on our list of the cars with cheapest maintenance. And this is the Mazda3. The Mazda3 is another compact car that comes in two sizes, both as a hatchback and a sedan. It is in the same class as the Civic and the Corolla.
This model debuted in 2019 and is still quite fresh. Nevertheless, this model featured a major redesign and the Mazda3 is probably one of the cars with the best front end on the market right now.
This new model can be purchased for an MSRP of $23,615. Which is quite more affordable than the Civic and somewhere on the same level as the Corolla in terms of pricing.
But what is good about this model is that it packs a higher displacement engine. Namely, a 2.5L inline-4 that produces 191hp and 186lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission as standard.
And this combo we think that it is probably the best out there because you get a powerful engine and a good automatic. So, the Mazda3 should be one of your top choices in this segment.
The fuel economy is also quite good. The Mazda3 can get about 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. And a combined fuel economy of 28 mpg. But what about the cars with cheapest maintenance? Is the Mazda3 one of these vehicles?
Well, the annual maintenance costs for the Mazda3 are between $500 and $600 for the first 10 years. During the first 3 years, these expenses can be even lower than $500. This is why we strongly recommend this model as an option. Now let’s conclude this article on the cars with cheapest maintenance.
Of course, you should be wary of some of the Mazda 3 reliability concerns, as well as take a closer look at certain, problematic model years. The litany of 2010 Mazda 3 problems is one such example, among a few others.
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to maintenance and maintenance costs. First, we learned what is car maintenance and what maintenance means for your car. We noted that maintenance is an essential process that has to be taken on a car in order for the car to last.
If you don’t do maintenance on the car regularly, you risk your car ending up with a blown engine, blown transmission, or something even worse. So, you get the idea of why maintenance is needed and why it’s crucial.
Then we covered the cars with cheapest maintenance. We covered mainly Japanese cars. Why so? Well, because they are the cars with cheapest maintenance. And not only that, but they also last for a lot longer in comparison to other cars. This is why, if you want something really cheap and reliable, a Honda or a Toyota is the way to go.
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is The Cheapest New Car
The cheapest new car is the Chevrolet Spark starting at $16,000. Then there are other options, like the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Nissan Versa. Of the three, Nissan Versa is the most spacious and also the best option to buy. It comes with a manual transmission, which is always a good thing.
Are BMW Expensive To Maintain
Yes, BMW is expensive to maintain. BMW is considered a luxury carmaker. So, if you try to do some maintenance like timing chain replacement, you most likely going to end up ripped off if you go to an official dealership. It is a much better idea to service these cars at an independent shop if they are out of warranty.
Are Subarus Expensive To Fix
Yes, Subaru models are expensive to fix. When Subaru breaks down, it is always expensive to fix because these models develop engine issues. Blown head gaskets, oil consumption, and burning coolant are some of the many problems that often result in a need for a completely new engine.
Are Lexus Expensive To Maintain
Lexus is more expensive to maintain than a standard Toyota. But not crazy expensive like a German brand like BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. If the car is older, you can service it on the cheap at an independent shop.
Are Audi Expensive To Maintain
Yes, Audi is crazy expensive. Especially if they run a V6 or a V8 engine. If you need to do some major work, almost always the engine has to come off. So, replacing a timing chain can cost a whole fortune on these models. For lower maintenance costs, always go for an inline engine.
What Truck Lasts The Longest
Probably the F-150. The F-150 has created a big reputation around it during the last decades and is the go-to model for many truck buyers. But Chevy and RAM are not far behind in terms of longevity.