One of the biggest advantages to buying a new car instead of a used one, is that it comes with an extended warranty that covers the cost of repairs within the first years of ownership. While this can afford a certain peace of mind, be aware that not all required service is covered. Usually excluded are maintenance costs (oil changes, inspections, and so on) and so-called wear and tear items, including a vehicle’s brake pads, belts, hoses, and battery.
If you’re buying a new car, or especially if you’re buying a used one that’s out of warranty, picking a car or truck that’s cheaper to keep running can save a large chunk of money over the long haul. How much can you save by picking a model that’s less expensive to work on in the first place? According to the searchable Repair Cost Index maintained by the automotive website RepairPal.com, the Toyota Corolla is the cheapest vehicle to maintain and repair, with an average yearly cost of $341. Though nobody would ever cross-shop the two of them, the database says the Porsche Cayman sports coupe is the costliest ride to keep running, setting an owner back an average $2,370 annually.
Those looking for the most bang for the buck in terms of maintenance and repair costs may want to consider a minivan, where all models’ annual estimated repair costs reside in the low-$400 range; the Honda Odyssey is the cheapest of the bunch to maintain and fix at an estimated $403 a year, while the costliest is the Kia Sedona at a still-close $455 a year.
Below are the 10 vehicles RepairPal.com says are, on average, the least-expensive models in their respective classes to maintain and repair. We’ve included both the site’s Repair Cost Index scores (with lower numbers being better) and a projected cash estimate for annual maintenance and repairs. Figures are based on the reported cost of parts and labor for actual procedures submitted by the site’s extensive network of certified repair facilities, which include both private shops and new-car dealers’ service departments.