Finding the right car for your budget can be about a lot more than just MPG and MSRP. A car's maintenance can be a huge expense for owners, especially after the factory warranty has expired on a new car. A lot of people have opinions on what makes a car reliable, but there are some regular maintenance costs that we can know for sure. Raw, sweeping data is what is really required to get a good idea of who makes the most reliable vehicle. To help you find a vehicle that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to own, we've put together a list of the top five cheapest cars to maintain.
It may not be a shock that all five of the best low-cost cars around all come from Japan, but it should be a pretty decent surprise that the cheapest car around comes from Honda. The Fit is Honda's answer to Toyota's Yaris sub-compact car, so the same rules still apply. Quality engineering, years of experience and a relatively simple design are what make the Fit the cheapest car to maintain. With an estimated five year cost of $2,937, the Fit is very cheap to own. That's about $1.75 a day, much less than what most people spend on coffee. Not a bad investment if you ask us.
According to a Polk U.S. vehicles study, more than 80% of all the Corollas sold are still on the road today. Factor in the inevitable car accidents and people who don't take care of their cars, and that is a shockingly impressive statistic. More than that, the Corolla is the best selling car in its class, and it has been for the bulk of that time. Toyota has been churning out Corollas for decades, and it's safe to say the Japanese company has gotten the recipe down. Doubtless, an unreliable Corolla exists out there. But we've never heard of one. At number two on our list, the Corolla averages $2,991 over five years.
The Yaris is Toyota's smallest and most affordable car, so it stands to reason that it would be one of the cheapest cars around to maintain. First of all, engineers know that Yaris buyers won't be able to spend an arm and a leg on repairs. Second of all, (and more importantnly) there is less equipment to fail on the Yaris than on other, better equipped cars. Want to know the best way to keep something from failing? Keep it simple. The Yaris averages $3,029 worth of maintenance costs over five years of ownership.
What do you get when one of the world's top car makers makes a truck that is known for rugged reliability? A Toyota Tacoma. American car makers like Ford and Chevy may appeal to many truck buyers in the country, but according to the numbers, Toyota simple makes one of the best pickups around. With an estimated ownership cost of $3,035 over five years, the Tacoma is number four on our list.
Toyota is the Ferrari of sensibility. When it comes to cheap oil changes or low-cost parts, the Japanese car maker is king. Hybrid models in particular can be very cheap to maintain because of the reduced role of the standard gasoline engine. At a stop, many hybrid cars will shut their normal motors off, preventing idling. This is important because idling can start to wear away at moving parts. Under normal driving conditions, the gasoline engine does less work, as it benefits from the electric motor's power boost. At $3,067 for five years of maintenance, this is the fifth cheapest car to maintain on our list.