Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Maintain Over 10 Years

Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Maintain Over 10 Years

The cost of owning a car is more than just your payment and monthly insurance premium – you have to maintain it, too.

And not all cars cost the same when it comes to maintenance, as some are significantly cheaper than others to maintain over a period of 10 years. YourMechanic has a massive dataset of the make and models of the cars it has serviced and the type of maintenance done. As a result, the company decided to use its data to understand which cars break down the most and which have the lowest maintenance costs.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Alternatives to the Toyota Prius

It might not be surprising to some, but the top 10 cheapest cars to maintain over 10 years are all Asian imports.

10. Kia Optima


The Kia Optima comes in 10th place with a cost of $6,400 to maintain over 10 years. The Korean automaker ranked 14th overall (out of 30 automakers ranked) with a cost of $8,800 when YourMechanic grouped all years of all models by brand to compute their average cost.

9. Scion xB


Scion no longer exists as a brand, but its cars are still cheap to maintain. The Scion xB costs $6,300 to maintain over 10 years while Scion is the second-cheapest brand, coming in 29th place with a cost of $6,400.

8. Toyota Yaris


You’re going to see quite a bit of Toyota models on the list, and the Yaris is actually one of the more expensive Toyota vehicles to maintain over 10 years. Coming in eighth place, the Yaris has a maintenance cost of $6,100 over 10 years. Toyota as a brand however, is the cheapest overall with a cost of $5,500.

7. Nissan Versa


Nissan Versa owners can expect to part with $5,900 over 10 years to maintain their car. Nissan finished 23rd overall with a cost of $7,600.

6. Toyota Corolla


The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling cars of all time and it’s easy to see why when you take into account that it costs $5,800 to maintain over 10 years.

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5. Toyota Tacoma


Even Toyota pickup trucks are cheap to maintain, with the Tacoma coming in fifth place with a 10-year maintenance cost of $5,800.

4. Honda Fit


Surprisingly, Honda’s other cars don’t make the list, although the Civic is in 14th place and the Accord follows in 15th. But the Honda Fit is the Japanese automaker’s cheapest car to maintain over 10 years with a cost of $5,500. Honda as a brand came in 27th-place overall with a cost of $7,200.

3. Toyota Camry


Toyota continues its reputation of low-cost maintenance with the best-selling Camry. Over the course of 10 years, owners can expect to pay $5,200 in maintenance costs.

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2. Kia Soul


And then there’s the Kia Soul, one of the cheapest cars to maintain over 10 years. According to YourMechanic, the Soul costs $4,700 to keep running over a decade.

1. Toyota Prius


And the cheapest car to maintain over 10 years? The Toyota Prius. The company’s wildly popular hybrid is also cheap to own, running just $4,300 to maintain over 10 years. It would be interesting to see if those costs rise once the batteries need replacing.

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[Source: YourMechanic]

Discuss this story on our Toyota Prius Forum

  • Straight is OK too?

    Four Ford Muustangs, one distributor was total unscheduled maintenance. I was reading the list and shocked no Hondas. Also 90% of cars are uncomfortable, base models.

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  • Effilya De

    >>It would be interesting to see if those costs rise once the batteries need replacing.

    IF the batteries need replacing.

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  • MrRandom

    Anyone else smell that ? Smells like the scent of a bullshit article to me !

  • Mike

    People still going with 300k miles on the original Prius batteries. Pretty darn durable.

  • Effilya De

    Any car that you can get 300k miles out of owes you NOTHING

  • Matthew Kent

    Cleaning the vomit off the Prius would get pretty expensive.

  • MrAlex

    Honda Fit is number 4. Can you read?

  • petey53

    Prius power-train is the most reliable of any compact car according to stats on over 1M US trade-ins — and that includes battery failures. You are much more likely to have a problem with your complex transmission in a conventional car.

  • JohnnyQD

    Unless YourMechanic provides the empirical data to go along with what it purports, I’ll take this article with a grain of salt.

  • NissanFan

    I think you might have a mistake in reporting the Nissan rankings under #7. If, under #10, Kia ranks “14 of 30” with an average brand cost of $8,800. Surely Nissan is not “23 of 30” (I’m assuming it’s “13 of 30”) at an average brand cost of only $7,600?

  • Raymond Chuang

    While I applaud the Honda Fit as #4 on that list (I drive one myself and love it. 🙂 ), be aware due to the oddball size of the tires on the EX/EX-L models (size is 185/55R16), replacement tires aren’t cheap. Even the tires made by South Korean brands (Kuhmo and Hankook cost around $75 to $80 per tire–and the OEM originals can run around $120 per tire….

  • Jacob

    I totally think that the toyota tocoma should be #1

  • john

    even though those seem a bit newer. i drive a 1997 geo metro. i have all of those beat by so far it’s not even funny.

  • Damikco Stockard

    Oh it’s obvious that this is a just advertisement for Toyota.

  • Mike Simon

    What a crock of shit. Parts for domestic autos are much cheaper than the imports. This article is biased.

  • Gweeper64

    That is about average price for most lower profile tires these days. Prices on OEM model tires are always ridiculous. I also own a ’15 Fit. Not much except oil changes, tires and some filters so far. Need brakes soon though. And CVT fluid service.

  • Raymond Chuang

    You must have driven a lot of miles–my car only has 15,200 miles driven (probably because my daily commute is only 3 miles one way 🙂 ).

  • BobM

    Yes, but the domestic cars seem to need those cheaper parts more often than the imports. I would rather pay more for one repair than have to take the care in numerous times for cheaper repairs. I have known owners of domestic cars who lived in the repair shop. Of course, I have known others who were very happy with their purchase.

    Our Hondas have done very well, needing only routine maintenance such as brakes and other common repairs for the most part. The 2001 CR-V developed a power window problem. A 2001 Honda Accord needed a front wheel bearing replaced. Our used 2013 CR-V had a rear brake replacement since we bought it in 2015.

  • Bob Novak

    Because you’re constantly getting nickled and dimed to death with stupid repairs.

  • Mike Simon

    So basically you are saying that off shore cars don’t break down or wear parts out. Maybe you don’t drive enough to know any better. Each auto experiences different operating conditions, some owners maintain their vehicles better than others and some people have no respect for their vehicles. Given that I would be hard pressed to agree with you that Honda has superior parts to domestic companies. You are speaking off the cuff and have no knowledge of the industry. Many parts companies build parts for multiple auto manufacturers, Honda included. So you are deluding yourself if you think they are superior to the domestic manufacturers. Keep paying a premium and perpetuating a delusion. This is why I think this article is biased.

  • infokyun

    Do you, then, have knowledge of the industry? How do you know if import cars are more pampered than the domestic counterparts? How do you account for badly-engineered parts that happen to come from same parts manufacturer as well designed ones? These repairs include labor costs, which will be bigger for worse engineered cars that take longer to replace despite comparably priced parts. And data being from a website that specializes in car repairs, they probably know what they’re talking about, unlike us.

    We are all mostly speaking off the cuff here. Don’t pretend you know any better. Stop insulting people or get out of here.

  • Mike Simon

    Yes…I do have knowledge of the industry. I have worked for an OEM for over 30 years. I do not need to hide my identity as you do and I do know what I am talking about, unlike you. I know first hand and not from one of your web sites. You are being brainwashed. Take a look at the list of cars and be realistic. There is definitely a slant towards certain manufacturers who probably paid to have this article produced and distributed.

  • wcjeep

    This list seems to closely follow the most reliable vehicles also dominated by Toyota. Toyotas are not typically flashy. They are reliable and have great resale value. Can’t believe the Versa made this list. What a horrible car. Never buy the Versa.

  • n2wind2000

    Ya but its still a Prius!

  • extreme133

    I can see why terrorists love Toyotas