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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. CarEdge has a massive dataset of makes and models of the cars 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.

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

10. Honda Civic

SEE ALSO: Honda Civic vs Hyundai Elantra Comparison

The Honda Civic comes in 10th place with a cost of $5,245 to maintain over 10 years. The Japanese automaker ranked 3rd overall (out of 19 automakers ranked) with an average cost of $7,827 across its lineup.

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9. Toyota GR Supra

SEE ALSO: Chevrolet Corvette vs Porsche 718 Boxster vs Toyota Supra: Sports Car Shootout

Yes, really. The Toyota Supra is the only sports car to occupy this list—though far from the only Toyota. CarEdge suggests the two-seater should require just $4,950 in maintenance costs over a decade.

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8. Mitsubishi Mirage

SEE ALSO: 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage Review: Fitness for Purpose

It turns out one of the most affordable cars to buy new holds onto that reputation over the years. The little Mitsubishi Mirage should cost buyers just $4,939 over a decade of ownership, according to CarEdge.

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7. Honda Fit

It might be driving off into the sunset now, but the Honda Fit is still one of the most affordable vehicles to own long-term. The super-practical hatchback saw an average bill of $4,915 in the CarEdge study.

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6. Toyota Avalon

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota Avalon AWD Review: All-Wheel Conundrum

It isn’t just small cars that are cheap to run. Toyota’s full-size Avalon sedan makes the list in 6th place overall, with a cost of just $4,407. That’s the biggest gap on the list (a little over $500 between the Avalon and Fit), but it’s about to close up—and get a whole lot more Toyota-like.

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5. Toyota Camry

SEE ALSO: 2020 Toyota Camry TRD Review

Toyota continues its reputation of low-cost maintenance with the best-selling Camry. Over the course of 10 years, owners can expect to pay $4,203 in maintenance costs.

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4. Toyota Prius Prime

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota Prius Prime Review: Easy to Live With, Hard to Love

The plug-in version of Toyota’s Prius, called the Prime, is next on the list. Capable of short trips on nothing but battery power, the Prius Prime should cost buyers just $4,098 over a decade. The next three entries on the list are all within 90 dollars, or about 75 cents per month.

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3. Toyota Corolla

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota Corolla L Review: Honest Work

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 $4,087 to maintain over 10 years.

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2. Toyota Yaris

Another sub-compact hatchback about to disappear from dealerships, the Toyota Yaris is a cheap set of wheels to take care of for a decade. CarEdge found the average 10-year maintenance costs were $4,027.

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1. Toyota Prius

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 $4,008 to maintain over 10 years. It would be interesting to see if those costs rise once the batteries need replacing.

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Recent Updates: 

December 2, 2021 – Revamped list based on current rankings and new cars.

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34 Comments

Raymond Chuang says:

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….

Gweeper64 says:

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 says:

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 🙂 ).

Jacob says:

I totally think that the toyota tocoma should be #1

john says:

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.

Mike Simon says:

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

BobM says:

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.

Mike Simon says:

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 says:

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 says:

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.

petey53 says:

Sites like truedelta and dashboard-light agree that Toyotas have very good reliability.

Mike Simon says:

Be careful where you get your information. These companies have huge advertising budgets and they can buy a lot of opinions in the media. Look for biased articles and use your brain. Many of the parts suppliers supply multiple Auto manufacturers. The quality benchmarks are not far apart. It is clever marketing that makes you believe that one is better than the others.

petey53 says:

I trust the sites I mentioned. Truedelta has 100K members reporting their repairs. You can see exact repairs and what they cost. Dashboard-light has stats on power train problems in over 1.2M US trade-ins with thousands for each model. Additionally, anusedcar has data from European TUV fault reports. Prius scores very well. Plus there is Consumer Reports and many, many taxi drivers to vouch for Prius and Camry long term reliability.

Bob Novak says:

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

petey53 says:

I’ve been able to get cheap 3rd party parts like bearings and shocks for my 2004 Prius. I have also been able to get used parts on eBay. Official Toyota parts are also available online at a discount.

wcjeep says:

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 says:

Ya but its still a Prius!

extreme133 says:

I can see why terrorists love Toyotas

Will Johnson says:

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/35747e7deb637d16ecd8d0b8a7de7b5bf9e050ed6b820d73b40130f3725e4707.jpg

Will Johnson says:

I bought a honda with 100.000 mile on it , I drove it hard every day just changed oil , brakes, alternator, it died at 309.000 miles should have changes the timming belt .