Yes, cars are great. They get us where we need to go, and they can also be fun toys or even things that people gather. Repair and upkeep costs are what really add up over time.
No matter how much they cost to buy. There are a lot of different reasons why the annual maintenance costs for these 28 cars are so cheap.
When buying a new car, low maintenance costs and reliability are key factors for most consumers. After all, fewer trips to the repair shop and lower overall running costs make ownership more economical long-term.
While all vehicles require periodic upkeep, some provide years of dependable service before encountering major repairs. Across the automotive industry, cars known historically for such qualities stand out as wise purchases.
This guide covers the highlights of top low maintenance car models appreciated for their longevity, quality engineering and overall value spanning different categories and origins worldwide.
What Defines A Low Maintenance Car?
Low maintenance cars have certain common traits:
Affordable Scheduled Maintenance
Routine upkeep costs like oil changes, tire rotation are lower in frequency and overall expense. Labor and parts prices are reasonable. This reduces spending over the ownership cycle.
Rare Major Repairs
These cars do not frequently need high-cost repairs like transmission replacement or engine rebuild during their usable lifespan if responsibly maintained.
Long-term Reliability & Durability
Mechanical components and overall build quality allow the car to complete high mileages without frequent breakdowns or replacements. Resale values tend to better.
Offers Ease of Repair
Many of their parts are easily accessible to technicians and reasonably priced. This makes routine work and complex repairs require less labor time.
Top 28 Low Maintenance Cars Ever Made in the World
1. Toyota Prius
Repair Pal says that maintaining a Toyota Prius hatchback will cost you about $408 a year. This car is a great example of why hybrids can be cheaper to maintain than gas-powered cars: they have regenerative braking systems built into the drivetrain, which means that the wheel brakes won’t need to be replaced as often because they won’t wear out as quickly.
2. Toyota Tacoma
Surprisingly, this mid-sized pickup truck only costs $478 a year to keep. People know that the Tacoma is reliable, which makes it one of the most-wanted used cars out there. This means that you’ll not only pay less to keep it going, but you’ll also get more money when you sell it.
3. Toyota Yaris
Repair Pal says that the small hatchback with the clever name is the least expensive to keep up. You can expect to pay about $333 a year on average. Also, owners say that any problems the car does have are usually small and easy to find and fix, which means your mechanic will charge you less.
4. Toyota Corolla
The Corolla is the best-selling car in the world, and for good reason: it only costs $362 a year to maintain this small car, which comes in both sedan and hatchback styles. Its popularity actually helps keep the cost of upkeep low by making parts easy to find and cheap to buy. It costs less to repair its wheels and tires because they are smaller.
5. Toyota Camry
It’s possible that you saw a lot of Toyotas in this video. This is because the cars made by this Japanese company are the most reliable of all the big brands, so they cost the least to maintain. The Camry midsize sedan is no different. It’s projected to cost around $388 a year to maintain, and like other Toyotas, it doesn’t need repairs very often.
6. Toyota Highlander
Like many other Toyotas, the Highlander midsized SUV is solidly built with well-made parts that are likely to last longer than normal. This means that the average annual maintenance cost of $489 is very low. In 2019, J.D. Power gave the Highlander 3.5 out of 5 stars for dependability, making it another Toyota that always does a good job.
7. Lexus RX350
Lexus is Toyota’s high-end brand, and this mid-sized SUV is based on the same chassis as the Highlander. Repairs for luxury cars usually cost more, but Repair Pal says that the RX350 only needs $550 in upkeep every year. This is likely because repairs can be done quickly and easily.
8. Honda Fit
With smart design, the Fit subcompact hatchback has a huge cabin for its small size. Honda has a great reputation for dependability, and this car lives up to it. Most reviewers haven’t had any big problems with it, and the annual repair costs are just under $400. This car is cheaper to keep up than even a small SUV if you need to fit a lot of people in it.
9. Honda Civic
The Civic is almost as well-known around the world as the Toyota Corolla. Parts for Civics are easy to find and don’t cost much because so many are made. This means that when your car breaks down, you won’t be out a lot of money or without a car for a long time. Repair Pal says that upkeep costs usually come to $368 per year.
10. Honda CR-V
The CR-V, like other Hondas, is known for being reliable. It’s also one of the least expensive compact SUVs to keep; repairs cost owners an average of $407 a year. There are some problems with the CR-V, but they are well known and usually easy to find and fix.
12. Nissan Versa
Repair Pal says that this subcompact car is reliable and costs about $450 a year to maintain. Several other reliable sources give it four stars for dependability, and the website Nissan Problems says that even the most usual problems, like transmission problems, don’t happen very often.
13. Nissan Rogue
All models of this small crossover SUV have a simple engine that doesn’t use turbocharging. This means that as a Rogue ages, its engine parts are less likely to need expensive repairs. That’s one reason why it has a four-star rating for dependability and an average yearly maintenance cost of $467, which is less than the average for its class.
14. Nissan Sentra
The grade for this one’s depend on the model year you buy. Older Sentras have a history of being less reliable, but the 2020 model seems to have turned things around and is very good. A 2020 Sentra will likely cost you $491 a year to keep up the way it looks.
15. Kia Optima
Kias are known for having a really great guarantee that covers both small and large problems for five years or 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles). In Canada, hybrid and electric vehicle parts are covered for an amazing eight years. Which means you’ll spend less on those things for the first six years. This means that the $471 yearly maintenance cost for the midsized Optima sedan is below the average.
16. Kia Soul
The great Kia warranty also covers the boxy Soul subcompact SUV. Even though it’s big and has a lot of room inside, it can be bought with smaller wheels and tires that are cheaper to replace when they wear out. It will cost you about $437 a year to keep your Soul happy and healthy.
17. Kia Rio
Repair Pal gives this South Korean subcompact a “excellent” grade for dependability. The site says that you can expect to spend $434 a year on maintenance for this little sedan. Even though the great Kia warranty helps keep that number low, Carbuyer UK says owners were okay with the dealer-based care costs.
18. Honda Odyssey
A car that is easy to keep up? And if you need one, you need one. This one is solid and doesn’t cost much to fix because many of its parts are shared with the Pilot and Ridgeline. Repair Pal says that the Odyssey’s upkeep costs are about $100 less than the average for minivans, at $547 per year.
19. Mitsubishi Mirage
We’re not going to lie, this car is very small. It has an engine with three cylinders. But if you don’t mind that, Repair Pal says it needs very few repairs, so it shouldn’t need much upkeep. About $457 will be spent over a year to keep a Mirage from going away.
20. Lexus IS250
Lexus is held by Toyota, which is known for making cars that last a long time. In terms of how it works, the IS250 hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years. It still uses many of the same parts, which makes them easy to find. You can take care of this small luxury hatchback for about $487 a year if you have to have one.
21. Mazda 3
Older Mazda3 models are more reliable than newer ones, unlike the Sentra. The 2017 and 2018 model years have the best reliability ratings, so buying this fun-to-drive compact car used might be the best choice. To keep your 3 zooming down the road, you can expect to pay around $433 a year.
22. The Toyota Corolla
The world’s best-selling nameplate cemented its status largely based on fuss-free operation over 13 generations spanning over 50 years worldwide. Even base models offer safety, efficiency and quality, making them smart buys as well as fleet favorites. Key high points.
For those wanting basic, affordable transportation with low drama, the Toyota Corolla remains the poster car for low-cost maintenance and operation.
23. Honda Civic
As technology becomes infused into new vehicles, the Honda Civic retains its reputation for dependability among compact sedans. Now in its 11th generation, even higher-spec Touring trims achieve.
So buyers benefit from modern essentials and connectivity paired with the model’s consistent reliability benchmarks to minimize ownership headaches.
24. Toyota Highlander
This midsize crossover appeals to many families with a balance of capacity, safety ratings, creature comforts and impressively low repair requirements, adding to peace of mind for school runs or road trips.
For those needing generous 3-row seating yet want to avoid major mechanical headaches or bills, Toyota Highlander deserves shortlisting.
25. Nissan Frontier
Sharing mechanical building blocks with award-winning Nissan Titan trucks, longtime offering Frontier avoids complex turbocharging or advanced infotainment keeping the focus on rugged basics appreciated by owners.
Offering wallet-friendly repairs and parts pricing, this honest compact pickup truck remains appealing as needs outgrow bloated full-sizers.
26. Toyota Supra
Beloved by fans worldwide since debuting in 1978, Toyota Supra enjoyed tremendous motorsport success pairing head-turning looks with Toyota robustness underneath through four generations until 2002.
The latest rendition carries Toyota hallmarks of rigidity and reliability in an engaging sports car form at home either daily driving or full-throttle.
27. Porsche 911
The landmark Porsche 911 continues unveiling cutting-edge variants applying precision German engineering across nine model generations spanning nearly 60 years. Hallmarks making even 500 hp Turbo S trims remarkably usable daily.
Thanks to such enduring qualities, even 911 models boasting supercar performance avoid fragile temperaments staying reassuringly drivable long-term.
28. Tesla Model 3
Early electric cars gained notoriety for major drivetrain repairs and costs to diagnoses unfamiliar systems. Under a decade since its debut, Tesla Model 3 advances the EV ownership experience by:
- Greatly reducing service needs with far fewer breakable mechanical parts
- Offering over-the-air updates to refresh vehicle systems sans workshop visits
- Class-leading 8 year, 100k-120k mile comprehensive warranty on drivetrain components
Tesla investment in proprietary technology pays customer dividends lowering running costs versus traditional combustion-powered analogues.
How Do These Cars Achieve Low Maintenance Reputations?
Across categories, automobiles revered for lower-cost care share common engineering and manufacturing tenets:
Proven Reliable Mechanical Designs
Simple engine architectures tested over years in similar applications ensure robustness as complexity typically jeopardizes longevity.
High Production Quality Controls
Precise manufacturing processes certified to compliance standards minimize faulty components needing replacement down the road.
Widespread Parts Supply Chains
High ownership volumes globally ensure affordable, readily available replacement parts stocked locally to maximize vehicle lifespan.
Leaning on such pillars while avoiding over-reliance on heavily integrated complex vehicle systems keeps overall maintenance requirements in check.
What cars typically have the lowest maintenance costs?
Toyota and Honda models like the Corolla, Civic, Camry and Accord sedans along with CR-V and RAV4 SUV crossovers have proven long-term low repair costs owing to quality engineering.
What SUV is the most reliable?
Based on owner surveys and repair data, Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX and Honda CR-V are among most dependable SUVs needing minimal maintenance over years.
Which truck lasts the longest?
Trucks like Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Ford F-150 known for rugged durability have high percentages of examples surpassing 200,000+ miles and 25-30 year lifespans with proper care.
The lowest maintenance cars from reputable brands minimize total cost of ownership and maximize dependability by using durable mechanical designs that avoid premature failures. Following best practices around scheduled upkeep and repairs further aids longevity. While initial pricing is higher, their long-term reliability rewards owners with savings from reduced workshop trips and peace of mind from less breakdowns through hundreds of thousands of miles. Consider the total ownership experience when seeking fuss-free low maintenance transportation.