15 Best Cars to Buy if You Hate to Spend Money on Maintenance

Save more with a car that doesn’t require much maintenance once you take it home.
Updated May 8, 2024
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smiling african american man driving car while wearing seatbelt during day time

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The cost of a car isn’t just about how much you spend when you sign the lease or purchase it from a dealer.

A car’s costs can add up when you consider car insurance rates, potential major repairs, and regular maintenance to keep it running properly.

Here are the top 15 car models to consider if you want to find a low-maintenance car that can help keep more cash in your pocket.

Notes: All vehicle data comes from the car-buying resource CarEdge. A “major repair” is defined as an issue requiring $500 or more to fix.

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15. Volkswagen Golf

Glebiy/Adobe Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk7 finished in white

This German import may rely on its well-known engineering to keep it running smoothly, with an expected cost of $5,576 over 10 years in maintenance and repair costs.

The Golf is also 5.59% less likely to require a repair during that time than similar vehicles in the segment.

14. Mazda 3

vector_master/Adobe Red Mazda 3 car moving on the street

A Mazda 3 is expected to cost $5,409 in maintenance and repair costs during the first decade of its life, which is more than $1,600 lower than the industry average for sedans.

The model is also 5.28% less likely to need a major repair than similar vehicles in the segment.

13. Nissan Versa

art_zzz/Adobe Nissan Versa

If you own a Versa, you should expect to pay $5,331 for maintenance and repairs over the first 10 years of the vehicle’s lifespan.

You should also expect a 16.43% chance that the Versa will require a major repair, which is better than its counterparts in the segment.

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12. Honda Insight

gmstockstudio/Adobe Honda Insight on the streets of Batumi

Pick up a Honda Insight, and you should expect to pay about $5,303 for maintenance and repairs over the first decade.

The car also has a 15.57% chance of requiring a major repair, which is almost 6% better than other vehicles in the segment.

11. Mitsubishi Mirage G4

walterericsy/Adobe Mitsubishi Mirage G4

Expect to pay an estimated $5,254 over the first 10 years of life for a Mitsubishi Mirage G4.

You also have a 16% chance of needing a major repair on your vehicle, which is better than similar vehicles in the segment.

10. Honda Civic

art_zzz/Adobe Honda Civic

As an owner of a Honda Civic, you should plan on paying $5,245 over 10 years, which beats out other models in the segment by $1,851.

You would also have only a 15.57% chance of needing a major repair, almost 6% better than similar vehicles.

9. Toyota Supra

TP71/Adobe sports car in urban setting

Want to pay less than $5,000 in maintenance and repairs over the first 10 years of your car? Buy a Toyota Supra, which will cost about $4,950 to maintain and repair during that time.

The Supra also has a 12.57% chance of requiring a repair, which is almost 9% better than other vehicles in the segment.

8. Mitsubishi Mirage

walterericsy/Adobe Mitsubishi mirage at East side

You should account for $4,939 in maintenance and repair expenses in the 10 years after you buy a Mitsubishi Mirage.

The Mirage will also have a 15.09% chance of requiring a major repair, which is 6.41% better than similar vehicles in the segment.

7. Honda Fit

Виталий Сова/Adobe Honda Fit Jazz is parked on the street

You’ll only need to budget $4,915 for maintenance and repair costs over the first 10 years of owning a Honda Fit.

There’s also less than a 15% chance of your vehicle requiring a major repair.

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6. Toyota Avalon

gmstockstudio/Adobe Toyota Avalon on the streets of Batumi

If you buy a Toyota Avalon, expect to pay $4,407 for maintenance and repairs over the first 10 years.

The vehicle also has an 11.89% chance of requiring a major repair, which is 9.61% better than similar vehicles in the segment.

5. Toyota Camry

Domagoj/Adobe Toyota Camry in white colour

The Toyota Camry has a reputation for being affordable, and that includes its costs for maintenance and repair, which come to around $4,203 over 10 years.

The Camry also has a low 11.89% chance of requiring a major repair during the first 10 years of the car.

4. Toyota Prius Prime

Sergio Yoneda/Adobe Blue Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

If you get a Toyota Prius Prime, you can expect to pay $4,098 for the first decade of the car’s life on maintenance and repairs.

The vehicle also has a low 11.22% chance of requiring a major repair, which is 10.28% better than similar vehicles.

3. Toyota Corolla

Gudellaphoto/Adobe Toyota Corolla 2011 model E15

Another affordable Toyota model is the Carolla, which will cost you only $4,087 in maintenance and repair costs during the first decade.

The Corolla is also less likely to need major repairs with an 11.89% chance of requiring a repair that costs more than $500 in its first decade.

2. Toyota Yaris

art_zzz/Adobe Toyota Yaris

Another Toyota model, the Yaris, will cost you $4,027 over the first 10 years of owning the vehicle.

The car has an 11.89% chance of needing a major repair over 10 years, which is 9.61% better than other cars in the segment.

1. Toyota Prius

Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Toyota Prius hybrid electric gas

Topping the list is the Toyota Prius, which needs just $4,008 over its first decade for maintenance and repair. The industry average for other hatchback models is $2,756 more than the Prius.

The Prius also has an 11.22% chance that it will require a major repair, which is more than 10 percent better than similar vehicles in the segment.

Bottom line

Drobot Dean/Adobe attractive young woman driving car

If you’re buying a car on a budget, remember to consider anything you‘ll need for the vehicle on top of the initial costs.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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