Smart car buyers know that there’s a lot more to getting a great deal on a car, truck, or sport-utility vehicle than simply negotiating a lower transaction price. That can help temper monthly payments, but choosing a vehicle that suffers a higher than average rate of depreciation, requires costly insurance premiums, and demands too-frequent visits to the gas pump can cost a motorist plenty over the course of an extended ownership period.
While projected resale values, car insurance costs, and fuel economy ratings can be easily researched on the Internet, the cost of maintaining a given vehicle according to the automaker’s recommendations and keeping up with repairs once the warranty has expired can be a major question mark. Buying a vehicle that won’t pick your pocket on an ongoing basis at the repair shop is crucial if you’re shopping for an older used car or intend on keeping a vehicle for a decade or more, as these expenses tend to become greater as a model ages. According to the auto repair website YourMechanic.com annual maintenance costs increase only slightly from years one through 10 and then take a big jump in years 11 and 12. Most Popular In: Cars & Bikes
We’re featuring lists of the 15 most and least-expensive vehicles to maintain and repair over a 10-year period, based on data provided to us by YourMechanic.com. The rankings are based upon information that was culled from the records of 120,000 vehicles from one to 12 years old that were serviced during 2018. Most of these models remain current, though some have since been discontinued or replaced in their respective lines by newer vehicles. Keep in mind that these are national averages; what you will pay will vary according to local wage rates and other factors.
The website found that compact or subcompact cars coming from Asian automakers are generally the least expensive to maintain and repair the course of 10 years. The most-affordable-to-keep cars come from Toyota/Lexus, Honda and Mitsubishi. They also tend to garner high marks for reliability, and it makes sense that a vehicle that spends less time in the repair shop will automatically cost less to keep running than one that’s more problematic. The cheapest models in this regard will cost an owner from around $3,000 to just over $4,000 to keep running for a decade.
Perhaps not surprisingly, pricey luxury cars and finely engineered sports cars tend to be among the costliest rides to maintain and repair over the long term. Making regular visits to an upscale dealership’s service department can be truly expensive, whether for regular maintenance or unexpected component failures. After all, the cash to cover the costs of the espresso bar in a customer waiting room and free brand-new loaner cars has to come from somewhere. The highest-cost model here is indeed a red-hot sports car that’s estimated cost an owner nearly $20,000 to keep in top shape over a 10-year period. At that, some rather common cars that may not be especially expensive to fix can still drain one’s budget over the course of ownership if they make all-too-frequent visits to a mechanic.
While not included here, the costliest pickup truck to keep running for a decade is the Ram 1500 at $10,500, according to YourMechanic.com’s data.
And be aware that we’re not considering exotic sports cars and luxury models, where the sky can literally be the limit in terms of ongoing expenses. Of course, if one can afford the $3 million price tag for, say, a low-slung Bugatti Chiron sports car, it’s probably not much of a financial stretch to pay $20,000-$25,000 for an oil change, as has been reported, or $38,000 for a new set of tires.
Here are the 15 most-expensive vehicles to maintain and repair over a 10-year period, as estimated by YourMechanic.com:
Porsche 911 sports coupe/convertible: $19,600.
BMW 640i Gran Coupe midsize sports sedan: $15,700.
BMW M4 high-performance luxury sports coupe/convertible: $14,900.
Lincoln MKS large luxury sedan: $14,600.
Infiniti Q45 large luxury sedan: $13,900.
Audi A4 Allroad quattro crossover wagon: $13,700.
Porsche 718 Boxster two-seat roadster: $13,700.
Audi A4 Quattro midsize luxury sedan: $12,950.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S compact luxury sports sedan: $12,800.
Dodge Grand Caravan minivan: $12,700.
Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan: $12,600.
Acura TL midsize luxury sedan: $12,600.
Ford Mustang sports coupe/convertible: $12,550.
Subaru Forester crossover SUV: $12,450.
Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan: $11,700.
And these are the cheapest models to maintain and repair for a decade’s ownership, according to YourMechanic.com:
Toyota Yaris subcompact hatchback: $3,289.
Toyota Corolla compact sedan/hatchback: $3,247.
Toyota Camry midsize sedan: $3,499.
Honda Fit subcompact hatchback: $3,673.
Honda Civic compact sedan/coupe/hatchback: $3,774.
Scion xB compact wagon: $3,952.
Nissan Versa subcompact sedan: $3,992.
Honda CR-V compact crossover SUV: $4,030.
Kia Rio subcompact sedan/hatchback: $4,112.
Chevrolet Spark subcompact hatchback: $4,189.
Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan: $4,199.
Ford Edge midsize crossover SUV: $4,293.
Kia Soul subcompact wagon: $4,353.
Mitsubishi Mirage subcompact sedan: $4,375.
Subaru Impreza subcompact sedan/hatchback: $4,462.