Automobile maintenance might not be the most exciting part of car ownership, but it's one of the most important things to consider before buying a new car.
Any car owner knows the price you pay at the dealership is hardly the last money you'll spend on your vehicle. Maintenance and repairs on the average new car costs $1,186 per year, or nearly $12,000 a decade, according the latest data from AAA.
Factor in additional costs like insurance, fuel, and taxes, and you're looking at spending an average of $8,849 annually.
That's why it's smart to look for cars with minimal maintenance requirements — they can save you thousands of dollars over the years. And spending the money on routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations will usually save you cash over time by preventing the need for larger repairs.
With that in mind, we compiled a list of the cars that require the least maintenance and repairs over the first five years of ownership.
Here are the eight cars that cost the least to maintain.
1. Toyota Corolla — $710 annual maintenance cost
The trusty Toyota Corolla is the most affordable vehicle on the road in terms of annual maintenance costs, multiple experts said. A Corolla will cost its owner about $350 in annual maintenance costs, though the rate will rise over time. Edmunds' True Cost to Own calculator predicts an expenditure of just $40 on maintenance in the first year, but up to $1,354 by the fifth.
2. Toyota Prius — $763 annual maintenance cost
A Prius has relatively low maintenance needs — save for potential battery replacement if you have the car long enough — and thus low maintenance costs. Add to that this pioneering hybrid's average of50-plus miles per gallon of gas, and its overall cost of ownership and operation goes down further still.
3. Honda Accord — $822 annual maintenance cost
The Honda Accord is one of the most reliable cars on the road in general, infrequently experiencing issues requiring a trip to the shop. And when an Accord does need servicing, spare parts are readily available due to the popular car's ubiquity that costs are kept down on repairs in that way, too.
4. Kia Soul — $919 annual maintenance cost
The Kia Soul has superb reliability ratings, with most new models not needing any unscheduled maintenance for several years, according to Edmunds. And when the Soul does need repairs, only about 10% of the work was what a mechanic would call major, i.e. expensive.
5. Honda CR-V — $965 annual maintenance cost
According to Edmunds, drivers should expect to pay an average of $965 a year in yearly maintenance costs over the first five years they own a CR-V. This comes in several hundred dollars lower than the predicted expenses associated with similar sized SUVs, like the Ford Escape.
6. Ford Mustang — $979 annual maintenance cost
A late model Ford Mustang is about the most inexpensive sports car your can buy in terms of average annual maintenance costs. Unlike the gorgeous but notoriously fickle Mustangs of the 1960s, recent models are reliable and durable, requiring little unscheduled maintenance in their first few years on the road.
7. Toyota Tundra — $1,012 annual maintenance cost
Kelley Blue Book called the Toyota Tundra "best in class" in terms of reliability. And according to Edmunds, the truck beat out all other full-sized pickups in terms of five-year total maintenance costs. Its $33,000 starting price is also competitive for a truck of its size and capabilities.
8. Infiniti Q70 — $1,412 annual maintenance cost
The Infiniti Q70 is one of the most affordable luxury cars on the road in terms of annual repairs and service costs. This is largely true thanks to the vehicle's reliability, but also because the car shares many parts with Nissan vehicles, as Nissan is the brand's parent company. When repairs are needed, parts are usually relatively cheap.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.
- Cars are driving us into recession - Business Insider ›
- New York Fed: Record 7 million Americans are delinquent on car ... ›
- 12 car commuter essentials to make your daily drive more bearable ... ›
- A record 7 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans ... ›
- How to make your car last longer and save you money - Business ... ›