The 10 car brands cheapest to maintain over 10 years

Buying a car can be fun and bring a lot of freedom, but things can go sideways when it comes time for repairs. Some car brands are better than others, however, and Consumer Reports recently ranked the least- and most-expensive brands for owners to repair. There are few surprises on this list, but the cheapest new car and the runner-up might come as a shock. Tesla and Buick were the cheapest new car brands to maintain and repair over 10 years, followed by Toyota, Lincoln, and Ford.

10 car brands cheapest to maintain over the next 10 years:

  1. Tesla: $4,035

  2. Buick: $4,900

  3. Toyota: $4,900

  4. Lincoln: $5,040

  5. Ford: $5,400

  6. Chevrolet: $5,550

  7. Hyundai: $5,640

  8. Nissan: $5,700

  9. Mazda: $5,800

  10. Honda: $5,850

Consumer Reports noted that maintenance costs for some brands can look deceiving, as many offer free maintenance for a period after the purchase. New-car warranties also play a role, with the powertrain coverage spanning four or five years and 50,000 or 60,000 miles, depending on the company. It's also worth noting that Tesla only sells EVs, which don't require engine air filters, oil changes, and some other routine maintenance, lowering their average costs.


The most expensive brands to maintain might not come as a surprise, but the costs associated with owning them might. Land Rover was the worst, at $19,250 over 10 years, while Porsche came in second at $14,090. Mercedes-Benz’s average costs were $10,525 and Audi’s $9,890. While this suggests that these brands need more frequent repairs over the 10-year period, it also points to higher labor and parts costs for the European automakers.

If you own one of the more expensive brands to maintain and you’re worrying as you read this, there are a few things you can do to prolong your vehicle’s life and minimize unnecessary maintenance costs. The first is to follow the automaker’s suggested maintenance periods, changing your oil, rotating tires, and doing all the “boring” stuff before it becomes a problem. It’s also a good idea to take care with the way you drive, avoiding potholes, accelerating gently, and trying not to abuse your brakes. Finally, don’t modify your vehicle. Car companies spend billions on research and development, and most know better about how a vehicle is meant to operate than you do in your garage with third-party parts.

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