10 Cars With The Lowest Maintenance Costs On The Market

10 Cars With The Lowest Maintenance Costs On The Market

Owning a car takes dedication — not just passion. After buying a car, receipts will start coming in from registration, insurance, upgrades, accessories, and more. And regardless of whether a car is brand-new or used, repairs and maintenance are part of a driver’s life. Even for the most reliable cars, car maintenance is vital in prolonging the vehicle’s life and, most importantly, for the driver’s and passengers’ safety. It’s not just about keeping the car clean, but making it free from even small issues that might cause long-term woes. Some basic car maintenance includes oil and filter changes, cooling system monitoring, tire checks, and chassis lubrication. For those who purchase used cars, due diligence calls them to work extra when maintaining their vehicles.

Update March 2023: Knowing how much it will cost to maintain a car during its lifespan is important because car manufacturers often don’t cover maintenance costs in warranties. With some of the lowest-maintenance cars having undergone redesigns for this year, we updated the information in this list to be current and even added more affordable to-maintain vehicles for 2023.

RELATED: 10 Cheap V8-Powered SUVs You Can Bring Home For Under $15,000

Preparing a solid annual or monthly budget and learning about the weak points of a vehicle helps drivers plan their car maintenance properly. It’s all about being wise and practical, not being a cheapskate and careless. Your car should not drive you crazy or make you go bankrupt with maintenance because you chose the wrong or unreliable model. If you plan on buying a new car, here are 10 cars with the lowest annual maintenance costs based on computation by RepairPal.



10 2023 Kia Rio – $434 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs

2023 Kia Rio 5-door

The Rio is an easy-to-drive small car with excellent fuel economy, offered as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. While its main competitors, like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and Chevy Sonic, have disappeared from the US market, the Kia Rio soldiers on, despite lacking “must-buy” magic. And equipped with a 120-hp 1.6-liter inline-four engine, linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), it doesn’t seem very exciting.

But if you’re looking for a low-cost car (under $20,000), cheap as dirt to maintain, the Kia Rio is a winner. Thanks to Kia’s reliability and aftermarket support, it only requires $434/year in average annual maintenance costs.

9 2023 Toyota RAV4 – $429 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition

The Toyota RAV4 sports some rugged good looks and offers multiple choices with a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine (203 hp and 184 lb-ft), hybrid, and PHEV options. The 2023 model brings technology upgrades with Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto now standard.

No matter which RAV4 you pick, this Toyota SUV provides great utility, excellent fuel efficiency, ample storage (39.2 cubic feet), and solid long-term ownership value. The RAV4’s reliability makes maintenance easy, with its annual average maintenance cost being a manageable $429/year.

8 2023 Toyota Prius – $408 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs


Entering its fifth generation in 2023, the Toyota Prius is now more stylish than ever and gets a decent boost in performance with up to 196 horsepower available. But some things remain the same. The Prius remains highly fuel-efficient, and the FWD variant even achieves 57 mpg combined. Furthermore, the Toyota Prius still costs pennies to service. Or what would you call annual maintenance costs of only $408 (RepairPal)?

RELATED: 10 Cheap Mid-Engine Design Sports Cars

Already one of the cheapest Japanese cars to maintain, the Prius is even cheaper if the driver knows how to do the basic maintenance routines themselves. It’s that easy. Consumer Reports is full of praise for this lift-back in terms of reliability. Easy to run, repair and maintain, the Prius hits all the marks.

7 2023 Honda Accord – $400 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs

2023 Honda Accord (Red) - Front angle
Honda Media

The Honda Accord is all-new for the 2023 model year and looks elegant. Thanks to impeccable Honda build quality, the Accord sedan has always been among the bestsellers and the most reliable sedans out there. There are a lot of available parts for repairs. That is, if you need any repair at all.

With proper care and maintenance, the Accord will keep the pockets safe by chalking up hundreds of thousands of miles without major issues. According to RepairPal, the Honda Accord’s estimated average annual maintenance cost is only $400. It just knows how to give its driver a good day and smile with its driver-friendly road manners and a good night’s sleep with no maintenance nightmares.

6 2023 Hyundai Tucson – $397 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs


Buyers love Hyundai vehicles for their affordability, and practicality, while offering a lot of features for the money. With Hyundai redesigning the Tucson midsize crossover SUV last model year, it’s glowing up with an eye-catching aesthetic. Entry-level trims have loads of helpful tech and smooth ride quality. Expect a posh interior boasting a more soft touch, good-quality materials, and high comfort levels in the high-end trims.

Like Hyundai’s warranty, the Tucson’s storage space is very generous. The Tucson can be had with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with mild-hybrid tech, while there is also a full hybrid and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option. For an SUV of its size, the Tucson requires very low average annual maintenance costs of $397, making it a great value for money.

5 2023 Toyota Camry– $388 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs


Small to full-size SUVs are the hottest commodities on the market, but the Camry has stood the test of time by being a sedan offering great value. It’s always good news with this Toyota midsize car when it comes to reliability, performance, and fuel economy.

RELATED: 10 Reliable Cheap Trucks For Work And Play

Thanks to annual maintenance costs of $388 on average, as estimated by RepairPal, drivers can save more money for upgrades and such. Toyota derived the Camry name from the Japanese word ‘kanmuri,’ which means crown. In the midsize car class, the Camry deserves its crown as the most affordable V6-powered car to buy and run for its low maintenance costs.

4 2023 Honda Civic – $368 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs

2023-Honda-Civic-sedan --Front

For years, the front-wheel-drive-only Honda Civic has been a favorite among Japanese car buyers. It entered the 11th generation in 2021 as a 2022 model, with an evolution that brought a cleaner yet attractive look. It also sports a more refined and comfortable cabin, an abundance of cutting-edge technology, and a full suite of driver-assistance features.

Under the hood, the Civic has a 2.0-liter four-banger making 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque or a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a decent 180 hp and 177 lb-ft on tap. With fuel efficiency still a core value, it gets EPA ratings of 33 mpg in the city, 42 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined. The Honda Civic’s reliability and build quality translate to cheap annual maintenance costs of around $368 (RepairPal).

3 2023 Toyota Corolla – $362 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs


The Japanese know how to create reliable cars, making their offerings among the bestsellers worldwide. The Toyota Corolla, for instance, has been under production since the ’60s, proving to be a tried and tested vehicle. Some things to love about the Corolla today include its cool modern design, spacious interior, especially in the back, and its long list of standard convenience and safety features.

But its low price tag and history of solid reliability are what make it a smart pick in the small sedan and hatchback classes. With proper care, the Corolla only needs an estimated $362 in annual maintenance costs. Issues are few, but the most common issues include wheel bearing replacement, starter repair, and brake system flush, among other things. Repairs are a breeze, thanks to ­parts that are always available.

2 2023 Mazda CX-3 – $345 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs


Competing against the Hyundai Kona, the Kia Seltos, and Honda HR-V, the five-door Mazda CX-3 is one of the most desirable small SUVs for its style, upscale cabin, good value, and driving manners. Based on the Mazda2, it comes with a 146-hp four-cylinder engine and is available with either front-wheel drive or all-­­­wheel drive. Though Mazda launched the CX-3 only in 2015, it has been a massive hit for its sportiness. Reviewers have hailed the Mazda CX-3 as the most exciting to drive in its class.

RELATED: 10 Cheap Electric Cars For Performance And Comfort

The only major Mazda CX-3 downsides include cramped rear seats and a thirsty, unrefined engine. But that is not a big deal when the Mazda CX-3 is one of the best cars for low maintenance costs. According to Repairpal, the Mazda CX-3 will only set you back $345/year.

1 2023 Honda HR-V – $301 In Average Annual Maintenance Costs


The Honda’s HR-V is the Japanese automaker’s smallest SUV, available in FWD and AWD. It is very cheap, with the front-drive LX model starting at $23,800. The second-generation HR-V continues the remarkable ways of its predecessor of packing a ton of utility, modern tech, and a good amount of safety features into a subcompact crossover SUV package. Redesigned for 2023, it is now based on the current Civic rather than the Honda Fit hatchback and uses the Civic’s more enthusiastic naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four (158 hp).

The new Honda HR-V brings a larger, better-looking exterior, improved ride quality and refinement, and big dimensions. The only downside is the storage space is now less, with the so-called second-row Magic Seat feature gone. Showcasing Honda’s quality of construction, the Honda HR-V is the cheapest car to keep running on the market right now, with an average annual maintenance cost of around $301.

Sources: RepairPal, KBB, Manufacturer Websites