Top 5 car brands with the lowest maintenance cost
The cost of maintaining your car is just as important as its price. It is one of the core considerations we have to take into account when purchasing the vehicle.
That said, what metrics determine these maintenance costs? How do we tell which vehicle has an ‘acceptable’ maintenance budget and which one doesn’t?
Firstly, the purchase price for the brand new car from a given model line is a good indicator in some cases. Naturally, a vehicle that costs an arm and a leg is likely to attract hefty costs when it comes to its maintenance.
Just as necessary is the cost of spare parts, service, repairs, and insurance
Some cars tend to suffer from spare part availability depending on the geographical location that one is based. That impacts your ease of repair and service, making that car a bit of a headache to have.
Still, on service matters, low maintenance cars mean the ready availability of knowledgeable mechanics and technicians who can handle your repair and service requirements.
In some countries, incredibly pricey vehicles run into insurance issues as some insurers are hesitant to offer cover for some car brands. It is thus advisable to look into that too before acquiring a new model.
Without further ado, here are the top five car brands known to carry the lowest maintenance costs.
Arguably, Toyota has the lowest maintenance costs compared to other car brands.
According to RepairPal, the average cost for maintaining a Toyota stands at $441 per annum.
Compared to the annual industry average of $652, the Toyota badge comes with pretty manageable maintenance figures.
And that’s not all; for new vehicles, Toyota, through its ToyotaCare setup, offers free maintenance for the first two years of purchase or the first 25,000 miles.
That offer stays with the car and is even transferable to new owners, provided the vehicle is within the warranty period. Some of the popular Toyota cars with low maintenance cost include Toyota Harrier, Toyota Probox, Rush, Prius, Corolla, and Vitz.
After the initial two-year period, the maintenance costs will typically range between $100 to $200 for minor service and $200- $500 for heavy service.
Minor service, in this case, might include things such as oil change and wheel alignment, while major service may involve things such as wheel or headlight replacement.
Toyota’s trusted service care centers are spread across the world. In the Gulf region, there are a total of 14 centers. Dubai alone boasts of four, while Abu Dhabi has three. The rest are evenly peppered out across the rest of the region.
Mazda has an average repair cost of $286, according to CarMD.
The brand has authorized collision and repair centers. These offer professional service and repair for all Mazda models.
The technicians are specifically trained to diagnose all manner of issues that may afflict your beloved Mazda.
Besides, during the warranty period, the company offers a loaner vehicle for your use during the repair or service period.
However, the loaner vehicle is only availed to customers whose service is expected to take four hours or more.
Mazda models’ basic service charges are consistently low across all its models compared to other car brands. An oil change for a Mazda Miata, for example, stands at approximately $81.
The company recommends checking in your Mazda for minor service every 12 months or after 10,000 Kms for smaller cars and 15,000 Kms for the larger models.
On average, servicing a Honda vehicle costs $428 annually.
However, this is a ballpark figure as the actual cost may be slightly higher or lower depending on the handling of the car and your driving habits.
The lowest service charge on the Honda line is for a Honda Accord, which ranges between $107- $138 inclusive of parts and labor.
Meanwhile, a Honda CR-V carries an annual maintenance cost of approximately $965.
The car manufacturers provide comprehensive guidelines in respect of each of their Honda models.
For every model, you receive a service guideline to tell you when the car will be due for service.
With each model, there is a guideline for severe driving and normal driving conditions.
These are meant to accurately inform car owners of the best way to maintain their vehicles based on their driving habits.
To further reduce your maintenance costs, the company advises car owners/ drivers to use unleaded fuel, avoid sudden stops and starts, and avoid driving short distances or on uneven roads.
Hyundai is perhaps the best performer when it comes to warranties and after-sales service. That has a direct impact on lowering the buyer’s car maintenance costs.
Hyundai has offered a ten-year warranty period or coverage for the first 100,000 miles on its cars’ powertrain in the past.
But that’s not all; the cars would also come with a 5-year or 60,000-mile warranty.
So far, it has been one of the brands with the most aggressive and attractive warranties in recent years.
However, in early 2020, the company bumped things up even higher by adding another 3-year or 36,000-mile complimentary warranty onto its already massive warranty program.
These warranties go a long way in alleviating your maintenance costs, particularly if you purchase a new car.
On average, the Hyundai accent maintenance stands at approximately $50 while that of Hyundai Sonata is $294.
With proper handling of your brand new KIA, you can expect it to run well without much financial impact on your part for ten years.
The car carries a ten-year warranty on its powertrain, meaning that the company will sort out any mechanical issues for the first ten years, provided your handling is consistent with the warranty terms. The cheapest maintenance cost within the KIA range goes to the KIA Rio, whose annual maintenance is estimated at approximately $434.