The purchase price of a car is only the beginning. There's also the cost of ownership, which includes things like the cost of gas, maintenance and repairs. Smart car buyers research the long-term cost of maintenance and repair in order to make the best possible financial decision when it comes to purchasing a car.
In the model year 2011, Automotive.com ranked Volvos in nine of the top 10 slots for cars requiring the least maintenance expense. The five-year maintenance costs of the top-picked Volvos ranged between £401 and £629. Among the low-cost maintenance Volvos are the XC70 wagon, the XC60 SUV, the V50 wagon and the C30 hatchback.
The Toyota Yaris was the only non-Volvo vehicle to make the Automotive.com 2011 top-10 list for low maintenance costs. The Yaris's five-year maintenance costs are a bit higher than any of the Volvos on the list, coming in at £730. However, the 2011 Yaris has one big advantage over the Volvos. Its gas mileage is significantly better than any of the Volvos, which is important in reducing the overall cost of ownership.
Late-Model Used Cars
If you're interested in a owning a slightly used car rather than a new car, the 2010 list of low-cost maintenance cars is very different than the 2011 list. The top-ten cars from 2010 when it comes to inexpensive maintenance include the Chevrolet Aveo, the Nissan Frontier, the Chevrolet Avalanche, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Honda Civic, the Honda Fit, the Saab 9-3 and the Mini Cooper. The 2009 Saab 9-3 and 9-7x also made the list.
The Cost of Parts
When you're buying an older car, you can get a good idea of the cost of maintenance by looking up the cost of parts for different makes and models. Going by the average cost of parts, the cheapest cars to maintain are produced by Plymouth, Daihatsu, Daewoo, Geo and Yugo. The specific models that are cheapest to maintain in terms of the cost of parts are the Pontiac 6000, the Buick Reatta, the Yugo Cabrio, the Nissan Pulsar NX and the Chevrolet Celebrity.