We’ll argue that there isn’t a better feeling than negotiating a great deal on a well maintained used car. Before you venture out to buy that new-to-you car, however, it's important to remind yourself that the purchase price is just one of the many expenses to consider. Used cars typically need more maintenance than new vehicles which means more out-of-pocket costs. What makes a vehicle expensive to maintain? Hard to obtain parts, timing belts which need routine replacement and difficult to access engine parts.
A car that is expensive to maintain and repair can quickly rob you of any potential savings. U.S. News and World Report compiled a list of vehicles that will save you the most cash, time and headaches to maintain. We've selected 7 low maintenance vehicles to help you build your shopping list no matter if you’re looking for a family vehicle, a stylish coupe, a rugged off-roader or a sports car.
1) Toyota Camry (2008-2015)
The Toyota Camry is a great choice for small families, empty nesters or anyone that keeps practicality at the top of their must-have list. Buy a Camry that’s a couple years old, and you'll get the peace of mind knowing you won’t need to spend your life savings on repairs. Not only does the Camry earn above-average reliability scores, but if a problem does arise, repairs will be nothing to sweat about. Camry parts that most often need servicing are easy to access and will keep your repair costs in check.
2) Jeep Wrangler (2007-2017)
Looking for a rugged used SUV that can handle all the places on your bucket list? It's smart to buy one that will allow you to put your money and time towards your adventures instead of repairs. You can go with last year's Jeep Wrangler or up to 10 years back to get a simple to repair SUV that won't cost an arm and a leg. The drivetrain and suspension on older Wrangler models offer simple solid axles and a traditional layout that are less cumbersome for mechanics.
3) Nissan Altima (2008-2015)
The Nissan Altima is an affordable family sedan that offers good fuel economy, a spacious cabin, and keeps you on
4) Honda Accord (2003-2014)
Honda has a long-standing reputation for building low maintenance vehicles, and if you go with an Accord from 2003 to 2014, you'll get the added benefits of inexpensive repairs. Accord models after 2002 have a timing chain which will not need regular replacement. Plus, if you go with an Accord from 2011 to 2012 you'll score higher than average reliability ratings.
5) Mazda Miata (all years)
If you think 'practical' and 'exciting' are mutually exclusive, think again. The Mazda Miata is a great example of an excellent roadster that provides both a fun driving experience and serious savings. On top of its above-average reliability ratings, this sports car provides easy access for repairs thanks to its mechanic- friendly layout.
6) Subaru Outback (2010-2014)
Do you want more space in your vehicle for your family or need AWD for all weather driving? The Subaru Outback should be your go-to. The Outback offers just enough room in the cabin and off-road prowess to please active singles and families alike. Other than the spark plugs which can be more time-consuming and expensive, other commonly repaired parts are easy to access and fix thanks to the open layout of the Outback's engine.
7) Honda Civic (2006-2016)
On top of being affordable, stylish and fuel efficient, the Honda Civic is also simple to repair. This makes mechanics happy when they are working on it and it makes you happy when you're paying the repair bill. Getting replacement parts for the Honda Civic is a no-brainer and parts that commonly require repairs aren't a hassle to access. Why the 10-year range from 2006 to 2016? It comes down to timing chains vs. belts again. In 2006, Honda did away with the timing belt in the Civic and swapped in a timing chain for a low maintenance alternative.