20 Most & Least Expensive Cars to Maintain in 2021

Expensive Car Repair

As you begin the car shopping journey, you are initially looking at the price of the vehicle. While you are busy searching for the biggest bargain, you might have forgotten to consider how much it will cost to maintain the vehicle. What looks like a deal might be a money pit in disguise. With a little research, you can find the most and least expensive cars to maintain.

Using research done by CarEdge, we found the vehicles that are going to cost you the most in maintenance and some that are truly bargain-basement options. 

10 Most Expensive Cars to Maintain

Expensive Car Maintain

It’s obvious that both BMW and FCA are automakers that aren’t focused on keeping maintenance costs down. Between the two companies, seven of these ten expensive vehicles to maintain are from them. Our ranking is based on the cost of maintenance versus the cost of the vehicle.

1. Ram 1500

Overall, light duty trucks tend to cost a minimal amount for maintenance, but that’s not the case with the Ram 1500. Versus the competition, the Ram 1500 will cost the most over ten years.

  • Ram 1500 MSRP: $32,795
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $18,072
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 55.1%

2. BMW X1

Most drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a BMW X1 aren’t interested in a bargain, but the cost of maintenance is going to break the bank. Over ten years, you are going to spend nearly half of what the vehicle cost when it was new.

  • BMW X1 MSRP: $35,400
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $17,691
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 49.9%

3. BMW X2

Falling right in line is the X2. Service rates are high and parts cost a fortune. The only reason that this car’s overall percentage is lower is because the starting price is higher than the X1.

  • BMW X2 MSRP: $36,600
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $17,764
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 48.5%

4. Jeep Renegade

The Renegade is going to cost a good chunk of change to get serviced. It’s more expensive than a larger Ford Expedition. Considering it’s such a small SUV, owners aren’t getting much bang for their buck. 

  • Jeep Renegade MSRP: $22,850
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $10,177
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 44.5%

5. Chevrolet Spark

When you purchase a Chevy Spark, you don’t expect it to cost so much to maintain, but it does. Sure, it’s not the same level of expense as some other options, but when compared by the cost to purchase, it’s a hefty equation. 

  • Chevrolet Spark MSRP: $13,600
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $6,038
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 44.3%

6. Dodge Journey

The Journey hasn’t won awards for anything important, proving to be one of the vehicles no one really wants to drive. If you are on the fence, the cost of maintenance should deter you further.

  • Dodge Journey MSRP: $23,675
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $10,133
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 42.8%

7. Hyundai Venue

The Venue was released for the first time in 2020, but the maintenance is costing owners a fortune already. Larger and more expensive vehicles don’t cost this much.

  • Hyundai Venue MSRP: $18,750
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $7,834
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 41.7%

8. BMW X3

It’s been clear that BMW isn’t interested in keeping costs down and the consumers are paying for it. The X3 fits right in with the rest of the lineup with excessive maintenance costs.

  • BMW X3 MSRP: $43,000
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $17,878
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 41.5%

9. Jeep Compass

The Compass is cheaper than the Renegade but will cost nearly just as much to maintain. While other SUVs tend to cost about 20 to 25-percent of the purchase price over ten years, the Compass is far from the typical course.

  • Jeep Compass MSRP: $24,495
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $10,127
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 41.3%

10. Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Driving a luxury brand is going to cost you. Not only are the parts for Mercedes vehicles expensive, but you will pay a top price for a qualified mechanic.

  • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class MSRP: $34,250
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $13,911
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 40.6%

10 Least Expensive Cars to Maintain

Car Repair

When it comes to finding the least expensive vehicles to maintain, Toyota and Honda are the clear-cut winners. Unlike the expensive car list, we will look at this roundup based on the total ten-year maintenance cost.

1. Toyota Yaris

The Yaris lineup is ending in the United States, but that doesn’t negate the cost-saving vehicle that it is. Owners looking to get behind the wheel for less are still flocking to this Toyota.

  • Toyota Yaris MSRP: $17,750
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $4,033
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 22.7%

2. Toyota Corolla

Toyota continues to provide low-cost vehicles that are dependable. On top of that, the Corolla continues to be a favorite among drivers.

  • Toyota Corolla MSRP: $20,025
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $4,083
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 20.3%

3. Toyota Prius

The Prius might be known as the start of the hybrids, but it’s worth so much more. In fact, owners are saving on not only fuel but also maintenance over ten years. 

  • Toyota Prius MSRP: $24,525
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $4,098
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 16.7%

4. Toyota Camry

The Camry is the big brother to the Corolla, but the maintenance costs aren’t much more expensive. You can own this vehicle over ten years and spend just about the same amount. 

  • Toyota Camry MSRP: $25,045
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $4,211
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 16.8%

5. Toyota Avalon

As the luxury-minded sedan in the lineup, the Avalon is still cheap to maintain. In fact, you aren’t going to spend much more to take care of this car versus the other Toyota cars.

  • Toyota Avalon MSRP: $36,125
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $4,409
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 12.2%

6. Honda Fit

The Honda Fit has received a lot of attention because of the space-saving design and extreme comfort. However, the low cost of maintenance should be another highlight.

  • Honda Fit MSRP: $16,190
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $5,033
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 31.0%

7. Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mirage is hailed as a cheap car for budget-conscious owners. To top that off, the maintenance isn’t going to cost a lot either. 

  • Mitsubishi Mirage MSRP: $14,295
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $5,062
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 35.4%

8. Honda Civic

After decades of being a popular car, the Civic continues to be a top choice. Additionally, this model is going to cost next to nothing to maintain over ten years. 

  • Honda Civic MSRP: $21,250
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $5,250
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 24.7%

9. Honda Insight

The Honda Insight was designed to save money at the pump. On top of that savings, you will pay a minimal amount for care.

  • Honda Insight MSRP: $23,130
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $5,310
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 22.9%

10. Nissan Versa

Nissan is another dependable automaker that is worth looking into, even though the Versa is the only model to make our roundup.

  • Honda Versa MSRP: $14,980
  • 10-Year Average Maintenance/Repair Costs: $5,340
  • Maintenance Cost vs. New Price: 35.6%
Written by: Magnus Sellén

Founder, owner & main author of Mechanic Base. I have been repairing cars for more than 10 years, specialized in advanced diagnostics & troubleshooting. I have also been a drifting driver and mechanic for over 7 years.