The Cheapest 2018 Cars With Low Cost of Ownership

If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, you have probably already considered what your price range will be for the vehicle itself. You may have even calculated the amount you should budget for fuel, based on your driving habits and the ideal gas mileage of the vehicle you will get. But have you considered the cost it will run you to maintain the vehicle itself?

Whether you hope to resell your new vehicle in a few years or run it into the ground, low maintenance costs can go along way towards helping you stay on track for your financial goals. If you are in the market for a new vehicle that comes standard with a few years of warranty, you might think that maintenance costs do not matter at all. But who wants or needs the hassle of having to run into the repair shop any time a problem arises? Not only are repairs costly, but a damaged vehicle is often unsafe to drive, putting you and your loved ones at risk.

There are several maintenance costs you should consider when you are thinking of purchasing a vehicle. All of these things and more can drive up the cost of ownership:

The most common car maintenance repairs include a slew of things that sound foreign to non-car folks: loose fuel caps, oxygen sensor replacements, spark plug issues, catalytic converter replacements, massive airflow sensor issues, and more. These issues range from inexpensive but a hassle and a big safety issue (loose fuel cap) to downright costly (MAF sensor issues). Each trip to the mechanic is time and money spent that you can never get back.

Best Car: 2018 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla
 Getty Images/OksanaRadchenko

 Vehicle Cost: $18,600+

Approximate Yearly Maintenance Costs: $350

30 MPG City / 40 MPG Highway

If you want a safe, reliable car that is not all that fancy, a Toyota Corolla just might be your best bet. This car has been beloved for its reliability since 1966, and the newest models feature impressive features well above its price point, such as LED headlights, push-button start, great cruise control, and lane-keep assist. The driver-facing tech is much more straightforward: the Corolla’s dashboard controls are easy for even a technophobe to use and have been roughly the same in every model for decades. It is not a super smooth ride, but it is a very safe and affordable ride to maintain.

Best Hybrid Car: 2018 Toyota Prius C

Toyota Prius C
 Getty Images/Car Culture

Vehicle Cost: $20,630+

Approximate Yearly Maintenance Costs: $450

48 MPG City / 43 MPG Highway

Everyone knows that the Prius line gets great gas mileage. But did you know that it also is very easy to maintain? It handles well and maintains a lot of its value over time. The Prius C has incredible safety features, like a collision warning system that can help you avoid an accident -- or survive it with less damage to your vehicle. It is not super roomy, but it can fit a few friends just fine.

Best Minivan: 2018 Honda Odyssey

 Vehicle Cost: $29,990

Approximate Yearly Maintenance Costs: $415

19 MPG City / 28 MPG Highway

Some may mock the minivan for its soccer mom appeal, but the features that make it most convenient for parents on the go are real advantages that almost anyone can appreciate. The Honda Odyssey might be best known for its flexible and adaptive seating that allows you to store kids, bags, and pretty much anything else you’d like with ease. In addition to that, it drives much more smoothly than you might imagine a minivan would drive, and is situated high enough off the ground that you will be able to see much farther than other drivers should you find yourself in a long line of traffic.

Best SUV: 2018 Kia Soul

 Vehicle Cost: $16,200

Approximate Yearly Maintenance Costs: $460

26 MPG City / 31 MPG Highway

The Kia Soul is impressively affordable, but will really wow you is the style and refinement built into every aspect of the vehicle. It is spacious, comfortable, sporty, and comes complete with many high-tech features. It’s got a turbocharged engine, and you can even set the interior lighting to pulse along to your music -- just make sure you can still pay attention to the road!