Many consumers focus on the retail price of a car when they are trying to decide which vehicle to buy. However, maintenance and auto insurance are the two biggest expenses affecting car owners. Before buying a car, you should know its average cost of insurance and maintenance, common issues and repairs, and maintenance history (if buying a used car).

The cost of maintaining a vehicle will vary based on several factors. The brand and model, vehicle history (if used), current usage of the car, and availability of parts will all impact how much it costs you to maintain your car.

Maintenance costs can vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. However, there are several models of new cars that are recognized as being unusually inexpensive to maintain. These include the Ford Focus, the Toyota Camry, the Cadillac STS, and the Volvo S40. All of these vehicles have an estimated five-year service cost of around $3,000 or less.

Ford Focus: The Cheapest Car to Maintain in America

The Ford Focus is well known as a reliable, economical car. What many consumers do not realize, however, is that it is also very cheap to maintain.

The Focus has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and available in both a four-door sedan and a hatchback model. The 2012 model is the most fuel-efficient yet, with an estimated rating of 40 mpg. When it was first launched in 2000, the Focus received a lot of press for reliability issues and flaws in the design. Since then, Ford has worked hard to restore the car’s image. It is now known as sporty, fun to drive, and gas efficient. It is also very reliable, with the lowest average cost of maintenance of any car in America.

The Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has been a staple of safety and reliability for decades. It is no surprise to many consumers that the car is also one of the most reliable in America.

The Toyota Camry was first introduced in 1983. Currently, the car is on its seventh generation in America. The Camry has been a leader in the mid size sedan market and is popular with families because of its versatility, styling, reliability, and low cost of ownership. The car is available with two engine options, either a 178 horsepower 2.5 liter or a 268 horsepower 3.5 liter. Camry’s popularity contributes to its low cost of ownership. Because this car is so popular in the United States, inexpensive parts are readily available and the Camry is easy to service.

Cadillac STS

Many consumers consider Cadillac to be an expensive luxury brand. While the retail price of a new Cadillac might be much higher than many other American cars, the cost to maintain can be significantly lower. The Cadillac STS has been rated the third least expensive vehicle to maintain.

The Cadillac STS is available in three trim levels – the Luxury Sedan, Luxury Sport, and the STS Premium. All three models have a 3.6 liter, 302 horsepower engine. In addition to being cheap to maintain, the Cadillac STS is praised for its agile handling and its luxurious interior. The car has been rated as very comfortable and with excellent safety features for its class.

Volvo S40

Volvos are primarily known for their excellent safety features. However, buying a Volvo can also be a smart investment when it comes to automobile maintenance. The Volvo S40 is the fourth least expensive car to maintain.

The Volvo S40 was first launched in America in 2000. The second-generation model was released in 2004. The car is popular for its relatively low price for its class and high safety and performance ratings. The 2012 Volvo S40 has a 2.5-liter engine with 227 horsepower. It boasts many standard luxurious options such as sport suspension, Bluetooth capabilities, six CD changer and leather seats.

Never Forget about the Cost of Maintenance

The cost of maintaining a car can be just as important as the purchase price. Make sure to do your homework well before buying a car and understand all of the true costs of ownership. There is no faster way to bust the bubble of joy then ending up with a car you have to write a maintenance check for every month.