Cheapest Cars To Own
Economy cars for the frugal 1 of 10 The cheapest economy cars to buy aren’t always the cheapest to own. Automotive consumer website Edmunds.com assembled a 2015 list of cheap cars to own for Bankrate, based on the website’s true cost of ownership, or TCO, calculator. Compare auto loan rates in your area The ranking includes many factors — such as purchase price, fuel economy, depreciation, maintenance and repairs — that affect the total cost of ownership. Although the true cost of ownership provides an idea of a car’s ownership cost over its first 5 years when driving 15,000 miles per year, the results are based on averages. It’s a tool for comparing the total ownership cost of 1 model with another. Your actual experience may be different. Here are 9 of the cheapest economy cars to own, beginning with the most expensive cost of ownership and ending with the least expensive. Edmunds included the destination fee in the base prices. After choosing a car to buy, you’re ready to shop for a car loan. First check your credit score for free at myBankrate Previous Next 1 of 10
Cheapest Cars To Own
When it’s time to buy a new car and desperation comes calling, all other priorities peel away, leaving price alone to govern the decision. But simply buying the cheapest car isn’t necessarily the cheapest route. Cars—even the affordable ones—are expensive to own and operate. So we went in search of the answer to an important question: What is the cheapest car to buy and own? Fuel is an obvious consideration, but insurance can’t be ignored, either.
Cheapest Cars To Own
Actually, Edmunds listed the smaller, entry-level Prius C separately on its cheapest-to-own list, as the sixth least expensive. Bankrate chose to mention it here with the Prius sitting in fourth place among least expensive TCO. Prius is the sole hybrid among these picks. Despite its purchase price, Prius is highly ranked for 3 reasons. Predicted to lose only 38% of its value, the best among these 9 cars, the depreciation cost in dollars is reasonable. Only 2 cars have a lower insurance cost, and, finally, its predicted 5-year fuel cost is second lowest on this list.
Cheapest Cars To Own
Of the 10 cars on this list, five are Korean: Kias or Hyundais. (The Japanese industry has three representatives; the U.S. has one; and a European, as imported by Roger Penske—the Smart—fills the last spot.) Of these Korean cars, the new-for-2010 Forte is the strongest in its respective class. In its slightly more expensive coupe form (only $600 more than a similarly optioned sedan), the Forte is even sort of attractive, too. The cheapest Forte is arguably the most fun, as the larger engine adds pounds without much extra power, and the manual transmission is a six-speed, giving enthusiast drivers plenty of ratios from which to choose. If we were to pick a car from this list, the Forte would be among the front-runners.
Everyone knows that negotiating a good price on a new car can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and that’s what Kelley Blue Book has been helping car buyers do for decades. But fewer car shoppers realize they can save even more simply by choosing the right car to begin with. Purchase price is just one of the costs associated with vehicle ownership, and when you consider the continuing costs of fuel, financing, insurance and, in particular, depreciation, saving a few bucks up front can actually cost you more when all is said and done. Similar cars with similar sticker prices can vary widely in overall outlay, and the wrong car can easily eat up all the savings you fought so hard to achieve at the negotiating table. So instead of just helping buyers figure out fair prices, we also help them compare overall costs. A great place to start your quest for financially superior transportation is our annual 5-Year Cost to Own Awards, which identify the vehicles that are the least expensive to own in their individual categories. Included among the factors are financing, insurance and state fees, plus the anticipated costs of fuel, scheduled maintenance and repairs. Also included are the critical factors of purchase price — the exclusive Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price — and projected depreciation, derived from our industry-standard residual-value analysis. In creating the 5-Year Cost to Own projections for our awards, we calculate expected ownership costs down to the model level, using actual new-car sales figures. We weight more popular trim levels more heavily, to more accurately convey what consumers can expect to experience in terms of cost of ownership over time. Whether you use our 5-Year Cost to Own Awards as your starting point or as a way to help you decide among similarly appealing models, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve made a smart choice that holds up in the big picture. Our annual 5-Year Cost to Own Awards are broken into the two groups listed below. Best Brands In addition to recognizing 5-Year Cost to Own standouts at the model level, we also hand out Best Brand and Best Luxury Brand awards to the automakers with outstanding ownership costs across their entire lineups. Category Winners In order to make our annual list useful to as many car shoppers as possible, we crown 5-Year Cost to Own champions in each of 21 vehicle categories. We also identify two runners-up in each category, either of which may be an even better buy according to your wants and needs. And with that, let’s meet the 5-Year Cost to Own Award champions of 2017, starting with the two Best Brand awards.
Initially introduced as the Scion iA, Toyota has since killed off its youth-oriented brand and brought in its lineup under the Toyota nameplate. The Yaris iA is one of the cheapest cars to own over five years, with an estimated cost of $30,033.
Although the Fiesta is second lowest in purchase price here, it is highest on the list of 5-year cost of ownership. Its estimated maintenance costs are higher than all the others except the smart fortwo. Its average fuel costs are among the more expensive, too. Only 1 car on this list has higher estimated insurance costs. Its loss of value is greater than most of the others, with an estimated 48% depreciation rate over 5 years. Only its low purchase price keeps Fiesta in the hunt among the cheapest economy cars to own.
Its low purchase price has a lot to do with putting the Versa Note 2nd among the cheapest cars to own. At 53%, its high depreciation rate works against its 5-year value, but that’s the only area where it stumbles. It has the second-lowest insurance costs and fourth-lowest estimated fuel costs. Only 2 others have lower estimated maintenance costs, and its repair costs are about average. Nissan targets the Versa Note at owners looking for a car that’s cheap to buy and operate.
There are 4 cars with a lower purchase price than Honda Fit, yet it’s first among the cheapest to own. With a 46% depreciation rate, its actual dollar cost in lost value is more than 5 others. It has the 4th-highest predicted maintenance costs. But it makes up for lost ground with the 3rd-best fuel costs, and its estimated repair costs are in the middle of the pack.
There is a common perception that electric cars are really expensive. It isn’t helped by media fawning over the high-end Tesla Model S, which has a base price of $71,000. But most EVs cost much less than that, and measured over a five-year span, the total cost of owning and operating the more affordable EVs can actually be lower than the cheapest gas-swilling econo-boxes.
In its more expensive (by about $2500) and better-equipped hatchback form, the SX4 is one of the most underrated cars on the market. The four-door comes in a more America-friendly three-box shape—although it’s a bit gawky-looking—and it’s actually decently quick for something so affordable, although a nine-second 0-to-60-mph time is only favorable when compared with many other cars on this list, fully laden freight trains, and limping lambs. Although it is moderately fun to drive, the SX4 sedan placed sixth in a recent eight-car comparo, mostly because we just couldn’t get comfortable in it. Be sure to take a long test drive before committing to this Suzuki.
The Nissan Versa is a competent and capacious car in any trim, and even people with no criterion but price of entry might be a bit shocked at how little a base Versa includes. Both the engine (1.6 liters) and the wheels (14 inches) are smaller on the ultra-cheap 1.6 than they are on other Versas. It has no ABS and no power locks, mirrors, or windows. Not even a radio is standard. The transmission is manual, Nissan skimps on the seat padding, and even the clock is gone. If all you want is cheap, then all you get is this. It’s still not a bad package, but if you want the cheapest car possible, for goodness’ sake, buy used.