When you're looking to purchase a new vehicle, you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Naturally, that means finding one that has an affordable price. But there are other financial factors to consider, such as auto insurance costs, fuel economy, and trade-in value.
One of the most important -- but least discussed -- aspects of the cost of a new car is how much money you will spend on its normal maintenance. After all, a car with a low price and great gas mileage isn't a great deal if you're constantly opening up your wallet to pay for repairs.
With that in mind, here are the ten most inexpensive vehicles to maintain in the U.S. (based on the 2011 model year).
5-year service cost: $2,937
It's no surprise that the king of the low-cost maintenance vehicles is a compact car. Like the Volkswagen Beetle, it's bigger on the inside than it looks.
5-year service cost: $2,991
It's one of the most popular cars in the world for a reason; over the last five years, its sales are second in the U.S. only to its automotive sibling -- the Camry.
5-year service cost: $3,029
It's a perfectly competent, surprisingly durable compact car, and it even comes with its own complementary scheduled-maintenance program (hence its ranking).
5-year service cost: $3,035
When an automaker boasts three of the top four least expensive vehicles to maintain on the market today -- including the only pickup truck in the top 10 -- you know that Toyota is doing something right.
5-year service cost: $3,036
If you want one of these cost-effective Korean-made cars, you'd better act fast -- it will soon be replaced in the Chevy stables by the Sonic.
5-year service cost: $3,043
Belying its image as a rolling mass of gas-guzzling American opulence, this Caddy makes the list largely because of the automaker's extraordinarily-thorough free maintenance plan.
Volvo S40 & V50
5-year service cost: $3,056
Volvo's gratis owner maintenance program is even better than the one offered by Cadillac, which lowers the cost of upkeep for this twin sedan-wagon combo.
5-year service cost: $3,058
The aforementioned Cadillac service plan is enough to offset this sedan's relatively high repair costs (because of more expensive labor and parts).
Toyota Camry Hybrid
5-year service cost: $3,067
It's the only alternative-fuel vehicle on its list; remarkably, it is actually cheaper to maintain than its gas-combustion engine counterpart.
5-year service cost: $3,089
This entry definitely deserves the Most Improved Car award in terms of reliability and maintenance; some of the earlier models a decade ago were the "focus" of several automotive recalls.
Image credits: editorial.autos.msn.com
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SafeAuto Insurance spokesman Norm Macdonald is a stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actor. The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member happens to have an extremely large Twitter following and YouTube audience who appreciate his unique tell-it-like-it-is style. The state minimum coverage auto insurance company wanted to give their social media fans the opportunity to ask Norm Macdonald questions, knowing that his straight forward answers would be quite entertaining. Norm Macdonald has over 364,000 Twitter followers and is only following seven. If Norm selected one of the questions submitted to the @SafeAuto Twitter handle, you should consider yourself lucky! The majority of Norm’s subject matter deals with golf, one of his passions. Kicking-off the “Norm Answers Your Questions” segment right after the U.S. Open concluded seemed like perfect timing! @zzwell06 wanted to know, “Who would @SafeAuto spokesman Norm Macdonald choose to play a round of golf with?
Stay tuned to for more behind-the-scenes footage with Norm Macdonald on SafeAuto’s Facebook Page, Twitter Account, YouTube channel, and the Play-It-Safe Blog. Norm Macdonald will showcase SafeAuto’s new pricing technology, he might just answer your questions as well!
Tags: norm macdonald safeauto, cheap auto insurance, norm macdonald, norm macdonald safe auto, safeauto insurance, safe auto
Auto Insurance | SafeAuto Norm Macdonald
You may or may not know about the common wisdom regarding used car purchases: “Don’t buy while gas prices are high.” And sure enough, as gas prices go up, so do used car prices. But why? And how can you make this work to your advantage?
There are two reasons used car prices go up when gas prices go up, one economic and the other psychological.
The Economic Issue This is fairly straightforward: a lot of us are driving cars that are old. Very old. The average age of the American car is a smidge more than a decade, and as quality of cars sold improves and prices for new cars stay up, people tend to cling to their vehicles longer. The rough economy of late really hasn't helped things: most people, if they're buying a car, are looking for a used car because, hey, it's cheaper.
But a car from 10 years ago is a total gas hog compared to newer versions. For example, even the gas-guzzling Cadillac Escalade had an MPG of 13 city and 17 highway in 2002, and a decade later, that's improved. Not much: a 2011 Escalade gets 14 city and 18 highway. But it's still an improvement, and you'll feel that missing mile or so in your wallet a lot more over the life of the car.
So, especially when gas prices are high, people are looking to trade in their older car for something newer that gets at least somewhat better mileage. Needless to say, the most fuel-efficient cars see the highest demand, especially late model sedans and smaller cars.
The Psychological Issue The psychological aspect is a bit more difficult to explain, although all it really takes is a moment to stop and think about it. Most people have a car payment as a monthly expense, but filling up the tank happens at least once a week, maybe two or three times a week. The road warriors among us might be at the pump every single day.
And, realistically, it doesn't take long for you to start looking at your receipts from the gas station and start thinking, "Geez, a lot of my paycheck goes straight into the gas tank. I need to do something about that." And, if gas goes up substantially like it did earlier in the year, it's going to weigh a lot more on your mind, especially if you think you can get a payment close to your current one and save on gas. Furthermore, newer cars tend to have lower auto insurance costs, which can be an added incentive.
Ever wonder why used car lots tend to have gas stations nearby? Now you know.
Using This Information to Your Advantage So, how do you make all of this work in your favor?
Tags: safauto, safe auto, gas prices, used car prices
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