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The two biggest rival automotive companies we see from the Japanese market are Honda and Toyota. Both vehicle brands are known for their reliability and high-quality cars, trucks, and SUVs. When it comes to owning a vehicle from one of the automakers long-term, there is a clear winner between the two.

When do new car repair costs start to get expensive?

Most cars come with warranties that will cover the majority of problems during the first three years of ownership. That’s why you don’t see very many repair costs during those years. Some even cover basic maintenance needs like oil changes and tire rotations. Other car brands might charge for those services, but you’re not likely to see exorbitant maintenance bills. 

It’s when warranties run out that you start seeing some repair costs with your vehicle. During the third year to the fifth year of ownership, more parts start wearing out or breaking down. Typically, warranties will last three years or a certain number of miles. Sometimes, you might have coverage for longer, but not usually over five years. 

The costs of owning a Honda long-term

Hondas are known for their reliability. They can last for over a decade, provided you take excellent care of your vehicle.

Over the first five years of ownership, you can expect to pay around $203 for Honda repair costs. That’s usually for basic maintenance and minor repair work. 

When you own one for 10 years and beyond, however, repair costs increase as more of the vehicle’s vital components break down, like the car’s engine or transmission. You’ll find that fixing these will cost you significantly more than what you paid during the first five years of ownership. You can rack up thousands in repair costs after a decade of Honda ownership, but Honda vehicles remain among the most dependable on the market.

The cost of owning a Toyota long-term

A white 2023 Toyota Corolla is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Toyota isn’t all that much different from Honda in the first five years of ownership in terms of repair costs. Since each company offers good warranties on their newer cars, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. However, when you look at the 10-year period, there’s a significant difference between the two. Toyota vehicles are more affordable to own over long periods of time.

This makes perfect sense since there are several Toyotas that drivers keep for over 15 years. It goes to show just how much drivers can trust a Toyota, especially best-selling cars like the Corolla. Vehicles like the Prius, Tundra, and even the Corolla are some of the least expensive vehicles to maintain over long periods of time. The Corolla tops the list, but the Prius comes in at second with an average $763 annual maintenance cost.

The Tundra averages about $1,000 a year for maintenance, which is pretty good for a pickup truck. Honda also produces a few long-lasting models, including the CR-V and the Accord. Toyota produces more long-lasting nameplates with lower repair costs over time, but the Honda brand is still a favorite among consumers because of driving experience.


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