Least Expensive Cars to Keep Running According to Consumer Reports

There are many financial aspects of owning a vehicle, and maintenance can be a big part of that. Luckily for us, Consumer Reports has done a survey, asking thousands of members to report on the vehicles they own to give us the most accurate representation of cars from the perspective of the owners. Along the way, they found three vehicles that you can buy on the used car market for under $10,000 with minimal yearly maintenance costs, making them the dream bargain for many buyers.

Mechanic under the hood of a car | ROBYN BECK, AFP, Getty Images

The Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is far from the most exciting vehicle on the market, but it does boast Nissan’s reliability. It is not only affordable to buy used, they are affordable to buy new, but some buyers may be more apprehensive about purchasing a leaf because the idea of owning and maintaining an electric vehicle can deter some drivers.

According to the survey from Consumer Reports, it costs users…well…nothing to maintain the Nissan Leaf. This isn’t an absurd idea, either, as the Leaf doesn’t require oil changes or other regular maintenance because there is no internal combustion engine. Of course, tires might be needed every year or two, but the overall yearly maintenance for a used Nissan Leaf was reported in at $0 per year.

A Nissan Leaf on the charging station
A Nissan Leaf | John Walton, PA Images, Getty Images

A Ford Focus

Not surprisingly, the Ford Focus also made the list for used models under $10,000 for 2011. Maintenance costs for the Focus weren’t quite as impressive as the nonexistent number for the Nissan Leaf, but owners reported an average and affordable $200 per year in maintenance to keep the car on the road.

At this point, vehicles are completely out of warranty, and that is where expenses like maintenance and repair costs can stack up quickly for owners. Like the Leaf, the Focus is affordable to purchase and maintain, but it is also a reliable option even at 10 years old.

Ford Focus | Li Zhihao, VCG via Getty Images

RELATED: The 2014 Ford Focus Is the Absolute Worst Used Model Year You Could Buy

Another Ford, the Fiesta

Ford has a history of reliability, and perhaps that is what makes it one of the most popular pickup truck options on the market. But, it’s the Ford Fiesta that takes second place to the Ford Focus if you’re looking for a 2011 used vehicle with low maintenance costs. It balances out the Focus, matching it at an average of $200 a year in maintenance costs while still providing drivers with reliability.

A Ford Fiesta
A Ford Fiesta | Krisztian Bocsi, Bloomberg, Getty Images

RELATED: Why Did Ford Pay Almost $50K For This Old 2014 Fiesta?

While none of these cars are remarkably exciting to drive, lacing enthusiastic acceleration and handling, they are rather responsible vehicles to own. Low purchase prices for these 2011 model years are only enhanced by low running costs, such as fuel, and even lower yearly maintenance costs to keep your car on the road even at 10 years old and with higher mileage.