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Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars

When buying a car, remember to look beyond the sticker price. Owning a car is much more than simply purchasing it. Consider maintenance cost, insurance, taxes, registration fees, fuel economy, and standard features. If you are looking for a car that is cheap to own, paying a bit higher initial price may be worth it in the long run.

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) researches and keeps track of all vehicle ownership costs and publishes its 5-Year Cost to Own Awards annually. They calculate how much it costs to own a given car over a period of five years in 22 different categories. Based on this research, we present you the top 5 cheapest-to-own vehicles for 2018.

1. Chevrolet Spark

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

Chevrolet Spark was ranked number one by KBB in the category: Subcompact Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $21,819. Its initial price ranges from $13,050 to $17,475. Some of its main advantages include:

  • A well-equipped information and entertainment system that comes with the basic model
  • Great power and handling for a city car

It has a few drawbacks, such as the small cargo area and the lack of sufficient power on the highway.

2. Toyota Corolla iM

Toyota Corolla iM won in the category: Compact Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $30,856. It has an initial price that starts at $18,850 up to $19,590. The car is praised for:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • The abundance of standard features that come even with the base model, and
  • The excellent cargo capacity.

Some of its disadvantages include a loud engine with not so much power and fewer comfort and entertainment features compared to other vehicles in the same class.

3. Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V takes the first place in the category: Subcompact SUV with KBB 5-year cost to own: $32,874. The price tag on a new car is between 19,670 and $26,540. The vehicle has many advantages that make it a good choice:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • Adult-friendly back seat
  • Sufficient cargo area
  • High quality of the build
  • Above-average reliability

There are a few drawbacks though, like the awkward touch screen and the firm front seat cushions, which are minor for an SUV of this class. The biggest disadvantage is perhaps that it takes some time to reach highway speed.

4. Toyota Prius c

Toyota Prius c is at the head in the category: Hybrid/Alternative-Energy Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $33,454. Its initial price starts at $20,630 and is the least expensive Toyota hybrid. The things that you will like in this car are:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • The clean lines
  • The spacious interior
  • The direct steering

Some of its disadvantages are that the engine gets quite noisy when pushed and the budget materials used for the interior. Otherwise, it is a great vehicle compared to its rivals.

5. Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic Si was chosen as the top performer in category: Sporty Compact Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $33,484. Its price ranges from $18,840 to $34,100 depending on the extras it offers. The car is loved for many reasons that include:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • High-grade cabin
  • A lot of cargo room
  • Spacious and comfortable seats
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Very comfortable ride and great agility

As for the negatives, the available infotainment system is a bit tricky to use.

It is worth noting that according to KBB Hyundai is the Best Brand winner since the cars it offers come at an affordable price and is also cost-efficient in the long run. The Best Luxury Brand winner for 2018 is Acura. They manage to make vehicles that are both luxurious and great value and are worth investing in them.

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Car Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage & Limitations

Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage and Limitations

Buying a new car is exciting but remember that it is an investment. Aside from insuring your investment, you need to consider the warranty coverage. Although the car may be brand new, there is no certainty that its condition will remain as perfect as it is at the time of purchase or that you won’t require repair.

Manufacturer warranties are available with most car producers to cover the costs of a number of repairs, but they include specific limitations. Here is what you can expect from your manufacturer warranty!

Car Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage & Limitations

Manufacturer Warranty Coverage

The standard manufacturer warranty (aka the powertrain warranty) will guarantee that the manufacturer will cover expenses related to repairs or defects on major components (like the engine and transmission) over an allocated time period.

Usually, the coverage will be documented with a time and mileage limit. For most manufacturers, the warranty will be active for 3 years/36000 miles, up to 5 years/60,000 miles but these numbers will vary depending on the producer and the vehicle model.

Car Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage & Limitations

Under the manufacturer warranty, the car producer is bound to make up for any faulty car parts installed during the manufacturing process. In addition, any electronic issues will usually be repaired for free by the manufacturer.

Ask your car dealer about the available warranty levels as their coverage will vary. Some manufacturer warranties include coverage on general repairs, rusting car parts or even required repairs for the reduction of harmful emissions if your vehicle is not authorized by environmental organizations as safe.

Components covered under the Powertrain warranty

The powertrain warranty (which is the basic manufacturer warranty) covers all components that make a car run.

Engine

  • Crankshaft
  • intake and exhaust valves
  • pistons
  • the oil pump
  • timing belt and gears

Transmission

Typically, all internal transmission components are covered, but cables and electrical items are often excluded.

Drive Axle

Most powertrain warranties cover axle shafts, axle housing, and other internal parts.

Seals and Gaskets

Your seals, gaskets, sprockets, chains, and gears will likely be covered if they are defective.

Limitations to Consider

The basic manufacturer warranty has some limitations, which may be difficult to spot, especially at the time of purchase when your adrenaline levels are high because of the new, amazing car you are about to have!

The restriction that comes into play with basic manufacturer warranty is the mileage. Since you can run up your miles before your warranty expires, ask your manufacturer or car dealer at which point you will actually not have any coverage. Also, double check if the mileage limit is for the whole warranty period or per year.

Not all parts of your car will be covered by the manufacturer warranty and even the parts that are initially covered may not be replaced if the damage is due to a car accident. Furthermore, if the damaged parts fail to function properly as a result of poor maintenance or climate conditions, it is likely that the manufacturer will refuse to cover the repair costs.

Finally, it is possible that different components will have different warranty periods, after which they will not be covered.

You can also buy an extended warranty direct from the manufacturer or through a 3rd party. 3rd party warranties can be added after the initial vehicle purchase.

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