The Most Inexpensive Cars to Own

RelayRides blogger Eric Rosenberg found the lowest cost new cars to own. Buy one and turn it into into profit by renting it on RelayRides.

There is no secret that smaller cars use less fuel than big cars, but knowing the best car to buy if you want a big car is not always an easy choice. Within a category, the difference between two cars can be $10,000 or more over five years. Here are some popular, low cost cars for 2014.

Subcompact: 2014 Chevrolet Spark – 5 Year Cost to Own $26,551

If you live in a dense city like New York or Boston, owning a small car can help you jet around town easily and park with less stress. While you lose out on space, the average commuter doesn’t need to bring more than a laptop bag or backpack to office five days a week.

In exchange for space, subcompacts save you a fortune on gas if you put on a lot of miles each year. For the typical driver, the subcompact is the least expensive car to own, and the least expensive subcompact to own is the 2014 Chevy Spark.

Compact: 2014 Toyota Corolla – 5 Year Cost to Own $30,571

When I bought my car, I thought a subcompact was just too small for what I wanted. I didn’t want to give up the feel of a sedan, but wanted to get the best fuel efficiency possible. I bought a brand new 2008 Toyota Corolla in July, 2007 and have been thrilled with the purchase for the last seven years.

If you are looking for a car with real trunk space and four doors, but don’t want to feel like you are driving a boat around town, a compact car is a great choice. The lowest cost 2014 compact car to own is the Toyota Corolla.

Mid-Size: 2014 Honda Accord – 5 Year Cost to Own $34,816

If you want something a little bigger to comfortably hold four or five people on a regular basis or need more truck space, the next size up is a mid-size sedan. The best value mid-size sedan is the 2014 Honda Accord.

At almost $2,000 per year more than a subcompact, there is a big difference in cost between the least expensive cars and the larger ones. An Accord uses more gas and costs more to upkeep, but many people find them more comfortable than a smaller compact car.

Compact SUV/Crossover: 2014 Jeep Patriot – Five Year Cost to Own $34,894

If you want more size and room, you can upgrade to an SUV without spending much more than a mid-size sedan. If you stay within the smaller compact SUV family rather than picking a giant SUV like an Escalade, you can find some reasonably priced options.

The least expensive Compact SUV this year is the 2014 Jeep Patriot. At a cost of about $7,000 per year over five years, this vehicle gives you better clearance, more space for hauling whatever you need to move, and plenty of room for you and your passengers.

Hybrid: 2014 Toyota Prius c – Five Year Cost to Own $31,584

For car owners wanting to save gas and the environment but don’t want to sacrifice the ability to drive long distances, a hybrid brings you the best of electric and gasoline engines in one car. Thanks to the fuel savings of the electric hybrid engines, the cost of ownership can be lower than a comparable size car with a gas engine.

The lowest cost hybrid in 2014 is the new Toyota Prius c. The Prius was the first hybrid in the United States to gain widespread popularity, and with fuel prices inching upward, many people are looking to find fuel savings with more efficient engines.

Plug-In: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV – Five Year Cost to Own $26,421

Want to stop paying for gas completely? The Chevrolet Spark electric vehicle is a 100% electric car and, not surprisingly, the gas savings make it one of the lowest cost vehicles available.

While the Chevy Spark EV is pretty small and has a limited range per charge, the battery gives most commuters an option to get from home to work and back without going to the gas station… ever. Electric vehicles are growing in popularity and charging stations are popping up all over. If you don’t need a car for long drives, an EV may be the best option for the next car for you or your family.

Give Them a Try with RelayRides

Try before you buy with an extended test drive from RelayRides. Search for recent models of any vehicle in your hometown so you can try it before you buy it. Once you have your low cost car, you can turn it into profit by renting it out!