My own experience:
In 2003 I got a 96 Honda Accord at 130k miles for $4k (private owner sale). I put 66k miles on it and donated it in 2017. Repair costs over the years totalled ~$5k. Total ownership cost including insurance, registration rene nowals, gas and maintenance was close to $25k (1,785/yr).
2017 Dec. I got a 2010 Mazda 5 with 97k miles on it for $5.9k (used car dealer). I owned it for 2+ years. In 2020 Feb. the car, which barely broke 100k miles, got totalled by another driver. Their insurance company paid me $6.3k. The total ownership cost was around $9k, so $2,700 for having the mobility for two years, or $1,350/yr.
Right before the COVID shutdown I got a 2015 Mazda 5 at 70k miles for $9.9k from a used car dealer. I don't expect to put more than 3k miles per year for the next 10 years. If I were able to sell it for $2k with 100k miles on it by then, I am expecting a total ownership cost no more than $22k which puts me at max $2.2k/year cost.
Total $50k spent on being able to drive between 2003 and 2030 is a bit more than I expected especially a large portion (~30%) of it is for the insurance ($500/yr) when I drive less than 5k miles a year. Hopefully it will become small enough percentage of my net worth that I won't think about it.
I think it helps to buy cheap and reliable car to begin with. Cheap cars generally have cheap parts for replacement and if it happens to be popular (some Mazda 5 parts are the same as Mazda 3 parts) then the parts can be even cheaper. It goes without saying a reliable car will have lower ownership cost on repairs. I am not familiar with European cars but my impression/bias is they are over engineered and the electronics are not as reliable as Asian cars. I could be wrong but I have decided I am just going to skip them in my future car purchases.