Car Advice

Vehicle Running Costs

SUV owners will pay more on average in 2016, while running costs for most other cars have remained stable.

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Read the full list of winners

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Fuel averages, competitive insurance, improved fuel efficiency and capped price servicing have helped to keep prices as low as possible, but SUV running costs have still increased. 

SUV owners are now paying an extra $100 a year or one cent per kilometre on average to run their car – but the good news is if you don’t own an SUV, your car could now be cheaper to run than ever before.

The Suzuki Celerio is once again the cheapest car to run and is cheaper than last year, dropping to $96 per week.

In the popular light vehicle class, the Mazda2 has edged out last year’s winner – the Suzuki Swift. The Mazda has decreased weekly costs to $123 per week, thanks to its good fuel economy and resale value.

The fresh arrival and good purchase price for Kia’s latest Cerato puts it straight to the top in the small vehicle class. It’s a substantial $13 per week cheaper than the Mazda3.

The Skoda Octavia convincingly takes the top spot in the medium segment due to its purchase price, which makes it literally thousands of dollars cheaper to buy than other medium cars.

The Holden Commodore Evoke 3.0L leads the way in the large car category, mainly due to its slightly better resale value and attractive purchase price.

In the ever growing SUV categories – the Ford EcoSport is the cheapest small SUV to run and the Mazda CX-5 occupies the top spot again for medium SUVs.

While big SUVs remain very expensive to run, the new Mitsubishi Pajero is the cheapest this year.

Despite the increase and higher running costs of SUVs compared to other cars, Australian motorists are still showing their love for them.

Electric vehicles are still slow to break new ground, but the Nissan Leaf at $256 per week has edged in front of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

These costs are unique as they include depreciation which many motorists don’t consider when buying a new car. All other costs such as fuel, insurance and registration, stamp duty, driver’s licence, RAA Membership, and ongoing servicing costs are all included in our survey.

RAA calculations for the 2016 Cost of Vehicle Ownership survey are based on private ownership of a vehicle for a five-year period and driving an average of 12,000km each year. The data was collected in the period leading up to June 2016.

 

Micro$/week
SUZUKI CELERIO 5D HATCHBACK 998 cc 5 SP MANUAL$95.55
MITSUBISHI MIRAGE ES 5D HATCHBACK 1193 cc 5 SP MANUAL$107.10
KIA PICANTO Si 5D HATCHBACK 1248 cc 4 SP AUTOMATIC$107.50
Light 
MAZDA2 NEO 5D HATCHBACK 1496 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$122.91
SUZUKI SWIFT GL 5D HATCHBACK 1372 cc 4 SP AUTOMATIC$124.68
HYUNDAI ACCENT ACTIVE 5D HATCHBACK 1368 cc CVT AUTO 6 SPEED$126.72
Small 
KIA CERATO S 5D HATCHBACK 1999 cc 6 SP AUTO SEQ SPORTSHIFT$133.01
MAZDA3 NEO 5D HATCHBACK 1998 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$146.01
TOYOTA COROLLA ASCENT 5D HATCHBACK 1798 cc CVT AUTO 7 SP SEQUENTIAL$146.28
Medium 
SKODA OCTAVIA 110 TSI AMBITION 5D HATCHBACK TURBO 1395 cc 7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHIFT$172.42
TOYOTA CAMRY ATARA S HYBRID 4D SEDAN 2494 cc CONTINUOUS VARIABLE$177.13
TOYOTA CAMRY ATARA S 4D SEDAN 2494 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$182.49
Large 
HOLDEN COMMODORE EVOKE VF II 4D SEDAN V6 2997 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$208.62
FORD FALCON ECOBOOST FG X 4D SEDAN TURBO 4 1999 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$218.56
FORD FALCON (LPI) FG X 4D SEDAN INLINE 6 3984 cc LPG 6 SP AUTOMATIC$223.15
People Mover 
HONDA ODYSSEY VTi 4D WAGON 2356 cc CONTINUOUS VARIABLE$203.35
HYUNDAI iMAX 4D WAGON INLINE 4 2359 cc 4 SP AUTOMATIC$222.53
KIA CARNIVAL S 4D WAGON V6 3342 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$234.11
SUV Small 
FORD ECOSPORT AMBIENTE 4D WAGON 1498 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$155.03
MAZDA CX-3 NEO (FWD) 4D WAGON 1998 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$155.23
SUZUKI VITARA RT-S 4D WAGON 1586 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$158.98
SUV Medium 
MAZDA CX-5 MAXX (4x4) 4D WAGON 2488 cc MPFI 6 SP AUTOMATIC$182.78
FORD KUGA AMBIENTE (AWD) 4D WAGON TURBO 4 1499 cc TMPFI 6 SP AUTOMATIC$190.22
NISSAN X-TRAIL ST (4x4) 4D WAGON 2488 cc CONTINUOUS VARIABLE$192.98
SUV Large 
SUBARU OUTBACK 2.0D 4D WAGON DIESEL TURBO 1998 cc CONTINUOUS VARIABLE$218.09
FORD TERRITORY TX (RWD) 4D WAGON 3984 cc MPFI 6 SP AUTOMATIC$218.57
FORD TERRITORY TX (RWD) 4D WAGON DIESEL TURBO V6 2720 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$222.42
SUV All-Terrain 
MITSUBISHI PAJERO SPORT GLX (4x4) 4D WAGON DIESEL TURBO 4 2442 cc 8 SP AUTOMATIC$239.06
TOYOTA FORTUNER GX 4D WAGON DIESEL TURBO 4 2753 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$246.70
HOLDEN COLORADO 7 LT (4x4) 4D WAGON DIESEL TURBO 4 2776 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$249.58
2WD Utility 
HOLDEN UTE VF II UTILITY V6 3565 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$199.21
FORD FALCON FG X UTILITY INLINE 6 3984 cc 6 SP AUTO SEQ SPORTSHIFT$201.50
MITSUBISHI TRITON GLX DUAL CAB UTILITY DIESEL TURBO 4 2440 cc 5 SP AUTOMATIC$210.00
4WD Utility 
MITSUBISHI TRITON GLX (4x4) DUAL CAB UTILITY DIESEL TURBO 4 2440 cc 5 SP AUTOMATIC$221.09
NISSAN NAVARA RX (4x4) NP300 DOUBLE CAB UTILITY DIESEL TURBO 4 2298 cc 7 SP AUTOMATIC$232.08
FORD RANGER XL 3.2 (4x4) CREW CAB UTILITY DIESEL TURBO 5 3198 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$243.94
Electric 
NISSAN LEAF 5D HATCHBACK ELEC 1 SP AUTOMATIC$255.69
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV HYBRID 4D WAGON 1998 cc 1 SP AUTOMATIC$257.68
BMW i3 4D HATCHBACK ELEC 1 SP AUTOMATIC$283.50

 

How it works

  • The study covers vehicles which are mainly the best selling vehicles for each category, along with some chosen for special interest.
  • All the costs of owning and operating a vehicle are including the financing costs of the whole price on the vehicle, depreciation, registration, licensing and insurance as well as ongoing costs such as fuel, tyres, servicing and usual repairs.
  • We have based the calculations on an annual distance travelled of 12,000km over a 5 year ownership period.
  • The servicing costs follow manufacturer’s schedule, and include the usual replacement parts and service times.
  • Fuel prices are an average of the last 12 months of prices around Adelaide.
  • All of the data was collected and compiled through April and June of 2016.

Predicted trade in values have been provided by Glass’s Guide Future Values, the industry recognised standard.

2016 results 
Micro Vehicle
Light Vehicle 
Small Vehicle
Medium Vehicle 
Large Vehicle
People Mover
SUV Small
SUV Medium
SUV Large
SUV All-Terrain
2WD Utility
4WD Utility
Electric Vehicle 

Past results 

2015 Results2014 Results2013 Results2012 Results
Micro Vehicle Micro VehicleLight VehicleLight Vehicle
Light Vehicle Light VehicleSmall VehicleSmall Vehicle
Small Vehicle Small VehicleMedium VehicleMedium Vehicle
Medium Vehicle Medium VehicleLarge VehicleLarge Vehicle
Large VehicleLarge VehiclePeople MoverPeople Mover
People Mover People MoverCompact SUVCompact SUV
SUV Small SUV SmallMedium SUVMedium SUV
SUV Medium SUV MediumAll-Terrain SUVAll-Terrain SUV
SUV Large SUV LargeUtility 4x2Utility 4x2
SUV All-Terrain2WD UtilityUtility 4x4Utility 4x4
2WD Utility4WD UtilityElectric VehicleElectric Vehicle
4WD UtilityElectric Vehicle   
Electric Vehicle    
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