Car Advice

Vehicle Running Costs

South Australian car owners are on average $4.00 better off per week this year than they were last year, due to a lower fuel cost average and more competitive finance interest rates.

RAA’s 2013 Cost of Vehicle Ownership survey has found that the lower annual fuel price from 141.7cpl last year to 140.6cpl this year, and finance rates down from 12.07% to 11.11% has helped reduce the cost of owning a car.

Motorists are saving around $200 on their car this year compared to last year.

Through the survey RAA found the cheapest vehicle to operate was again the Suzuki Alto at $120 per week, while the Nissan Patrol was the most expensive vehicle to own, costing $430 per week.

RAA also found that electric vehicles are still struggling to break through into the ‘cheap to run’ category due to high initial purchase prices and big hits in the depreciation dollars.

The Suzuki Alto has taken the prize for the cheapest car to run in the light car category and overall due to its attractive purchase price and frugal fuel use from the tiny 1.0L engine. Closely behind is the new Mitsubishi Mirage, and second place holder in 2012, the Holden Barina Spark.

Results in the small car class saw the new Toyota Corolla Ascent jump into first place this year at $167.58 a week. Its reduced initial purchase price and improved fuel consumption saw it edge ahead in this field that is separated by literally $1.00 increments.

The locally produced Holden Cruze comes in at a respectable third place at $169.40 per week, edged out by the Hyundai Elantra which came in second at $168.41 per week.

The medium car category saw the Volkswagen Jetta continuing to occupy first place, keeping the Kia Optima at second place, and the new comer to the top three, the Toyota Camry Hybrid H in third place.

The all new VF Commodore Evoke LPG has shot to the front of the large cars with a very competitive $226.59 per week, leaping in front of last year’s winner, the Ford Falcon XT LPG by around $20 per week. Cuts in purchase price and improvements in fuel efficiency have been the main game changers for the VF Commodore.

The Honda Odyssey is again the cheapest People Mover, the Nissan Dualis has taken over the cheapest Compact SUV title by $1.00 and Australia’s Best Cars winner, the Hyundai Santa Fe leaps into first place Medium SUV in its debut. The Jeep Grand Cherokee remains in the number one position in the All Terrain category.

While electric cars still remain very unaffordable, the Mitsubishi i-Miev has come in first out of the three players.

Although car owners are in a slightly better position than last year when it comes to taking advantage of lower loan costs, slightly cheaper fuel and improved depreciation - this still remains a major cost.

A vehicle’s depreciation or ongoing decrease in value is around 38 per cent of the total cost of owning a vehicle, which is by far the biggest expense. Car owners don’t always feel this cost until the time comes when they are looking to sell or trade their car in five years’ time.

When buying a vehicle, buyers need to take into account the cost of having the car serviced, fuel consumption, replacing tyres, insurance and registration costs, as well as interest, stamp duty, and driver’s licence costs, RAA Membership, and spare parts such as windscreens and batteries, as all of these factors are included in our survey.

RAA calculations for the 2013 Cost of Vehicle Ownership survey are based on private ownership of a vehicle for a five-year period and driving an average of 15,000km each year. The data was collected in the period leading up to June 2013.

Light$/week
SUZUKI ALTO GL 5D HATCHBACK 996 cc MANUAL$120.35
MITSUBISHI MIRAGE ES 5D HATCH 1.2L MANUAL$122.54
HOLDEN BARINA SPARK CD 5D HATCH 1.2L MANUAL$123.09
Small 
TOYOTA COROLLA ASCENT 5D HATCHBACK 1.8L CVT$167.58
HYUNDAI ELANTRA ACTIVE 4D SEDAN 1.8L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$168.41
HOLDEN CRUZE 5D HATCHBACK 1.8L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$169.40
Medium 
VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 118 TSI COMFORTLINE 4D SEDAN 1.4L 7 SP DSG$198.88
KIA OPTIMA Si 4D SEDAN 2.4L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$213.93
TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID H 4D SEDAN 2.5L CVT$216.88
Large 
HOLDEN COMMODORE EVOKE (LPG) VF 4D SEDAN V6 3.6L 6 SP AUTO$226.59
HOLDEN COMMODORE EVOKE VF 4D SEDAN V6 3.0L 6 SP AUTO$231.96
FORD FALCON XT (LPG) FG MK2 4D SEDAN 4.0L 6 SP AUTO$247.02
People Mover 
HONDA ODYSSEY 4D WAGON 2.4L 5 SP AUTOMATIC$239.15
HYUNDAI iMAX 4D WAGON 2.4L 4 SP AUTOMATIC$250.58
KIA GRAND CARNIVAL 4D WAGON V6 3.5L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$262.75
TOYOTA TARAGO GLi 4D WAGON 2.4L 7 SP CVT$282.15
Compact SUV 
NISSAN DUALIS ST (4X2)  4D WAGON  1997 cc CVT$206.40
KIA SPORTAGE Si (4X2)  4D WAGON 1998 cc 6 SP AUTOMATIC$207.79
HONDA CRV VTi (4X2) 4D WAGON 1997 cc 5 SP AUTOMATIC$209.88
Medium SUV 
HYUNDAI SANTA FE ACTIVE (4x4) 4D WAGON 2.4L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$242.51
HOLDEN CAPTIVA 7 CX (4x4) 4D WAGON V6 3.0L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$243.09
HOLDEN CAPTIVA 7 CX (4x4) 4D WAGON DIESEL  2.2L 6 SP AUTOMATIC$244.58
All-Terrain SUV 
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LAREDO (4x4) 4D WAGON V6 3.6L cc 5 SP AUTO$281.01
MITSUBISHI PAJERO GLX LWB (4x4) 4D WAGON D/TURBO 3.2L 5 SP AUTO$301.62
NISSAN PATROL ST (4x4) 4D WAGON D/TURBO 4 2953 cc  4 SP AUTO$335.02
Electric Vehicle 
MITSUBISHI i-MiEV 4D SEDAN$278.50
NISSAN LEAF 5D HATCHBACK$282.32
HOLDEN VOLT EV 5D HATCHBACK$326.00

 

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 15,000km 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 May of 2013.

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

 

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