Cheapest cars revealed in RACV survey

Economical: The MG3 is one of the cheapest cars to run, according to an RACV survey.

Motoring organisation RACV has revealed Victoria’s most affordable new cars across a range of category types.

The results were collated as part of RACV’s Annual Operating Costs Survey and found the cheapest car in the Victorian market is the MG3 light hatchback, followed by the Kia Picanto S and the Kia Rio S light hatch in second and third place, respectively.

The MG3 Core will cost owners $626.50 a month; the Kia Picanto S, $662.93; and the Kia Rio S, $705.71.

Crunching the numbers: RACV’s calculations are based on a private vehicle with mileage of 15,000 km/year, which is about the average distance travelled by Victorian drivers

RACV’s vehicle operating costs survey highlights the overall cost of ownership of more than 80 of Australia’s best-selling and emerging models, and has been running for more than 50 years.

The survey factors in the initial purchase price and loan repayments, registration charges, insurance, auto club membership, fuel or electric vehicle charging costs, tyres, servicing and repairs — all averaged over a five-year period.

RACV’s calculations are based on a private vehicle with mileage of 15,000 km/year, which is about the average distance travelled by Victorian drivers.

RACV’s Andrew Scannell said the most significant cost of a new car was the up-front purchase price.

“Registration, insurance, and club membership make up about 15 to 20 per cent, while fuel takes a 10 and 15 per cent slice,” Mr Scannell said.

“Servicing costs consume between three and seven per cent of the overall costs, and tyres just one to three per cent.

“Not surprisingly — and consistent with previous years’ results — light passenger cars are the most affordable vehicle segment.

“If you buy a light hatch, you can expect an average monthly cost of $738.43. Small cars are the second most affordable category with a monthly spend of $903.44, closely followed by small SUVs on $917.60.”

All-terrain 4x4 SUVs are the priciest vehicles to own and run, according to the survey, costing owners an average of $1634.29 a month, while popular 4x4 dual-cab utes were the next most expensive at $1533.62. Large family SUVs were the third priciest on $1404.53.

Victoria’s most expensive car to own and run is Nissan’s Patrol Ti upper-large SUV, which costs $2337.33 a month to keep on the road. The Patrol has a V8 petrol engine and is priced from $85,738 before on-road costs.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles require an average monthly spend of $1280.83.