MG3 hatchback takes out ‘cheapest car to run’ title

A small car has claimed the title of the cheapest to run in Australia but the price of operating some SUVs has also fallen, a new study shows.

Victorian motoring club RACV on Tuesday announced the findings of its Annual Car Running Costs Survey, which lists the cost of running a vehicle.

MG and Hyundai both won two spots each in the list of 11 vehicle categories, which ranged from light cars to commercial vehicles.

And despite record high petrol prices, the RACV found the price of operating some vehicles had fallen compared to 2022.

The RACV Annual Car Running Costs Survey judged the cost of vehicles by numerous factors, including their purchase price, loan repayments, insurance, fuel or charging costs, tyres and maintenance, averaged over five years.

Running costs were based on yearly travel of 15,000km.

RACV named the MG3 hatchback as the cheapest vehicle to run in Australia – claiming pole position for the third year in a row – with a monthly cost of $746.

In second place, the Mazda 3 hatchback claimed the title of the cheapest small car, with a cost of $915, while the Toyota Camry Ascent Hybrid was judged the cheapest medium-sized car with a monthly cost of $1120.

Australia’s most popular vehicle category, SUVs, was led by the Hyundai Venue at $926 a month, and book-ended by the large Subaru Outback at $1364.

MG also claimed the cheapest electric vehicle to own with its SUV, as the ZS Excite costs $1172 a month to run.

RACV motoring products general manager Jeff Ames said while larger vehicles cost more to own than smaller cars, the price of driving an SUV had fallen over the past year.

“People should be pleased to know that the cost of owning and operating a car has dropped across seven categories in 2023, including small and medium cars, medium and large SUVs, people movers and light commercial vehicles,” he said.

Mr Ames said medium-sized SUVs had experienced the biggest cost fall, with the price of running the Honda CRV Vi down seven per cent, or $83 per month, compared to the cheapest vehicle in 2022.

The price of running a people-mover or all-terrain vehicle remained substantial, however, with the RACV finding the Hyundai Staria cost $1553 per month and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport commanded $1568 each month.

Figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries last week showed SUVs continued to dominate new vehicle sales in Australia, with more than 62,000 sold this year compared to 24,000 light commercial vehicles and 19,000 passenger cars.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)


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