Cheapest new cars to buy, own and operate revealed

Are you in the market for a new car but don’t want everything from the petrol costs to the insurance setting you back big time? Then check out the vehicles that were rated to have low operating and service costs by the team at car insurer RACV.

111 cars were compared across 13 categories by costs, such as depreciation, servicing, registration, fuel and insurance over a five year, 75,000km (15,000 km per year) period.

RELATED: Roy Morgan Research: More drivers in Australia but car accidents down

Unsurprisingly the small car class offered the most budget friendly vehicles to run, with the Suzuki Celerio 5dr found to be the cheapest with a low upfront cost of $12,990 and a weekly running cost of $97.65. By comparison, at a whopping $443.60 per week, the Nissan Patrol ST-L was rated as the most expensive car to run.

In the medium category, the Skoda Octavia 103TSI Ambition was the cheapest car to run with a weekly running cost of $171.91. Whereas, the most expensive medium sized car analysed was the Mercedes Benz C200 with a weekly cost of $304.62.

When it came to electric cars, the Toyota Prius c was shown to have the lowest operating cost at $152.60 per week.

RACV’s Manager Vehicle Engineering, Michael Case, said that low interest rates and lower fuel prices compared to last year, mean 2015 is a more affordable year to buy and operate a vehicle.

Here are Case’s top tips for keeping car costs down:

- Before you hit the showroom, do your homework and most importantly don’t be swayed by emotion. Ask yourself: Am I buying the car I want or the car I need?

- Look beyond the purchase price and always be aware of the hidden costs, as things like depreciation are the biggest single cost in owning a car, even if you don’t see it until it’s time to sell. 

- Know how much it costs to have your car serviced, to fill the tank, replace tyres, pay insurance, rego, stamp duty, spare parts and RACV membership.

- Mainstream brands offer capped price servicing but it is important to do your research as they aren’t all the same.

- Always shop around when it comes to petrol, as considerable savings can be made at the bowser and when buying fuel, be aware of the fuel price cycle and fill up when it is cheap.

Car loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 13 August 2022

Search promoted car loans below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
  • New Car Loan - Special

    Home Owner Discount, Including Demo, Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    5.69% p.a.
    6.24% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Eligible for homeowners only. Low fixed car loan rate for purchasing new and demo vehicles from dealers. There is no monthly or ongoing fees and early payout options available. Winner of Mozo's Experts Choice Car Loan 2021 award^.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 5 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 5.69% would cost $34,940.17 including fees.

    Details
  • Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.25% p.a.
    6.87% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Available for all New and Used cars up to 7 years. A quick and easy, 100% online application with loans up to $75,000. No printing. No paper. No fuss. No monthly account keeping fees, no exit fees and no early repayment fees.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.25% would cost $35,258.67 including fees.

    Details
  • Clean Green Car Loan

    Home Owner Discount, New or Used, Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    4.99% p.a.
    5.54% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    No monthly or ongoing fees. Get a 0.70% discount on your car loan interest rate if you buy a qualifying green car. Winner of Mozo's Experts Choice Green Car Loan 2021 award^.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 5 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 4.99% would cost $34,359.97 including fees.

    Details
  • Used Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    7.99% p.a.
    8.60% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Enjoy a quick application process and no monthly fees on NRMA used car loans. Finance also available motorcycles, caravans and motorhomes. Low fixed interest rates with terms of up to seven years. Plus, NRMA Blue Member benefits apply so you could enjoy even lower rates as an NRMA Member**.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 7.99% would cost $36,987.90 including fees.

    Details
  • Used Car Loan

    Home Owner Discount, Dealer Only, Up to 5 years old, Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.49% p.a.
    7.04% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Eligible for homeowners only. Low fixed car loan rate for purchasing new and demo vehicles from dealers. There is no monthly or ongoing fees and early payout options available. Winner of Mozo's Experts Choice Car Loan 2021 award^.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 5 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.49% would cost $35,610.64 including fees.

    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.