Cheapest new cars to buy, own and operate revealed

By Rebeccah Elley ·

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 - rates updated daily

Search promoted car loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.

  • mozo-experts-choice-2019

    4.67% p.a.

    5.22% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Details
  • 4.89% p.a.

    5.16% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Details
  • 5.50% p.a.

    5.85% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Details
  • mozo-experts-choice-2019

    3.97% p.a.

    4.51% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Details
  • 4.89% p.a.to 8.89% p.a.

    5.44% p.a.to 9.46% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Details

*The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years or a loan of $10,000 for a term of 3 years as indicated, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

**Representative example figures and monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate, mandatory fees, loan amount and term entered. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Car Loans Awards

Mozo may receive advertising fees from the financial institutions, issuers of financial or credit products and third party advice providers that are shown on this page. These fees are based on a cost per click, cost per acquisition, or a fixed fee.