Your drive is cheaper
Unbelievable, but motoring is costing less, writes NEILMcDONALD
THERE’S been some relief in the hippocket pain of owning a car. The cost of owning and operating a vehicle fell in the latest RACV car-ownership survey. On average, it’s 7 per cent cheaper to own a car this year, compared with last year, amounting to a real saving of $16.61 a week.
It’s the first time in recent years that costs have dropped, RACV chief engineer Michael Case says.
For the third consecutive year, Hyundai’s popular Getz is the cheapest car to run and own. The Toyota LandCruiser diesel is the most expensive.
The popular baby South Korean car costs $114.65 weekly, $8.18 cheaper than last year and the LandCruiser four-wheel-drive diesel costs a whopping $366.05 a week.
But even LandCruiser costs came down from $401.53 last year.
The RACV says lower petrol prices, lower interest rates and new-car deals had helped lower costs this time round.
Of the 75 cars surveyed, the best performers were in the light and small-car classes, the worst performers large four-wheel drives.
‘‘The message is clear,’’ Case says. ‘‘If you don’t need a four-wheel drive, don’t buy one.’’
At $171.92 weekly, the LPG Falcon ute was the cheapest in the ute and large-car sections.
The six-cylinder locals were well down the overall list, but the Holden Commodore again scored a narrow win over the Ford Falcon.
The Falcon costs $231.31 weekly, compared with $226.29 for the Commodore.
However, the Falcon and Commodore work utes are cheaper to operate than the sedans.
A Falcon ute costs $187.22 weekly and a Holden ute $187.63 a week.
Despite their popularity, hybrids and diesels were worse off than their petrol cousins.
Because of their higher initial purchase price and subsequent depreciation, hybrids trail the fuel misers in the small-car class.
A Toyota Prius costs $203.47 a week, compared with an equivalent-sized Toyota Corolla’s $156.11.
The diesel versus petrol debate, too, was sharply illustrated by the Hyundai i30.
The i30 diesel costs $151.66 weekly, $5.71 more than its petrol stablemate.
Getz better and better: the Hyundai Getz is the cheapest car to run for the third year running.