The real cost of own­ing Aus­tralia’s top 10 ve­hi­cles

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Front Page - CRAIG DUFF

THEY’RE the best-sell­ing cars in the coun­try but how much do they cost to run?

Cars­guide has crunched the num­bers on ev­ery­thing from a Mazda3 to a Toy­ota Prado to de­ter­mine what the cost of own­er­ship over the first three years re­ally is. For the to­tal run­ning cost, we have added reg­is­tra­tion, in­sur­ance, fuel and ser­vic­ing.

Re­flect­ing their sta­tus as the top two ve­hi­cles, there’s only a few hun­dred dol­lars be­tween the Mazda3 and Toy­ota Corolla.

Even then, driv­ers pay about $3000 a year to run their ve­hi­cles. That doesn’t in­clude de­pre­ci­a­tion, which adds thou­sands to the bot­tom line.

Reg­is­tra­tion fig­ures vary by state as a re­sult of the way each govern­ment cal­cu­lates fees, ad­min­is­tra­tive costs, third party cover and stamp duty.

In some states, costs also vary depend­ing on the owner’s post­code,so the Cars­guide fig­ures are in­dica­tive only.

Stamp duty ap­plies to all new cars at pur­chase. It is gen­er­ally in­cluded in the generic “on-road” costs a dealer ap­plies from the show­room.

Dealer de­liv­ery fees can then add about $2000 but that’s not a fixed cost and smart buy­ers can ne­go­ti­ate that fig­ure down.

The ex­cep­tions ap­ply around this time of the year when car com­pa­nies of­fer end of year “drive-away deals” which in­clude all of the above.

For this ex­er­cise Cars­guide has as­sessed the costs based on reg­u­lar list prices and then added ap­prox­i­mate fig­ures for hid­den ex­tras.

Capped price ser­vic­ing en­sures a de­gree of trans­parency, though dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies in­clude and ex­clude dif­fer­ent items.

The Mazda3 Neo, for ex­am­ple, has vari­able ser­vic­ing based on whichever oc­curs first on 10,000km or 12 month in­ter­vals. The fixed $290 fee doesn’t in­clude the likes of en­gine oil — a $15 op­tional ex­tra at ev­ery visit to the deal­er­ship. Sim­i­larly, the brake fluid is an ex­tra $61 hit ev­ery two years or 40,000km.

None of the ser­vic­ing pro­grams cov­ers con­sum­able items such as wiper blades, tyres or brake pads. Re­place­ment time for these re­lates to how and where the ve­hi­cle is driven.

THE CARS Base petrol model with au­to­matic or con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion. The util­i­ties are base 4WD diesel au­tos, as is the Toy­ota Prado.

FUEL COST Based on April na­tional aver­age of 152.4c for 91 ULP, 160.5c for diesel and 15,000km a year.

RESID­UAL VALUE Af­ter three years. Sub­tract from pur­chase price to de­ter­mine de­pre­ci­a­tion. Source: Glass’s Guide.

REG­IS­TRA­TION Ap­prox­i­mate fig­ures from on­line cal­cu­la­tors and/or mak­ers’ quotes. First year fig­ure in­cludes stamp duty.

IN­SUR­ANCE Com­pre­hen­sive cover with Sun­corp’s on­line arm Bingle. Pre­mi­ums based on a 36-year-old fe­male with an un­blem­ished driv­ing record liv­ing in Malvern East (Vic), Par­ra­matta (NSW), Carindale (Qld), Green­wood (WA) and Glenelg (SA). For in­di­vid­ual quotes, view

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