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Size Matters In Saving On Car Running Costs: RACV Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Jul, 11 2011 | 6 Comments

There's truth in the old adage that "size matters" when it comes to owning a car. According to a new study by Victorian insurer and member service club, RACV, buyers on a budget may find that smaller is better.

RACV lists the Suzuki Alto and Barina Spark, along with the outgoing Hyundai Getz, as the cheapest cars to own.

Surveying 94 cars, the 2011 RACV Driving Your Dollars survey also found that despite rising prices at the bowser, the overall cost of owning and running a vehicle has fallen by 1.6 percent compared to this time last year.

The survey measures a number of factors, from fuel economy to servicing costs and vehicle loan interest rates.

“It’s important to look at the whole picture when shopping for a vehicle. The price of the car is just a piece of the puzzle," RACV's Michael Case said.

"Buyers also should know how much it costs to have the car serviced, how much it costs to fill the fuel tank, tyres, insurance, registration, interest, stamp duty, drivers’ licence, RACV membership, as well as the costs of spare parts like windscreens and batteries and we consider all these factors in compiling our survey.”

The results showed that outstanding fuel economy was no guarantee of a car's ranking in the survey, with Australia's most fuel-efficienct car - the Ford Fiesta Econetic ($153.38 per week) - bested by the Alto.

At $110.64 per week, the five-door 1.0 litre manual Alto GL topped the list, chased closely by the 1.2 litre five-door manual Barina Spark CD at $113.33 per week.

The new 1.2 litre manual five-door Nissan Micra ST rounded out the top three at $119.38, followed by the Suzuki Swift GA 1.4 litre five-door manual ($123.98) and the Hyundai i20 Active three-door 1.4 litre manual ($126.13).

The 2011 Hyundai i30." class="small img-responsive"/>
The 2011 Hyundai i30.

The small car class proved a tightly-fought battle, with the top six models all within $5 of each other in this year's survey.

The 2.0 litre petrol automatic Hyundai i30 SX proved the most affordable small car to own and operate, at an average $157.30 per week.

Volkswagen's petrol-powered 1.2 litre Golf 77TSI was only two dollars away at $159.43, but Hyundai rounded out the top three - this time with the 2.0 litre diesel automatic i30 SX.

At the other end of the scale, the Toyota LandCruiser proved the most expensive at $387.21 per week for the 4.5 litre V8 diesel.

Mr Case said that depreciation is the "ticking time-bomb" in owning and running a car, with many buyers failing to consider its impact on their purchase - particularly the value they're left with at trade-in time.

“In the 2011 survey, depreciation accounts for an average of 39 percent and while car owners do not hand over 39 cents in every dollar they spend each week, in five years time when they are looking to trade their vehicle that’s when the depreciation costs kick in significantly,” he said.

Results of the 2011 survey are available at www.racv.com.au/drivingyourdollars.

Light $/week
SUZUKI ALTO GL 5D HATCH 1.0L MANUAL $110.64
HOLDEN BARINA SPARK CD 5D 1.2L MANUAL $113.33
NISSAN MICRA ST 5D 1.2L MANUAL $119.38
SUZUKI SWIFT GA 5D HATCH 1.4L MANUAL $123.98
HYUNDAI i20 ACTIVE 3D HATCH 1.4L MANUAL $126.13
FORD FIESTA CL 5D HATCH 1.6L MANUAL $131.43
MAZDA MAZDA2 NEO 5D HATCH 1.5L MANUAL $133.78
TOYOTA YARIS YRS 3D HATCH 1.5L MANUAL $134.75
HONDA JAZZ GLi 5D HATCH 1.4L MANUAL $134.81
VOLKSWAGEN POLO TRENDLINE 3D HATCH 1.4L MANUAL $135.70
FORD FIESTA ECONETIC 5D HATCH 1.6L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $153.38
Small
HYUNDAI i30 SX 5D HATCH 2.0L AUTOMATIC $157.30
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 77 TSI 5D HATCH 1.2L AUTOMATIC $159.43
HYUNDAI i30 SX 5D HATCH 1.6L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $160.48
HOLDEN CRUZE CD 4D SEDAN 1.8L AUTOMATIC $160.99
TOYOTA COROLLA ASCENT 5D HATCH 1.8L AUTOMATIC $161.78
MITSUBISHI LANCER ES 4D SEDAN 2.0L AUTOMATIC $162.25
FORD FOCUS CL 5D HATCH 2.0L AUTOMATIC $165.77
MAZDA MAZDA3 NEO 5D HATCH 2.0L AUTOMATIC $166.78
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 90 TSI TRENDLINE 5D HATCH 1.4L AUTOMATIC $167.12
HONDA CIVIC VTi 4D SEDAN 1.8L AUTOMATIC $169.71
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 77 TDI TRENDLINE 5D HATCH 1.6L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $169.92
HOLDEN CRUZE CD 4D SEDAN 2.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $174.68
HONDA INSIGHT VTi HYBRID 5D HATCH 1.4L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $175.28
MINI COOPER D 2D HATCH 1.6L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $183.99
SUBARU IMPREZA R 5D HATCH 2.0L AUTOMATIC $184.08
HONDA CIVIC HYBRID 4D SEDAN 1.4L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $191.02
TOYOTA PRIUS HYBRID 5D HATCH 1.8L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $203.12
Medium
SUZUKI KIZASHI 4D SEDAN 2.4L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $199.90
TOYOTA CAMRY ALTISE 4D SEDAN 2.4L AUTOMATIC $202.37
MAZDA MAZDA6 LIMITED 4D SEDAN 2.5L AUTO $203.25
HYUNDAI i45 ACTIVE 4D SEDAN 2.4L AUTOMATIC $204.18
FORD MONDEO LX 5D HATCH 2.3L AUTOMATIC $206.45
TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID 4D SEDAN 2.4L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $212.70
HONDA ACCORD EURO 4D SEDAN 2.4L AUTOMATIC $216.11
KIA OPTIMA PLATINUM 4D SEDAN 2.4L AUTOMATIC $225.25
SUBARU LIBERTY 2.5i 4D SEDAN 2.5L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $226.74
AUDI A4 2.0 TDi e 4D SEDAN 2.0L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $272.44
AUDI A4 1.8 TFSI 4D SEDAN 1.8L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $294.89
BMW 320i LIFESTYLE 4D SEDAN 2.0L AUTOMATIC $298.78
MERCEDES-BENZ C200 CGI 4D SEDAN 1.8L AUTOMATIC $322.62
Large
HOLDEN COMMODORE OMEGA (DUAL FUEL) 4D SEDAN 3.6L AUTOMATIC $234.13
TOYOTA AURION AT-X 4D SEDAN 3.5L AUTOMATIC $236.68
HOLDEN COMMODORE OMEGA 4D SEDAN 3.0L AUTOMATIC $240.65
FORD FALCON XT 4D SEDAN 4.0L AUTOMATIC $252.04
SKODA SUPERB 125 TDI AMBITION 4D WAGON 2.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $257.01
HONDA ACCORD V6 LUXURY 4D SEDAN 3.5L AUTOMATIC $282.21
People Mover
HYUNDAI iMAX 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $231.51
KIA GRAND CARNIVAL Si 4D WAGON 3.5L AUTOMATIC $239.46
HONDA ODYSSEY 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $250.13
TOYOTA TARAGO GLi 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $288.73
Compact SUV
KIA SPORTAGE Si 4D WAGON 2.0L AUTOMATIC $183.43
HYUNDAI iX35 ACTIVE 4D WAGON 2.0L AUTOMATIC $186.55
MITSUBISHI ASX (4WD) 4D WAGON 1.8L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $190.35
HOLDEN CAPTIVA 5 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $195.14
MITSUBISHI ASX (4WD) 4D WAGON 2.0L CONTINUOUS VARIABLE $196.41
NISSAN DUALIS Ti (2WD) 4D WAGON 2.0L AUTOMATIC $208.03
HONDA CRV (4WD) 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $211.28
MAZDA CX-7 CLASSIC 4D WAGON 2.5L AUTOMATIC $212.50
SUBARU FORESTER X 4D WAGON 2.5L AUTOMATIC $213.02
SUBARU FORESTER 2.0D 4D WAGON 2.0L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $213.51
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER LS 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $214.42
NISSAN DUALIS Ti (4WD) 4D WAGON 2.0L AUTOMATIC $216.54
TOYOTA RAV4 CV (4WD) 4D WAGON 2.4L AUTOMATIC $216.94
NISSAN X-TRAIL ST 4D WAGON 2.5L AUTOMATIC $219.03
NISSAN X-TRAIL TS 4D WAGON 2.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $231.57
Medium SUV
KIA SORENTO Si (4x4) 4D WAGON 2.2L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $228.40
FORD TERRITORY TX 4D WAGON 4.0L AUTOMATIC $229.63
HOLDEN CAPTIVA CX (4x4) 4D WAGON 2.2L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $229.75
FORD TERRITORY TX 4D WAGON 2.7L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $230.71
HOLDEN CAPTIVA CX (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.0L AUTOMATIC $235.40
FORD TERRITORY TX (4x4) 4D WAGON 2.7L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $248.45
TOYOTA KLUGER KX-R (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.5L AUTOMATIC $250.64
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LAREDO (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.6L AUTOMATIC $260.29
All-Terrain SUV
NISSAN PATROL ST (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $305.83
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER PRADO GXL (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $312.89
MITSUBISHI PAJERO GLS (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.2L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $313.06
MITSUBISHI PAJERO GLS (4x4) 4D WAGON 3.8L AUTOMATIC $321.07
NISSAN PATROL ST (4x4) 4D WAGON 4.8L AUTOMATIC $321.75
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER PRADO GXL (4x4) 4D WAGON 4.0L AUTOMATIC $323.23
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER GXL (4x4) 4D WAGON 4.7L AUTOMATIC $370.99
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER GXL (4x4) 4D WAGON 4.5L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $387.21
2WD Ute
MITSUBISHI TRITON GLX UTILITY 2.5L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $198.93
VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK TDI400 DUAL CAB UTILITY 2.0L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $208.89
HOLDEN COMMODORE OMEGA UTILITY 3.0L AUTOMATIC $212.10
HOLDEN COMMODORE OMEGA (DUAL FUEL) UTILITY 3.6L AUTOMATIC $212.65
TOYOTA HILUX SR X CAB P/UP 4.0L AUTOMATIC $213.30
FORD FALCON UTILITY 4.0L AUTOMATIC $213.35
4WD Ute
TOYOTA HILUX SR (4x4) DUAL CAB P/UP 3.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $257.10
VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK TDI400 TRENDLINE (4x4) DUAL CAB UTILITY 2.0L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $261.98
NISSAN NAVARA RX (4x4) DUAL CAB P/UP 2.5L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $265.52
MITSUBISHI TRITON GLX-R (4x4) DOUBLE CAB UTILITY 2.5L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $274.70
HOLDEN COLORADO LT-R (4x4) CREW CAB P/UP 3.0L DIESEL TURBO AUTOMATIC $293.85
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER GX (4X4) C/CHAS 4.5L DIESEL TURBO MANUAL $311.07
 
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The size of your tyre is located on the sidewall of your tyre.
It will be similar to the sample below.