RACV reveals Victoria's cheapest cars

RACV External Communications

Posted September 08, 2021

RACV today revealed Victoria’s most affordable new cars across a range of category types, making it easier for consumers to understand how much different vehicles will cost them to operate each month over a five-year period.

The results were collated as part of RACV’s Annual Operating Costs Survey and found the cheapest car in the Victorian market is the MG3 light hatchback, followed by the Kia Picanto S and the Kia Rio S light hatch in second and third place, respectively. The MG3 Core will cost owners $626.50 a month, the Kia Picanto S $662.93 and the Kia Rio S $705.71.

RACV’s Vehicle Operating Costs Survey highlights the overall cost of ownership of more than 80 of Australia’s best-selling and emerging models and has been running for more than 50 years.

The survey factors in the initial purchase price and loan repayments, registration charges, insurance, auto club membership, fuel or electric vehicle charging costs, tyres, servicing and repairs, all averaged over a five-year period.

RACV’s calculations are based on a private vehicle with mileage of 15,000 kilometres per year, which is approximately the average distance travelled by Victorian drivers.

RACV Head of Communications and Engagement Andrew Scannell said the most significant cost of a new car is the up-front purchase price.

“Registration, insurance, and club membership make up about 15 to 20 per cent, while fuel takes a 10 and 15 per cent slice,” Mr Scannell said.

“Servicing costs consume between three and seven per cent of the overall costs and tyres just one to three per cent.

“Not surprisingly – and consistent with previous years’ results – light passenger cars are the most affordable vehicle segment.

“If you buy a light hatch, you can expect an average monthly cost of $738.43. Small cars are the second most affordable category with a monthly spend of $903.44, closely followed by small SUVs on $917.60.”

All-terrain 4x4 SUVs are the priciest vehicles to own and run, according to the survey, costing owners an average of $1634.29 per month, while popular 4x4 dual-cab utes were the next most expensive at $1533.62. Large family SUVs were the third priciest on $1404.53.

Victoria’s most expensive car to own and run is Nissan’s Patrol Ti upper-large SUV, which costs $2337.33 a month to keep on the road. The Patrol has a V8 petrol engine and is priced from $85,738 before on-road costs.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles require an average monthly spend of $1280.83, which pleasingly is about $100 less than last year’s survey.

The following details the average monthly cost of each car category as well as the cheapest model in each category:

Private vehicle average running costs in Victoria

Vehicle category

Average monthly cost

Cheapest model in each category and monthly cost

Light cars


MG3 Core 1.5 4sp auto Hatch

Small cars


Kia Cerato S 2.0 Hatch 6sp auto

Medium cars


Toyota Camry Ascent 2.5 8sp auto Sedan 

People movers


Honda Odyssey ViL7 2.4 CVT




SUV small


Hyundai Venue (base) 1.6 2wd 6sp auto 

SUV medium


Toyota RAV4 GXL 2.5 Hybrid FWD CVT

SUV large


Subaru Outback 2.5 AWD CVT MY2 

All terrain


Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX 2.4 t/dsl 8sp auto

Light commercial 4x2


Mitsubishi Triton GLX 2.4 T/dsl 6sp auto 4X2 Dual cab Pickup

Light commercial 4x4


Mitsubishi Triton GLX 2.4 T/dsl 6sp auto 4X4 Dual cab Pickup

For more information on the survey results visit racv.com.au/royalauto


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