Most affordable light cars
With an average monthly cost of $738.43, light cars – a size smaller than small cars – are the cheapest to own and run. Lower purchase prices help here, but generally, light cars have lower servicing costs and are cheaper to refuel.
Topping the list of the cheapest cars to own and run is the MG3 light hatch. MG Motor, which Chinese giant SAIC owns, has become a top-10 brand in Australia this year after pitching itself as a cut-price brand competing with the likes of Kia and Mitsubishi.
The MG3 Core costs $626.50 a month to own and run thanks to low running costs, but its competitive $16,990 driveaway price also helped its placing.
Kia’s funky Picanto S micro car slides into second place with a monthly cost of $662.93, undercutting its larger sibling, the Rio S hatch, which costs $705.71 a month.
Last year’s cheapest car, the Suzuki Baleno GL, has slipped to fourth this year with a monthly cost of $713.39, followed by its stablemate, the Swift GL Navigator on $727.13.
At the other end of the light car segment, the Mazda2 G15 Pure hatch will cost the most to own and run on $844.86 a month. The sole European offering in this category, Volkswagen’s Polo 70TSI trendline, is slightly cheaper at $830.95. At the same time, the RACV Victoria’s Safest Cars-winning Toyota Yaris Ascent Sport is the third dearest with a monthly spend of $795.97.
See the full results of the light car category from this year's Vehicle Operating Costs survey.