Australia’s cheapest micro, light and small cars for 2019

blue mitsubishi mirage on road in front of a tree

Sue Hewitt

Posted July 18, 2019

Driving Your Dollars survey finds the cheapest small, light and micro cars to buy and run.

There’s no arguing about the reason people choose a small car – it’s price, from the dealership showroom to ongoing road costs.

Price-conscious car buyers are embracing small new cars as the cheapest to buy and run, while still getting a comfortable, city-focused ride.

RACV’s 2019 Driving your Dollars survey examined three categories of smaller rides – micro, light and small cars – with on-road prices starting about $17,000 up to almost $27,000.

RACV has done all the hard work investigating 13 best-selling models across these categories to find the real average weekly running costs including the initial purchase price.

Experts factored in depreciation, loan interest, registration, insurance, fuel, tyres and maintenance, as well as the purchase price, to arrive at the weekly running costs.

green mitsubishi mirage stopped on road

Mitsubishi Mirage ES is the cheapest car to buy in 2019.

Talk about being economical, micro cars – as the name suggests the smallest on the market – are the cheapest to run, costing an average of $123.55 a week or 42.8 cents a kilometre.

Weekly running costs increase as the size increases, with light cars costing an average of $141.92 a week or 49.2 cents a kilometre and small cars costing $169.24 a week or 58.7 cents a kilometre. 

Of the three micro vehicles examined, the cheapest to buy was the Mitsubishi Mirage ES 1.2 litre five-door hatch at $16,792, which costs $119.05 a week or 41.27 cents a kilometre to run. 

People wanting a fun ride might favour the retro-style Fiat 500 Pop three-door hatch which tops the micro car list in price at $21,591 and costs $133.37 a week to run. 

The Fiat costs more to buy than any of the five light cars surveyed, including a Suzuki Baleno GL five-door hatch costing $16,990 up to the Mazda2 Neo five-door hatch at $21,155. Given it is the largest single market segment in Australia, there are plenty of models to choose from.