The Road Ahead : October November 2007
OCT/NOV 07 31 FEATURES STORY CHRIS BISHOP The annual cost of owning and operating a typical new car ranges between $6200 and a whopping $18,400, according to the RACQ's 2007 sur vey of private vehicle expenses. Even the most modest new small car costs Queenslanders around $120 a week to own and operate, while a large, diesel-powered four-wheel drive effectively requires $354 a week. RACQ sur veyed the vehicle running costs associated with 37 popular vehicles, based on a five-year ownership period, under average operating conditions for motorists travelling 15,000 km a year. Taken into account were standing costs (financing, insurance, registration, depreciation and RACQ membership) and running costs (fuel, tyres, ser vicing and repairs) for light, small, mid-size and large-size cars, people movers, and recreational and large 4WDs. RACQ advocacy manager Lynda Schekoske said the Hyundai Getz 1.4-litre, manual, three-door hatch was the cheapest sur veyed, with a total ownership and operating cost of $119.35 a week. "The Holden Barina 1.6-litre, manual, three-door hatch wasn't too far behind, at $120.66 a week, followed by the Toyota Yaris 1.3-litre, manual, three-door hatch at $124.79," she said. "At the other end of the affordability scale, the Toyota Land- Cruiser GXL 4.2-litre, turbo-diesel, manual wagon was the most costly vehicle sur veyed, at $353.86 a week." Ms Schekoske said loan interest repayments and depreciation were two significant 'hidden' costs that the RACQ research took into account. "Our 2007 study shows that standing costs typically account for around 75 per cent of the costs to motorists, yet many new car buyers forget to consider the costs of depreciation and finance when researching potential vehicles," she said. "The ongoing concern over fuel prices, for example, has caused highe rates of depreciation for six-cylinder cars and large 4WDs. "In our latest sur vey, the Mitsubishi 380 ES V6, auto sedan came in as the cheapest car in the family six- cylinder categor y, at $201.43 a week, well ahead of its nearest rival, the Toyota Aurion, which cost $219.19," she said. "Families looking to maximise space while saving on ownership and running costs might consider, for example, the Toyota Camr y Altise, which came in as the cheapest mid- size, four-cylinder car at $194.22 a week, or the Mazda 6 Limited, which is a few dollars more at $201.46." Stepping down a class in size, the previous model Toyota Corolla Ascent sedan returned the lowest costs in the small car sector at $154.84 a week. In the emerging hybrid class, Honda's Civic Hybrid emerges more than $30 a week cheaper to own and operate than its direct competitor, the Toyota Prius ($176.08 V $206.45). The Civic Hybrid also is cheaper to own and operate than an equitable diesel rival, the Volkswagen Golf 2.0-litre TDi Comfor tline, which in the most popular automatic version, costs owners $188.43 per week. Copies of RACQ's Facts on Private Vehicle Expenses are available free of charge at RACQ branches and agencies and can be downloaded from the club's website, racq.com. Car costs climb Vehicle running costs are making a bigger dent in the average family budget. RACQ has calculated the private ownership costs for new cars including the Hyundai Getz and Honda Civic Hybrid.
December January 2008
August September 2007