The Road Ahead : August 2014
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 58 THE ROAD AHEAD AUG/SEP 2014 QUEENSLAND MOTORISTS COULD be spending as much as $410 a week to own and drive a new car, according to the RACQ's latest Annual Vehicle Running Costs survey. But, it's not all bad news -- RACQ Technical & Safety Policy Executive Manager Steve Spalding said with motoring costs continuing to rise each year, there were practical steps motorists could take to reduce the cost pressures of owning a new car. "By being more discerning, driving intelligently and putting their needs before their wants, motorists can save themselves thousands of dollars a year," Mr Spalding said. "Down size -- just by moving from a large sedan to a medium one can return about $1600 to the family budget and downsizing from a large sedan to something even smaller increases the saving to more than $3800 a year. Stepping down from a medium SUV to a smaller one can save $1400 a year and by replacing the large 4WD with a small SUV can benefit the owner by $5300 a year. "Down spec -- if you don't need all the extra features that come in the higher specification models, choose the base model and save. "Drive frugally -- importantly, whichever vehicle you buy, drive in a fuel efficient way and you save every time you use it. "Read up -- as always, if shopping for a new car, do your homework, research your options and keep a clear head when visiting the dealer showroom. Only buy what's right for you." HOW'S THE SURVEY WORK? The survey looked at 108 vehicles, from micro-sized cars to large 4WDs and utes, and took into account the various costs that go into owning and operating a vehicle. These included depreciation (the hidden cost until resale and the largest single influencer, accounting for 35-40 percent of total costs), finance, insurance, registration, RACQ breakdown cover, on-road costs, fuel, dealer delivery, tyre replacement and servicing. Calculations were based on private ownership over five years and 15,000km pa. Overall, ownership costs were up across all categories with even the cheapest car, a Suzuki Alto, being around $300 dearer overall than last year. The most expensive car surveyed, a Nissan Patrol V8, rose $580 overall, costing some $413 per week to own and operate. Fuel was around six percent dearer, with LPG up a massive 14 percent over the past year. Exacerbating the situation was LPG vehicles losing their $2000 rebate, making them less financially viable for many motorists. Insurance, workshop labour rates and dealer delivery fees all increased on average, with slightly lower interest charges helping to ease the effects. The survey found that, even with their lower fuel consumption, diesel cars were often not cheaper to own and operate than their petrol equivalent. And hybrids and electric vehicles were still noticeably more expensive than their similar-sized petrol equivalent, due mainly to higher initial purchase costs. The complete survey results can be found at racq.com/runningcosts. motorists must get back to basics to save ANNUAL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS THE RISING COST OF CAR OWNERSHIP. STORY BARRY GREEN I PHOTOS AUTONEWS MOTORING | FEATURE IMAGES: SUZUKI ALTO, VW JETTA, HOLDEN CAPTIVA 5.
June July 2014