A survey from the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) has revealed the most affordable vehicles to run – and for the third year in a row, the MG 3 has taken the cake.

    The annual RACV Car Running Costs Survey found in Victoria the MG 3 Core costs an average of $746.01 per month to run.

    Closely following the Chinese small hatch were the Kia Picanto S ($765.87) and Kia Rio S ($868.21).

    Running costs are down across the board, according to the RACV survey, which will come as welcome news to Victorians hit hard by rising interest rates and inflation.

    The cheapest car to run in the mid-sized SUV segment was the Honda CR-V Vi according to the RACV. Its claimed $1161.36 monthly running cost was $83.72 less than the equivalent winner in 2022.

    “People should be pleased to know that the cost of owning and operating a car has dropped across seven categories in 2023 including small and medium cars, medium and large SUVs, people movers and light commercial vehicles,” said RACV general manager of motoring products, Jeff Ames.

    The RACV listed the most affordable vehicles to run within each segment per month, which is below:

    SegmentCheapest vehicleMonthly running cost
    Light carsMG 3 Core$746.01
    Small carsMazda 3 Pure $915.30
    SUV smallHyundai Venue (Base)$926.56
    SUV mediumHonda CRV Vi $1161.36
    ElectricMG ZS Excite Standard Range$1172.76
    Medium carsToyota Camry Ascent Hybrid$1120.98
    Light commercial 4×2Isuzu D-Max SX dual cab 1.9L$1364.67
    SUV largeSubaru Outback AWD (base)$1387.37
    Light commercial 4×4GWM Cannon L $1372.93
    People moversHyundai Staria (Base)$1553.31
    All terrainMitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX$1568.43

    The figures are calculated over the first five years of a car’s life, and have been broken down into monthly figures.

    The monthly running costs are inclusive of finance repayments based on a manufacturer’s recommended drive-away price, and a 7.49 per cent interest rate over five years.

    Calculations are based on an average distance of 15,000km per year, and fuel prices are based on 183.6 cents/litre (91 RON unleaded), 198.3 cents/litre (95 RON unleaded), or 195.9 cents/litre (diesel).

    Registration costs are calculated for metro regions, and include statutory fees and Compulsory Third Party insurance costs.

    Discounts applied by VicRoads for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle registration were included, as well as a $100 discount for zero emission vehicles.

    The running costs also include road user charges of 2.8 cents/km for EV and 2.3 cents/km for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

    RACV included a replacement set of four tyres and one replacement battery within five years.

    Servicing is calculated based on manufacturer capped price servicing where applicable.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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