It’s no secret that cost-of-living pressures are ratcheting up, with the latest RACV Annual Car Running Costs Survey explaining just how much – quantitatively.

The latest iteration of the motoring club’s more than 50-year old annual survey found that once again the MG 3 Core was Victoria’s cheapest new car to own and run.

But the tallied running costs in the most recent survey are more than $100 higher per month than they were in last year’s survey – equal to a minimum 17.5 per cent jump in the cost of motoring over just a 12-month period.

There are 11 vehicle categories and more than 80 models included in the RACV survey this year. Victoria’s cheapest car to own and operate, the top-selling MG3 Core light hatch, is calculated to cost motorists $734.84 per month at present.

The MG3 Core was closely followed by the Kia Picanto S and the (now discontinued) Suzuki Baleno GL, at $746.31 and $804.87 per month respectively.

Last year’s ‘Car Running Costs Survey’ showed Victoria’s cheapest car, again the MG3 Core, cost $626.50 per month to own and operate.

Factored into the survey are variables including purchase price, loan repayments, registration, insurance, fuel or charging costs, tyres, servicing and repairs and auto club membership – all averaged out over five years.

Calculations from the survey are based on private vehicle ownership and the average distance travelled by Victorian motorists, which is 15,000 kilometres per year.

RACV head of policy James Williams said the survey confirmed what Victorians would be keenly aware of – the cost of owning a car has gone up across the board.

“It would surprise no one to see that the cost of owning and operating a car has risen, given the trends we have seen in fuel prices,” Mr Williams said.

The survey shows fuel is the second biggest expense for car owners, accounting for 13 per cent. Purchase price is the biggest upfront expense, accounting for 80 per cent of a car’s ongoing costs.

“When you factor in the growing price of used cars and the improved fuel efficiency and safety ratings of new cars, there is a very good argument to take a close look at the more affordable models outlined in the survey,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, it’s well know the used car market has also spiked on the back of new car shortages, with transaction prices still sitting 60 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels according to this report.

That said, new data from Moody’s Analytics reveals used car prices declined for the fifth consecutive month and dropped by an average of 1.8 per cent from September to October. But they are still 8.6 per cent higher than last year, and 1.7 per cent higher than at the beginning of 2022.

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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