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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
The cost of owning and operating a car in today’s market has dropped slightly despite unstable petrol prices which are putting the squeeze on motorists. Each year the R ACT undertakes a comprehensive survey of all the factors contributing to the cost of running a car, from servicing and parts to insurance. R ACT calculations for the Vehicle Operating Costs survey are based on private ownership of a vehicle for a five-year period and driving an average of 15,000 kilometres each year. The RACT’s 2011 survey of 93 popular models found that overall, the average cost of ow ning and running a vehicle has dropped 2.7% from last year’s sur vey. Some lower vehicle purchase prices have helped in the overall drop despite increased petrol prices. Manufacturers who have introduced fixed-price servicing programs have also helped to keep costs down for vehicle buyers. The survey also found that low-emission vehicles use less fuel but the more expensive purchase price attracts high standing costs. Standing costs are those costs which continue to accrue even when the vehicle is not being used on the road, such as depreciation and insurance. In the light car category, the Suzuki Alto came out on top at $113.89 per week to own and run. The Alto is part of a growing group of budget-priced light cars, including the Holden Barina Spark and Nissan Micra, that made up the top three performers in this class. The small car class was the most tightly contested in this year’s survey with the top nine vehicles all within $10 per week of each other. Hy undai i30 SX at $162.35 per week took the honours ahead of the Holden Cruze CD and the Mitsubishi Lancer ES. The MINI Cooper Diesel was overall the cheapest to r un, at 11.64 c/km, but its high standing costs pushed it to $192.29 per week. The three most expensive vehicles were again the Toyota LandCruisers and Prado with the Toyota LandCruiser GXL diesel costing $399.30 per week. Excellent fuel economy was also no guarantee of a car gaining top spot in its category. Australia’s most fuel-efficient car for the second year running, the Ford Fiesta Econetic, was the cheapest in the survey to run in the light car category at 12.63c/km but its standing costs were $30.71 per week higher than the Suzuki Alto. Darren Moody, R ACT General Manager Roadside and Technical Services, said vehicle depreciation was the ticking time bomb, with many car buyers failing to recog nise it as a major vehicle cost. “In the 2011 sur vey, depreciation accounts for an average of 39% of vehicle running costs and while car owners do not hand over 39 cents in depreciation in every dollar they spend each week, in five years’ time when they are looking to trade their vehicle, that’s when the depreciation costs kick in significantly,” Mr Moody said. “It’s important to look at the whole picture when shopping for a vehicle. The price of the car is just a piece of the puzzle. Buyers also should know how much it costs to have the car ser viced; how much it costs to fill the fuel tank; the cost of tyres, insurance, registration, interest, stamp duty, dr ivers’ licence and RACT membership, as well as the costs of spare parts like windscreens and batteries. “ We consider all these factors in compiling our survey,” said Mr Moody. “While overall running costs figure prominently in any purchasing decision, safety and environment are also other considerations to factor in when it comes to the final decision to buy. Mr Moody said many buyers were keen to purchase low emission vehicles for their fuel efficiency. However the initial outlay to buy many of these vehicles is high, resulting in high standing costs. Annual RACT survey – car running costs Costs fall slightly despite petrol price hike Life on the move 32 December 2011 / January 2012 6548A A sure sign your car is in safe hands. Our RACT Approved Repairer Code of Practice ensures that all repair work and services performed for members of the RACT will be carried out under the supervision of a competent and qualified person. The RACT Approved Repairer Code of Practice also includes the following key points: • Written estimate of costs provided upon request • Warranty covering repair work for 90 days or 5000 km • Parts that are replaced will be available for you to inspect and keep, if desired • Once commenced, repair work will be completed quickly. When your car’s being repaired, it’s hard not to wonder if the job’s being done correctly. With an RACT Approved Repairer you can relax. www.ract.com.au RACT Approved Repairers shown with the Show Your Card & Save logo will provide 10% discount on labour if you present your card prior to quotation. Contact your nearest RACT branch for a complete list of Approved Repairers or visit www.ract.com.au
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012