Finding a car to suit your budget can be tricky. The purchase price is one thing, but what about ongoing running costs? That’s where the RAC's 2019 Car Running Costs guide comes in.

We assessed more than 140 new cars across 14 categories to calculate the total costs associated with owning and operating a car in Western Australia.

Costs considered include running costs (fuel, tyres and servicing), along with standing costs (purchase price, depreciation, interest on loan repayments, driver’s licence fees, taxes, stamp duty, insurance premiums and registration).

You can also see how registration costs are calculated and which cars are cheaper to register by checking our car registration costs breakdown

For our car running costs, calculations are based on a 5-year period from new, driving 12,000km per year in private use. 

Most fuel efficient cars

The most fuel efficient cars across the board were in the electric category: The Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite and Hyundai Kona Highlander TTR Electric both took the podium with a weekly fuel cost of just $7.52 and $8.56. They were followed closely by the Renault Zoe Intens 4D at $8.69 per week.

Combined with their low servicing costs, the Ioniq and Kona also had the cheapest total running costs across all car categories (at $18.53 and $20.10 per week respectively).

The most fuel efficient non-electric car was the Mitsubishi Mirage ES at $14.95 per week, however the cost of servicing brought the total running costs of this micro vehicle to $31.38 per week.

The most fuel efficient medium car was the Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid at $14.65 per week followed by the Skoda Octavia 110TSi Sport at just $18.83 per week. The Camry also had a highly competitive total running cost of $31.46, besting all in the small and light car categories and nipping on the heels of even the most economic micro cars.

The SUV with the best fuel economy was the Toyota RAV4 GXL Hybrid. At just $14.95 per week this medium size SUV not only creamed its nearest competition (the Mazda CX-5 Maxx 4X4 at $19.94) but also proved more fuel efficient than the best small SUV, the Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport FWD at $17.84 per week.

The RAV4's low servicing costs also made it the cheapest SUV to run across all categories (small, medium and large) coming in at $29.92 per week. The next closest was the Holden Trax LS at $38.81 followed closely by the Nissan Qashqai ST at $38.84 per week.

By far the biggest fuel guzzler was the Ford Mustang Fastback FT 5.0 V8, with an estimated weekly fuel consumption amounting to $44.28 per week.

Cheapest cars to run by category

The following are the cheapest cars to run when you combine the costs of fuel, tyres and servicing. 

 

Category Make and Model Total running costs (p/w)
Micro vehicle Kia Picanto S $31.06
Light vehicle Kia Rio S $33.26
Small vehicle Hyundai i30 Active $33.27
Medium vehicle Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid $31.46
Large vehicle BMW 520d Luxury Line G30 $41.17
People mover Honda Odyssey VTi RC $46.17
Electric vehicle Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite $18.53
Sports car Mazda MX-5 $41.84
Small SUV Hyundai Kona Active $37.49
Medium SUV Toyota RAV4 GXL 2WD Hybrid $29.92
Large SUV Kia Sorento Si (4X4) $44.49
All-terrain SUV Isuzu MU-X LS-M (4X4) $47.78
2WD Ute Isuzu D-Max SX Hi-Ride (4X2)  $46.38
4WD Ute Isuzu D-Max SX Hi-Ride (4X4)  $51.36

Most economical cars overall

Once we add standing costs to the mix, the list shuffles around quite a bit.

Depreciation was again found to be the biggest single cost of owning a car, despite it being something drivers don’t often consider.

Their higher purchase price and subsequent depreciation continues to bump electric cars off the podium in terms of overall affordability. However, we do see some hybrids start to clamper their way to the top.

The Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid was the most affordable vehicle in the medium car category, while the RAV4 GXL 2WD Hybrid placed second as the most affordable medium SUV, beat out by its non-hybrid RAV4 brother.

The cheapest car to own and run across all categories was the Kia Rio S at $106 per week.

While not the cheapest to buy, the Rio was considerably cheaper to service and insure than the competition. It’s also a bigger vehicle than the winners in previous years, so as well as being good value there’s a little more practicality for your dollar in there too.

Here's the lowdown on the cheapest cars to own and run in Western Australia.

Cheapest micro car - Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Image of Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage ES is the cheapest micro vehicle to own and run. With an on road price of $15,943 and a value after a 5-year depreciation of $4,587, its total standing costs come to just $75.86 per week.

Fuel will set you back $14.95 per week, and maintenance of tyres and servicing comes to $16.44 per week. This makes the car's total running costs $31.38 per week. 

All up, you'll be paying $107.24 for total costs per week. 

Runners up:

  • Kia Picanto S ($107.77 p/week)
  • Fiat 500 Pop Series 6 ($121.74 p/week)

Cheapest light car - Kia Rio S

Image of Kia Rio

The Kia Rio S is the cheapest light vehicle to own and run. With an on road price of $17,990 and a trade in value of $7,636 after 5 years, the car's total standing costs are at $72.73 per week. 

Fuel for the car comes to $19.72 per week, whereas tyres and sevicing costs come to $13.55 per week. This brings the total running costs to $33.26 per week. 

Overall, the total costs of the Kia Rio S sit at $105.99 per week.

Runners up:

  • Suzuki Swift GL ($108.24 p/week)
  • Suzuki Baleno GL ($111.37 p/week)
  • Mazda 2 Neo ($119.83 p/week)
  • Honda Jazz VTi GK ($120.34 p/week)
  • Toyota Yaris Ascent ($125.34 p/week)

Cheapest small car - Kia Cerato S

Image of Kia Cerato S

The Kia Cerato S is the cheapest small vehicle to own and run. With an on road price of $21,990 and its depreciation in value after 5 years being $9,040, the car's total standing costs come to $92.69 per week. 

When it comes to running costs, fuel will set you back $23.53 per week, and maintenance including tyres and servicing works out to $15.82 per week, bringing the total running cost to $39.34 per week. 

Overall, the total cost to own and run the Cerato was the lowest of the small cars tested, coming in at $132.04 per week. 

Runners up:

  • Holden Astra R ($137.98 p/week)
  • Honda Civic VTi ($138.62 p/week)
  • Hyundai i30 Active PD2 ($141.66 p/week)
  • Hyundai i30 Active 1.6 ($143.24 p/week)
  • Mitsubishi Lancer ES Sport ($144.39 p/week)

Cheapest medium car - Toyota Camry Ascent Sport (Hybrid)

Image of Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry Ascent Sport (Hybrid) is the cheapest medium vehicle to own and run. Its on road price is $35,805, and after 5 years, depreciation will bring its value down to $10,269. This brings its total standing costs to $144.98 per week.

Fuel will cost you $14.65 per week, and maintenance of tyres and servicing costs will be $16.82 per week - bringing the total running costs to $31.46 per week.

Overall, the car's total cost comes to $176,43 per week. 

Runners up:

  • Toyota Camry Ascent Sport ($184.87 p/week)
  • Hyundai Sonata Active LF4 ($185.72 p/week)
  • Skoda Octavia 110 TSI Sport ($186.19 p/week)
  • Mazda 6 Sport ($189.70 p/week)
  • Subaru Liberty 2.5i ($191.62 p/week)

Cheapest large car - Holden Commodore RS

Image of Holden Commodore

The cheapest large vehicle to own and run is the Holden Commodore RS. Its on road price sits at $41,053 and its trade-in value after 5 years is $11,187, bringing its total standing costs to $171.39 per week. 

Fuel will cost $26.50 per week, and tyre and servicing costs come to $20.42 per week. This brings the total running costs to $46.92.

In total, the Holden Commodore RS' total costs are $218.31 per week. 

Runners up:

  • Holden Commodore RS V6 ($235.11 p/week)
  • Toyota Camry SL V6 ($238.99 p/week)
  • Skoda Superb 162 TSI ($246.04 p/week)
  • Kia Stinger 200S ($257.11 p/week)
  • Kia Stinger 330S ($278.62 p/week)

Cheapest people mover - Honda Odyssey VTi RC

Image of Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey VTi RC is the cheapest people mover to own and run. With an on road price of $42,041 and a trade in value after 5 years of $14,816, its total standing costs come to $160.56 per week. 

You'll be paying $24.17 per week in fuel, and $22 per week in servicing and tyres. This brings your total running costs to $46.17 per week. 

Overall, you'll be paying $206.73 in total costs for the Honda Odyssey VTi RC per week. 

Runners up:

  • Hyundai iMax Active TQ4 ($231.60 p/week)
  • Kia Carnival S YP ($234.81 p/week)
  • Toyota Tarago GLi ($244.88 p/week)
  • Volkswagen Multivan Comfortline ($265.11 p/week)

Cheapest electric car - Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite

Image of EV

The cheapest electric vehicle to own and run is the Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite. This car has an on road price of $49,823 and a trade in value of $19,796 after 5 years. This brings the total standing costs to $168.86 per week.

Fuel will set you back just $7.52 per week, and tyres and servicing costs come to $11.02 per week, bringing your running costs to $18.53 per week. 

For the Ioniq, you'll be paying $187.38 in total costs per week. 

Runners up:

  • Renault Zoe Intens 4D ($209.79 p/week)
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid ES ($233.97 p/week)
  • Hyundai Kona Highlander TTR Electric ($256.34 p/week)
  • BMW i3 ($283 p/week)
  • Tesla Model S 100D ($494.29 p/week)

Cheapest small SUV - Hyundai Kona Active

Image of Hyundai Kona

The cheapest small SUV to own and run is the Hyundai Kona Active. Its on road price comes to $28,467, and trade in value after 5 years is $9,690. This brings its total standing costs to $117.65 per week.

Fuel will cost $22.90 per week, and servicing and tyres come to $14.60 per week, making the car's total running costs to $37.49 per week.

All up, the car's total costs come to $155.14 per week. 

Runners up:

  • Honda HR-V VTi ($155.22 p/week)
  • Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport FWD Inline ($156.84 p/week) 
  • Suzuki Vitara LY 4D Wagon Inline ($157.98 p/week)
  • Suzuki Jimmy GJ2D Wagon Inline ($160.15 p/week)
  • Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport FWD Diesel Turbo ($163.59 p/week)

Cheapest medium SUV - Toyota RAV4 GXL

Image of Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 GXL is the cheapest medium SUV to own and run. Its on road price is $39,680 and its trade in value after 5 years is $13,900. This brings the total standing costs to $148.53 per week.

You can expect to pay $20.67 for fuel, and $14.43 for both tyres and servicing per week. This brings the total running costs to $35.10 per week.

Total costs per week for the RAV4 come to $183.63. 

Runners up:

  • Toyota RAV4 GXL Hybrid ($188.06 p/week)
  • Ford Escape Ambiente ($189.95 p/week)
  • Mazda CX-5 Maxx ($191.51 p/week)
  • Nissan X-Trail ST ($191.85 p/week)
  • Nissan X-Trail ST ($193.72 p/week)

Looking to reduce your car costs?

Find out how much you could save in just 30 seconds with our car loan calculator

Let's go

Cheapest large SUV - Subaru Outback 2.5i

Image of Subaru Outback

The cheapest large SUV to own and run is the Subaru Outback 2.5i. Its on road price comes to $40,530, and its trade in value after 5 years is $14,858. All up, its total standing costs come to $153.34 per week.

Fuel costs come to $23.21 per week, and tyres and servicing equates to $31.76 per week. This brings the total running costs to $54.97 per week.

Altogether, you'll be paying $208.31 in total costs per week.

Runners up:

  • Subaru Outback 2.0D ($211.78 p/week)
  • Mazda CX-8 Sport ($222.56 p/week)
  • Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132 TSI ($225.68 p/week)
  • Kia Sorento Si ($226.02 p/week)
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Active CRDi ($228.91 p/week)

Cheapest all terrain SUV - Toyota Fortuner GX

Image of Toyota Fortuner

The cheapest all terrain SUV to own and run is the Toyota Fortuner GX. With an on road price of $49,617 and a trade in value of $19,620 after 5 years, its total standing costs come to $172.32 per week.

Fuel will set you back $30.09 per week, and tyres and servicing come to $26.14 per week. This brings the total running costs to $56.22 per week.

The total cost of owning and running the Fortuner come to $230.54 per week.

Runners up:

  • Isuzu MU-X LS-M ($232.19 p/week)
  • Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX ($234.43 p/week)
  • Holden Trailblazer LT ($250.08 p/week)
  • Ford Everest Ambiente ($254.08 p/week)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo ($273.67 p/week)

Enjoying this article? Check out:

Australia's Best Cars for 2019 »
Safest second-hand cars under $10k »

Cheapest 2WD ute - Mitsubishi Triton GLX

Image of Mitsubishi Triton

The cheapest 2WD ute to own and run is the Mitsubishi Triton GLX. This ute's on road price is $39,954 and its trade in value after 5 years is $13,427, bringing the total standing costs to $155.47 per week. 

Fuel costs come to $26.24 per week, with tyres and servicing at $21.98 per week. This brings the total running costs to $48.21 per week. 

Overall, this ute will set you back $203.68 per week in total costs. 

Runners up:

  • Isuzu D-Max SX Hi-Ride ($216.57 p/week)
  • Ford Ranger XL 2.2 Hi-Rider ($216.62 p/week)
  • Toyota Hilux SR Hi-Rider ($226.48 p/week)
  • Nissan Navara ST ($227.65 p/week)
  • Mazda BT-50 XT Hi-Rider ($232.55 p/week)

Cheapest 4WD ute - Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4X4

Image of Mitsubishi Triton

The cheapest 4WD ute to own and run is the Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4X4. Its on road price is $44,041, and its trade in value after 5 years comes to $13,997. This brings its total standing costs per week to $172.12. 

Expect to pay $26.59 in fuel per week, and $24.77 per week in tyres and servicing, bringing your total running costs to $51.36 per week. 

Total costs per week will come to $223.48. 

Runners up:

  • Holden Colorado LS 4X4 ($234.84 p/week)
  • Isuzu D-Max SX Hi-Ride 4X4 ($242.96 p/week)
  • Toyota Hiluz SR 4X4 ($248.60 p/week)
  • Nissan Navara ST 4X4 ($248.72 p/week)
  • Ford Ranger XL 3.2 4X4 ($251.54 p/week)

Cheapest sports car - Mazda MX-5 Roadster ND

Image of Mazda CX5

The cheapest sports car to own and run is the Mazda MX-5 Roadster ND. Its on road price is $41,031 and after 5 years, its trade in value comes to $15,125. Its total standing costs come to $152.55 per week.

Fuel will set you back $22.32 per week, and tyres and servicing will come to $19.53 per week. This brings your total running costs to $41.84 per week.

All up, expect to spend $194.39 in total costs per week.

Runners up:

  • Toyota 86 GT ZN6 ($197.35 p/week)
  • Subaru BRZ ($203.07 p/week)
  • Subaru WRZ AWD ($235.23 p/week)
  • Renault Megane RS 280 ($245.01 p/week)
  • Ford Mustang Fastback 2.3 GTDi ($267.29 p/week

Download the complete breakdown of Western Australia's cheapest cars to own and run. 

Car Running Costs Guide 2019 (PDF 430KB)