News and Reviews

NRMA’s Commute Cost Calculator

November, 2013

The Mitsubishi Mirage is Australia’s cheapest car to own and run, according to NRMA research.

There are a number of important decisions that drivers must consider when purchasing a new car. Safety, fuel economy and price are front of mind – but smart drivers should also do their research into vehicle running costs over a weekly or yearly period.

The NRMA’s latest research into vehicle running costs offers insight into these important numbers, with a comprehensive list of 2013 Class Winners and Top 10 vehicles by class (making your own research a cinch).

Overall, the research for 2013 has found the Mitsubishi Mirage to be Australia’s cheapest car to own and run. The Mitsubishi Mirage weekly fuel bill sits at an average of $22.57, with total operating costs coming to $93.29 a week. It doesn’t compromise on safety either, with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and ESC as standard.


“Whilst Electronic Stability Control is fast becoming standard equipment, optional extras such as turbo charging and increased engine size will drive up running costs and the buyer can consider all of these when using the NRMA’s operating costs calculator,” said NRMA Motoring Research Engineer, David Carr.

The NRMA Study

So what factors were included in the NRMA’s study? It focused on standing costs (depreciation, opportunity interest), fixed costs (registration, CTP insurance and NRMA membership) and variable costs (maintenance repairs, fuel).

The importance of doing your research is highlighted in the results; with savings for car owners greatly varied within class. That is, different models within the same class (i.e. light vehicle) show large gaps in operating costs.

“The gaps between the cheapest and most expensive vehicles widen even further in some classes so it is important that families do their homework before buying a new vehicle,” Mr. Carr said.

How to Calculate your Car Running Costs

To complement the research, NRMA have unveiled their ‘Car Operating Cost Calculator’ – a nifty little tool that will tell you all about your vehicle running costs. Simply input some basic vehicle details, and the calculator will spit out the average operating costs per week.

Next time you’re in the market to buy a new or used car, take a look at NRMA’s comprehensive list of car operating costs. It could mean the difference between thousands and tens of thousands a year.

Were you surprised by your vehicle operating costs?

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