RACV’s Annual Car Running Costs Survey has revealed Victoria’s cheapest car to own and operate is….

The MG3 Core light Hatch – has taken out the top spot for a third year in a row – with monthly costs of just $746.01.

The MG3 Core was closely followed by Kia Picanto S at $765.87 per month and Kia Rio S at $868.21.

RACV has been running the survey for more than 50 years, providing an in-depth look at Australia’s newest and best-selling models, capturing the overall cost of ownership that factors in costs such as purchase price, loan repayments, insurance, fuel or electric vehicle charging costs, tyres, servicing and repairs and auto club membership – all averaged out over five years.

RACV General Manager – Motoring Products Jeff Ames said the survey came at a perfect time for Victorians who would be evaluating expenses given cost of living pressures, with price drops in seven car categories.

“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,” Mr Ames said.

“The biggest difference is in the medium SUV car category with the Honda CRV Vi 2.0 CVT FWD Wagon taking out the top spot with an average monthly running cost of $1161.36 – which is $83.72 or almost seven per cent less per month in comparison to the car that took out the top spot in the same category in 2022 which cost an average of $1,245.08 per month.

“The beauty of this survey is that it captures the total cost of owning and operating your car – not just the purchase price – so you can get a real sense of how the total cost of car ownership will fit into your household budget.”

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.

Private vehicle average running costs in Victoria for 2023

SegmentCheapest vehicleMonthly running cost
Light carsMG3 Core light 1.5spd Auto Hatch$746.01
Small carsMazda 3 Pure 2.0 6spd Auto Hatch$915.30
SUV smallHyundai Venue (Base) 1.6 6sdp Auto FWD Wagon$926.56
SUV mediumHonda CRV Vi 2.0 CVT FWD Wagon$1,161.36
ElectricMG ZS Excite Standard Range RWD Wagon$1,172.76
Medium carsToyota Camry Ascent Hybrid 2.5 Hybrid CVT Sedan$1,120.98
Light commercial 4×2Isuzu D-Max SX Dual Cab 1.9T Diesel 6spd Auto Utility$1,364.67
SUV largeSubaru Outback 2.5 Petrol CVT AWD Wagon$1,387.37
Light commercial 4×4GWM Cannon L Dual Cab 2.0T Diesel 8spd Auto Utility$1,372.93
People moversHyundai Staria (Base) 3.5 V6 8spd Auto Van$1553.31
All terrainMitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX 2.4T Diesel 4WD 8spd Auto Wagon$1568.43