When it comes to budgeting for your new car, it is important to factor in ongoing car operating expenses – how much will you need to pay to keep your new car on the road once it belongs to you? With all the pressure that comes with shopping for your new car and haggling over price, it is easy to forget about ‘hidden’ costs, such as loan interest repayments and depreciation, which affect a vehicle’s long-term affordability.
There are many factors that contribute to the ongoing costs of car ownership, including standing costs (finance, insurance, depreciation, roadside assistance and registration) and running costs (tyres, fuel, servicing and repairs). The ongoing costs of your new car will depend on what kind of car you buy and how much you drive it.
A recent survey conducted by the RACV calculated the weekly cost of owning and running selected vehicles based on a five-year period and 15,000km per year travel distance. The results ranged from around $115 for a small hatchback like the Hyundai Getz, to over $300 for the Toyota Landcruiser and other large SUVs. Ongoing weekly expenses for most medium-sized cars were estimated at around $200 - $250.
These costs are constantly shifting, so it is worth doing some research to get an up-to-the-minute assessment of how much your chosen model will cost you per week. Many websites offer tools to help you come up with a personalized evaluation, so you can decide exactly what kind of car you can afford.
With the rising price of fuel becoming a particular drain on car owners in Australia, many consumers are opting to downsize in the hope of reducing their weekly expenses. If ongoing costs are a concern, it might be worth considering a smaller and more fuel-efficient car, such as the Kia Magentis or Toyota Camry Altise – both medium-sized and relatively inexpensive to run.