Lower petrol prices have helped soften the hip-pocket hurt for Australian motorists.
The latest RACV survey on vehicle running costs shows that cars are on average 7 per cent cheaper to own and operate this year compared to last year.
This translates into real savings of $16.61 a week for popular small and medium size cars.
Large cars and four-wheel drives too are cheaper but still figure as among the most expensive vehicles to operate.
For the third year in a row, the Hyundai Getz remains the cheapest car to run and own, with the Toyota LandCruiser diesel the most expensive.
The popular baby Korean car costs $114.65 weekly, $8.18 cheaper than last year.
The LandCruiser four-wheel drive diesel costs $366.05 weekly, but it too is cheaper compared to $401.53 last year.
The RACV says lower petrol prices, lower interest rates and good new car deals helped soften overall costs.
RACV chief engineer, Michael Case, said the drop was the first "in recent memory".
"I'm pleasantly surprised," he said.
"It means at a time of tough economic conditions, consumers are having a win."
Not surprisingly, of the 75 cars surveyed, the best performers are from the light and small-car classes and the worst performers large four-wheel drives.
At $171.92 weekly, the LPG Falcon ute was the cheapest in the ute category and large car sections.
The six-cylinder locals were well down the overall list but family favourite Holden Commodore again scored a narrow win over the Ford Falcon.
The Falcon costs $231.31 weekly against $226.29 for the Commodore.
However, the Falcon and Commodore work utes are cheaper to operate than their sedan cousins.
A Falcon ute costs $187.22 weekly while a Holden ute costs $187.63 a week.
Case said utes are cheaper to buy and have better resale values, bolstering their overall rating.
Much-hyped hybrids fared comparatively poorly against petrol cars.
Because of the depreciation on their higher showroom price, hybrids trail the fuel misers in the small car class.
A Toyota Prius costs $203.47 a week compared to an equivalent size Toyota Corolla, which costs $156.11 a week.
The diesel versus petrol debate too was sharply illustrated by the Hyundai i30.
The i30 diesel costs $151.66 weekly, $5.71 more than its petrol stablemate.
However, at $224.88 weekly the Holden Captiva diesel was just 56 cents more expensive than the petrol version.
The Honda Odyssey bucked the downward trend though, with costs rising from $239.36 last year to $243.90 this year, largely because the newer model is $4700 more expensive.
The RACV survey looks at the cost of fuel, tyres, servicing, spare parts, insurance, registration and depreciation.
WHAT YOUR CAR COSTS TO RUN*
Hyundai Getz $114.65
Honda Jazz $126.92
Ford Fiesta $126.70
Holden Barina $123.33
Toyota Yaris $122.27
Ford Focus $160.48
Hyundai i30 petrol $145.95
Honda Civic hybrid $182.82
Mitsubishi Lancer $155.18
Holden Epica petrol $187.04
Toyota Camry 2.4 $191.83
Ford Mondeo petrol $199.50
Subaru Liberty 2.5 $204.99
Honda Accord Euro $212.04
Ford Falcon petrol $231.31
Holden Commodore petrol $226.29
Toyota Aurion V6 $216.39
Ford Falcon petrol $187.22
Holden Commodore petrol $187.63
Mitsubishi Triton 4x2 $187.95
Toyota HiLux 4x2 $190.07
Honda CRV $203.72
Subaru Forester $194.95
Toyota RAV4 $207.39
Nissan X-Trail $217.21
Hyundai Tucson $179.08
Ford Territory 4spd $221.50
Mitsubishi Pajero $262.00
Holden Captiva petrol $224.52
Toyota Kluger $239.41
Toyota Prado petrol $270.73
* RACV figures; weekly cost