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From misers to monsters

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria has just completed its annual cost of ownership survey of a range of current models.

The survey looks at total running cost and is based on vehicles travelling 15,000km a year, which is the Australian average.

It factors in the cost of a typical car loan, depreciation, registration, club membership, comprehensive insurance plus servicing, fuel and tyre costs.

Fuel costs were calculated on an unleaded petrol pump price of $1.26 a litre, $1.31 for diesel and 47c for LPG.

Fuel prices have risen significantly since the survey was finished so true running costs will be even higher.

The survey results show the cheapest car costs about $6000 a year to run, compared to $18,500 for the most expensive.

The most affordable car was Hyundai's Getz at $116.54 a week, followed by Holden's Barina ($120.85) and the Toyota Yaris ($125.88).

Go up a size and Toyota's Corolla was the winner at $154.49, followed by the Ford Focus ($156.49) and Holden Astra ($158.12).

The medium class sector was won by Toyota's Camry at $193.05, followed by the Mazda6 at $197.85, and Honda Accord Euro ($218.07).

Large cars are, as expected, more expensive to run but, surprisingly not that much more.

The best was Mitsubishi's 380 at $200.44, so it is cheaper than the Honda Accord. Toyota's Aurion was next best ($217.60), followed by Ford's Falcon ($229.13).

For large families, the Kia Carnival people mover at $216.68 beat the Honda Odyssey ($228) and Toyota Tarago ($267.61).

Diesel and hybrid cars were cheaper to run but don't forget diesel cars initially cost more and replacement batteries for hybrids are hellishly expensive and have a short lifespan.

The cheapest was the Honda Civic hybrid at $175.29, beating the Toyota Prius at $200.63. A VW Golf diesel was better than the Prius on the wallet at $187.93.

A Ford Falcon running on LPG cost $211.43 a week, while the dual-fuel Commodore came in at $225.10.

The popular compact SUV market was headed by Honda's CRV at $203.86, followed by Nissan's Xtrail ($207.36) and Subaru's Forester ($208.52).

Medium SUVs had the Holden Captiva out in front at $225.16, followed by the Ford Territory ($234.47) and Toyota Prado ($286.16).

At the expensive end of the running cost spreadsheet were the big four-wheel-drives.

The cheapest was Nissan's Patrol at $269.53, while the Toyota LandCruiser cost $357.51 a week.