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Suzuki Celerio is Australia's cheapest car to run, V8 Nissan Patrol the most expensive

The cheapest car to own in Australia is the Suzuki Celerio according to a new RACV survey.

Owners of the petrol V8 version of the Nissan Patrol are running the most expensive car on the market, a new RACV survey has found.

It costs $443.60 a week to keep the 5.6-litre Nissan Patrol ST-L on the road for five years, including its $90,000 purchase price, loan interest, fuel, new tyres, insurance and depreciation.

According to the 2015 RACV's Driving Your Dollars study, the cheapest car to own is the Suzuki Celerio. With a drive-away price of $12,990, its weekly running costs total $97.65 over five years.

Record low interest rates and falling fuel prices have made owning and driving a car more affordable in the past year, says the RACV. Its survey examined 111 popular vehicles across 13 categories, taking into account all expenses associated with ownership.

RELATED: Australia's cheapest cars to own and run in 2014 

This year's survey found the overall average cost of owning a car was $211.25 a week or 73.2c a kilometre - slightly down on the 2014 cost.

The RACV's manager of vehicle engineering, Michael Case, yesterday advised car buyers to look beyond just the purchase price when shopping for a new car.

"Always be aware of the hidden costs - depreciation is the biggest single cost in owning a car, even if you don't see it until it's time to sell," Mr Case said.

The survey also found that servicing costs have increased.

"It is important to know how much it costs to have your car serviced, to fill the tank, replace tyres, pay insurance, rego, stamp duty, spare parts and RACV membership," Mr Case said.

"Before you hit the showroom, do your homework... Ask yourself: 'Am I buying the car I want or the car I need?'."

Nissan Patrol owner Ryan Mullins, from Bentleigh East, said he was happy with the costs he had to bear.

"I've never had a problem with my Nissan Patrol and the RACV survey wouldn't put me off from buying a new one," Mr Mullins said.

Among the electric and hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius C had the lowest operating cost at $152.60 per week.

RACV calculations were based on private ownership of a vehicle for five years, driving an average of 15,000km a year.

For more complete information on the winners in each class, visit the RACV’s results here.