What are the cheapest vehicles to own and run?

They say a car is a constant investment. Once a new vehicle is bought and paid for, fuel costs, insurance and maintenance charges persistently ask the question: did I make the right decision?

For the consumer, constantly wondering if your vehicle is as cost-effective as other models is a personal headache. For a fleet manager, the accumulated cost that can come from poor vehicle choices is more like an unforgiving migraine.

That's why it is important to choose a vehicle that is the perfect fit for your fleet, has a high safety standard, but also provides value for money in the long term.

The RAC recently released a series of reports showing the cheapest cars to own and run in Australia today, giving fleet managers an insight into ways to reduce overall operating costs through vehicle procurement.

The most recent August report took into account the government's withdrawal of a $2,000 rebate on the purchase price of LPG vehicles to create an up-to-date list and help the consumer make informed decisions.

Small to medium vehicles

In the smallest vehicle size category, the Holden Barina Spark was found to be the most cost-effective with an overall operating cost (OOC) per week of $111.76. The leader of the light vehicle category was the Suzuki Swift GL with an OOC of $124.02.

German manufacturer Volkswagen proved its famous efficiency with the Golf 90 TSI topping the small vehicle group with an OOC of $154.58, whereas the Volkswagen Jetta 118 TSI beat other medium-sized competitors with an OOC of $174.51.

Heavy vehicles

The Holden Commodore Evoke proved to be the most cost-efficient large vehicle with an OOC of $233.12, and the Honda Odyssey VTi was impressively cheaper, despite its larger size, to top the people mover category by costing an average of $222.86 per week.

Three different manufacturers produced the most efficient SUVs. The Ford Ecosport Ambiente championed small and low-cost SUVs ($159.82), whereas the Mitsubishi Outlander ES topped the medium category ($206.84) and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 led large SUV efficiency ($282.06).

For those in the market for a ute, the Ford Falcon FG proved to be the most efficient 2WD option, scoring an OOC of $204.68, while the Toyota Hilux SR topped the 4WD group, costing an average of $260.49 per week.

Fleet managers contemplating hybrid cars may wish to look at the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which was found to have an OOC of $257.37 per week, while simultaneously ranking sixth in Australia's top performing green cars, according to Green Vehicle Guide.

To learn more about vehicle procurement and reducing costs through fleet maintenance, take a look at Smartfleet's managed services and contact us with any questions.