Welcome to the National Roads & Motorists’ Association

About 2014 Car Operating Costs

NRMA Motoring & Services has conducted a survey of vehicle operating costs for over 2,000 vehicles using 13 popular categories as reported by VFACTS - an automotive industry body. The vehicles have been sorted into 24 classes to help make selecting a new car easier. NRMA reserves the right to amend vehicle class information where appropriate.

Calculations are for private ownership in New South Wales and The Australian Capital Territory, based on an annual distance of 15,000 kilometres which is "the approximate national average distance travelled" according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Other factors included to calculate the running cost are an ownership period of 5 years, the average retail price for the vehicle and the following elements.

Components of Operating Costs

Standing costs

Depreciation

Depreciation is calculated using the vehicle manufacturers' recommended retail price plus dealer and statutory charges including Luxury Car Tax or the advertised drive away price where available; less the forecast residual value for each model. Short term special offer pricing has not been included.

Opportunity Interest

Loss in interest from the capital consumed by depreciation is calculated using an interest rate of 7.05%. There has been no provision for the borrowing expense of the capital.

Fixed costs

Vehicle Registration, CTP Insurance and NRMA Membership

Private registration rates from the NSW RMS and ACT Road Transport Authority and CTP estimates for NSW/ACT where the owner is aged between 29 and 55 (GST has been included) are used along with NRMA Classic Care Membership rates.

Variable costs

Maintenance Repairs

Vehicle maintenance costs are calculated using manufacturers' recommended service schedules using retail prices and include a range of replacement parts(e.g. tyres and brake components) required for average city driving conditions.

Note: Fixed Price Service costing has been incorporated where available.

Fuel

The amount of fuel used is calculated using Australian Design Rule ADR82/01. Figures include an appropriate factor to allow for variations in driving styles and conditions as per previous surveys. Where ADR82/01 data is not available, average fuel consumption is taken from road tests and research carried out by NRMA Motoring & Services. Average cost of fuel per kilometre is then calculated using the average price per litre for the recommended fuel type for each vehicle using values in the following table.

 Fuel prices for 2014 survey
Type NSW ACT
Unleaded Petrol 151.50 156.50
Premium Unleaded Petrol 95 RON 161.50 166.50
Liquid Petroleum Gas 78.00 83.00
Diesel 161.70 166.20

Predicting fuel cost for the next 12 months is difficult with the impact of larger global events, hurricanes or conflict and the widespread campaigns of fuel discounting particularly in the larger cities. The cost of fuel can fluctuate wildly depending on where and when you buy fuel.
To estimate the effect of these changes on the costs in this report, use this table to add or subtract from the Private Operating Costs weekly changes in fuel costs separated by fuel type.

For example if the price of unleaded petrol changes from $1.50 to $1.55 per litre for a Micro Car Class Vehicle from this table add 0.31 cents per kilometre or $0.90 to the weekly running costs.

The same vehicle using Diesel for every 5 cent change in the price of fuel add or subtract 0.24 cents per kilometre or $0.70 to the weekly fuel/ running costs.
 Change in running costs per 5 cents fuel price change
Vehicle Segment Fuel type  Cents/km $/week
Micro car Diesel  24 $0.70
Micro car Premium ULP 28 $0.82
Micro car ULP 31 $0.90
Light car Diesel 25 $0.73
Light car Premium ULP 35 $1.00
Light car ULP  34 $0.97
Small Car under $35K Diesel  30 $0.87
Small car under $35K Premium ULP 36 $1.03
Small car under $35K ULP 40 $0.85
Small car over $35K Diesel  29 $1.05
Small car over $35K Premium ULP 37 $1.05
Small car over $35K ULP 32 $0.94
Medium car under $50K Diesel  34 $0.98
Medium car under $50K Premium ULP 42 $1.20
Medium car under $50K ULP 43 $1.25
Medium car over $50K Diesel  29 $0.84
Medium car over $50K Premium ULP 39 $1.14
Medium car over $50K ULP 07 $0.20
Large car under $70K Diesel  34 $0.98
Large car under $70K LPG 70 $2.01
Large car under $70K Premium ULP 62 $1.79
Large car under $70K ULP 54 $1.57
Large car over $70K Diesel  34 $0.97
Large car over $70K Premium ULP 49 $1.43
Large car over $70K ULP 30 $0.86
Family wagon Diesel  43 $1.25
Family wagon Premium ULP 55 $1.58
Family wagon ULP 52 $1.50
Sports under $50K Diesel 34 $0.98
Sports under $50K Premium ULP 40 $1.17
Sports under $50K ULP 39 $1.12
Sports $50-$100K Diesel 29 $0.82
Sports $50-$100K Premium ULP 43 $1.23
Sports over $100K Diesel 34 $0.98
Sports over $100K Premium ULP 54 $1.55
Hot HB-Sed-Wag under $50K  Diesel  30 $0.87
Hot HB-Sed-Wag under $50K Premium ULP 41 $1.17
Hot HB-Sed-Wag under $50K ULP 39 $1.11
Hot HB-Sed-Wag $50-$100K Diesel  30 $0.87
Hot HB-Sed-Wag $50-$100K Premium ULP  64 $1.85
Hot HB-Sed-Wag over $100K Premium ULP 61 $1.76
2WD SUV under $35K Diesel 34 $0.97
2WD SUV under $35K >Premium ULP 42 $1.20
2WD SUV under $35K ULP  45 $1.30
2WD SUV over $35K Diesel  35 $1.01
2WD SUV over $35K Premium ULP  46 $1.33
2WD SUV over $35K ULP  56 $1.61
AWD SUV under $45K Diesel  42 $1.22
AWD SUV under $45K Premium ULP  48 $1.37
AWD SUV under $45K ULP 51 $1.48
AWD SUV $45-$65K Diesel 44 $1.28
AWD SUV $45-$65K Premium ULP 50 $1.43
AWD SUV $45-$65K ULP 59 $1.70
AWD SUV over $65K Diesel 44 $1.27
AWD SUV over $65K Premium ULP 63 $1.81
AWD SUV over $65K ULP 71 $2.06
Utility-Cab Chassis 2WD  Diesel  47 $1.36
Utility-Cab Chassis 2WD LPG 80 $2.31
Utility-Cab Chassis 2WD Premium ULP 72 $2.07
Utility-Cab Chassis 2WD ULP 64 $1.86
Utility-Cab Chassis 4WD  Diesel  52 $1.49
Utility-Cab Chassis 4WD  ULP 66 $1.90
Van Diesel  44 $1.28
Van Premium ULP 46 $1.32
Van ULP 62 $1.79
Light bus Diesel 46 $1.32
Light bus ULP 72 $2.07

Green Vehicle Guide

Greenhouse Gas and Pollution are shown against each vehicle to allow for a more informed comparison to be made. See www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au for more information.

ANCAP

ANCAP ratings are a guide to the protection offered to the occupants in a crash. NRMA recommends a four, preferably five star ANCAP rating. For more information go to ancap.com.au.

Note: ANCAP ratings are provided by a third party and whilst all care has been taken NRMA accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions and readers are advised to make their own enquires on the crash ratings of a particular vehicle. ESC is required for a five star ANCAP rating. 

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Availability of ESC is shown as Std (Standard), Opt (Optional) or N/A (Not Available). There is extensive research that shows ESC offers a significant safety benefit to all road users so NRMA believes that it should be on every vehicle purchaser's list.

For more information email mis@mynrma.com.au

Back to Car Operating Costs >