What Should You Know About Car Running Costs in Australia?

Author : Amelia Grace | Published On : 10 Jan 2022

If you are looking to buy a new car, you can regard it as an essential decision that you should not take lightly.

In addition to the cost of the car, you need to consider the servicing costs. You will find many car models in Australia, and the associated costs for different models are different.

As such, you should brush up on your knowledge of the servicing costs of different models as that will help you make a car service estimate.

In this context, here are a few aspects to consider:

New Car Warranties

Every new car carries a warranty. And, there is a misconception. You often hear that servicing your car with a mechanic other than the dealer in the warranty period will void the warranty. In this context, you can refer to the existing law. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) states that any qualified independent mechanic can carry out logbook servicing and repairs on new cars adhering to manufacturer specifications. And it will not negatively affect your warranty. It can be a good idea to get your car serviced through an independent mechanic as the servicing charge is cheaper than that of a dealer.

Running Costs: Small Cars

The living costs are increasing steadily. So, people are trying to save money on expenses, like cars.

Lower maintenance costs and the need for smaller parking spaces have become the encouragement for many Australians to purchase smaller cars, which are fuel-efficient and inexpensive.

As such, sales of small cars have increased during the last few years. And manufacturers have frequently added new models to cater to the growing demand for small cars.

But, is the idea that purchasing a small car will lead to lower maintenance costs is true? Let us delve a bit deeper into the concept.

The small car segment includes some of the best selling vehicles of top brands. However, you will find the Hyundai i30 an expensive car to run out of small cars due to its 1.6-litre engine, which consumes significant fuel.

Although Volkswagen has a better fuel efficiency, its servicing costs are higher, offsetting the cost benefits of fuel efficiency.

Again, the Toyota Corolla requires servicing every 6 months or 10,000km. But, other cars need servicing every 9 or 12 months.

Recently, Mazda has moved to a 12-month servicing interval, retaining the 10,000km interval. Therefore, if you purchase a used Mazda second hand, ensure to check the service intervals noted in the logbook and get the servicing done accordingly.

Running Costs: Medium & Large Cars

Today, the demand for medium and large car segments in Australia has subdued due to the erosion of popularity.

Due to the shrinking demand, Ford, Holden and Toyota have closed their factories. Many people now prefer fuel-efficient cars or diesel-powered SUVs to lower car running costs. Factors such as smaller family sizes, increase in fuel prices, and higher cost of living have prompted most Australians to reduce their vehicle running costs.

Despite the erosion in popularity, you can still get fuel-efficient medium and large cars due to Japanese and European brands stepping in. For example, Skoda Octavia and Subaru Liberty have introduced such cars with the fuel efficiency of smaller cars.

Running Costs: SUVs

The SUV segment is growing strong in Australia. As SUVs come with 5 or 7 seats, they are a great alternative to the traditional van. But, what about the servicing costs?

The Nissan X-Trail and the Toyota RAV require servicing every six months and are expensive to service. The VW Tiguan needs servicing every 60,000 km.

Moreover, you should consider other maintenance components such as tyres and brakes before purchasing an SUV, as they can be more expensive.

Regardless of any model, you prefer to buy, you need to make a car service cost comparison beforehand as that will give you an idea of the servicing costs you will have to incur.


It is a good idea to keep car running costs low. So, you should examine the servicing costs to figure out your expenditure to run your car.