Each year, the RACV’s Annual Car Running Costs Survey reveals Victoria’s cheapest car to own and operate. This year, the winner is MG’s MG3 Core light Hatch. The RACV’s calculations have the cost of owning the little MG at $734.84 per month.

This figure takes into account purchase price, loan repayments, registration fees, insurance, fuel or charging costs, tyres, servicing and repairs and auto club membership. This is all averaged out over five years.

Still, even with a relatively weak retained value, the MG3 certainly provides a compelling case to savvy buyers. Kia’s Picanto and Suzuki’s Baleno were also just a few pennies more than the MG. Importantly, the survey also showed that, while costing another few hundred dollars or so per month to run, Toyota’s Corolla Ascent Sport ($950.93) and Camry Ascent Sedan ($1,123.26) provide cheap-ish motoring with the added benefit of rock-star resale.

What isn’t taken into account is resale value. This, I believe, would see some of the also-rans competing at the pointy end of what is a major award and something that many buyers will take into consideration when purchasing their next new car. It is a lost opportunity to provide a fuller picture of the cost of ownership and something that the Club should definitely consider adding to their analysis.

Here’s the whole list. Is your car on it?

SegmentCheapest VehicleMonthly running cost
Light carsMG3 Core 1.5 4sp auto hatch$734.84
Small carsToyota Corolla Ascent Sport 2.0 CVT hatch$950.93
Medium-sized carsToyota Camry Ascent Sedan 2.5 8sp auto petrol$1,123.26
People moversHyundai Staria 3.5 V6 FWD 8SP auto$1,563.65
Electric carsMG ZS EV$1,149.00
Small SUVKia Stonic S 1.4 6sp auto FWD$905.89
Medium SUVToyota RAV4 GXL 2.0 FWD CVT$1,245.08
Large SUVSubaru Outback 2.5 AWD CVT MY23$1,415.43
All-terrain vehicle (4×4)Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX 2.4 t/dsl 8sp auto$1,563.51
Light commercial (4×2)Mitsubishi Triton GLX 2.4 T/dsl 6sp auto 4X2 dual cab pickup$1,419.23
Light commercial (4×4)GWM Cannon 2.0 T/dsl 4×4 8 sp auto dual-cab pickup$1,451.05