Motoring organisation the RACQ has found we could all make drastic savings on motoring costs simply by downsizing.
The 2012 Vehicle Running Costs Survey compared the private operating costs of 101 cars from different classes and with different engine types, including LPG, petrol, diesel, hybrid and for the first time, electric.
RACQ’s Steve Spalding said families could save thousands of dollars annually by simply choosing a lighter, smaller car.
“You could save around $32 per week, or $1,707.92 a year by purchasing a medium size car instead of a large car”
“Downsizing from an all-terrain 4WD to a compact SUV could save you $111.67 per week, or $5,807 every year.”
Mr Spalding added that even switching between engine sizes in the same class could mean good savings on running costs – without sacrificing performance.
For example the new four cylinder turbo Falcon costs motorists $240.25 per week, compared to the six cylinder variants $253.26 per week.
That’s a saving of almost $700 per year.
The survey ranked the Suzuki Alto as the cheapest car to own and operate across all vehicle classes, with an operating cost of $116.70 per week or $6,068.29 a year.
The Toyota LandCruiser GXL turbo diesel was the most expensive car, with owners forking out $398.16 per week, or $20,704.29 a year.
The survey also compared a range of new vehicle technologies with the new Toyota Prius-C Hybrid coming out as the cheapest to own and run at $8,309.32 annually.
Not so good news for the only electric vehicle on the local market, the Mitsubishi iMiEV, it fared the worst of the green vehicles because of its expensive $48,000 price tag, and correspondingly high depreciation costs.