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Results Of AA 2000-2001 Car Operating Cost Survey

For immediate release 15 February 2001

- Big-car owners the winners

Despite the recent petrol cost roller-coaster ride big car owners were the surprising winners in the annual AA survey of car operating costs.

This year¡¦s survey results appear in the latest issue of Directions magazine, which is being mailed out to over 560,000 AA member households this week.

The cost of owning a small car (up to 1300cc) rose a hefty 8.7 per cent in the last twelve months, compared with just 0.26 per cent last year.

Big car owners. on the other hand, were much luckier, enjoying a 1.1 per cent drop in costs, compared with an 11.9 per cent rise last year.

The reason for the reduction was a 5.88 per cent drop in new car prices in that category. Smaller/medium car prices also fell, but only marginally at 0.62 per cent.
New car prices in the Under 1300cc and 1301-1600cc categories increased by 7.88 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

The yearly AA survey looks at the costs of running a petrol-powered vehicle for twelve months, travelling 12,000 kilometres (the New Zealand average). It includes fixed costs, such as the annual licensing fee, WoF, depreciation, and insurance, and running costs, such as petrol, oil, tyres, repairs, and maintenance.

The figures were calculated on 9 January 2001, using an average petrol price at that time of $1.01 per litre.

Travelling 12,000km a year, owners of cars under 1300cc can expect to pay an average cost per kilometre of 51.1 cents. (That equates to $117.92 per week or $6,132 a year, and is up 8.72 per cent on last years¡¦ figure of 47 cents).
For motorists with cars 1301cc to 1600cc, the average cost per kilometre is 63.1 cents. (That equates to $145.63 per week or $7,573 per year, and is up 3.46 per cent on last year¡¦s figure of 61 cents.)
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For a car 1601cc to 2000cc, the average cost per kilometre is 81.1 cents. (That equates to $187.19 per week or $9,734 per year, and is up 8.01 per cent on last year¡¦s 75.1 cents.)

For cars over 2000cc, motorists can expect to pay 93.3 cents a kilometre. (That equates to $215.36 per week or $11,199 per year, and is down 1.13 per cent on last year¡¦s 94.4 cents.)

For the first time the survey has included budget-priced tyres. This is in response to requests from members and is reflected in a 16.4 per cent drop in tyre prices.

The full results of this year¡¦s AA Car Operating Costs Survey appear in the Autumn 2001 edition of the Association¡¦s member magazine AA Directions.

NOTE: Further details of this year¡¦s survey appear in the attached table.

„± The figures are for petrol-powered vehicles only, travelling at an average 12,000 km in the year.

„± The figures were calculated on 9 January 2001, and reflect an average petrol price at that time of $1.01 per litre.

„± Since the figures are averages, cars in the same size category can differ in such areas as fuel consumption, repair costs, and insurance premiums.

„± The figures do not include parking or garaging costs.

(Petrol Driven Vehicles)

Estimated On 12,000km Per Year, First 5 Years of Ownership

Engine Capacity Up to 1300cc 1301-1600cc 1601-2000cc Over 2000cc

Average price of a new car including registration $20,042 $26,718 $36,662 $43,451

Average value at start of third year $12,988 $17,314 $23,758 $28,157
Annual Relicensing $207 $207 $207 $207
Insurance - Comprehensive, No Claim $508 $564 $610 $627
Warrant of Fitness annually at $30 for the First 6 Years $30 $30 $30 $30
Total Outlay $13,733 $18,115 $24,605 $29,021
Interest on outlay at 8.6% $1,181 $1,558 $2,116 $2,496
Capital Cost (outlay + interest) $14,914 $19,673 $26,721 $31,517
Depreciation (at 19.5% from average value) at 3rd year $2,533 $3,376 $4,633 $5,491
Depreciated Value $10,455 $13,938 $19,125 $22,667
Total Fixed Cost $4,459 $5,735 $7,596 $8,850
Fixed Costs Per Day $12.22 $15.71 $20.81 $24.25

Petrol - Litres used per 100km 6.6 7.3 9.1 10.9
Car consumption (litres used per 12,000km) 792 876 1092 1308
Petrol cost (at $1.01 per litre [9 Jan 2001]) $803.09 $888.26 $1,107.29 $1,326.31
Oil (at $7.60 per litre - 1 litre per 2,500km = 4.8 ltrs used) $36.48 $36.48 $36.48 $36.48
Tyres - Estimated life of 40,000km (cost per year) $130.58 $151.35 $157.18 $162.77
Repairs & Maintenance (includes service oil changes)
to maintain car in reliable operating condition $703.18 $761.78 $836.87 $823.88
Total Running Costs $1,673.32 $1,837.87 $2,137.83 $2,349.44

Running Cost per Kilometre 13.9c 15.3c 17.8c 19.6c

FIXED COSTS PLUS RUNNING COSTS $6,132 $7,573 $9,734 $11,199

Divided by 12,000km = cents per km op costs 51.1c 63.1c 81.1c 93.3c

Previous year 47.0c 61.0c 75.1c 94.4c

Percentage Difference Over Last Year + 8.72% + 3.46% + 8.01% - 1.13%


Costs have risen an average of 4.8% since May 2000.

10,000 57.5c 69.1c 89.7c $1.05
12,000 51.1c 63.1c 81.1c 93.3c
20,000 32.7c 39.7c 51.3c 58.1c
30,000 24.9c 29.8c 38.4c 43.1c
40,000 19.7c 23.1c 30.0c 33.8c
50,000 18.5c 21.3c 27.2c 31.0c

(as at 9 January 2001)

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