LITTLE cars mean big savings for Queensland drivers.

There is a huge divide between the state's five cheapest and five dearest cars to run.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of RACQ data reveals the Suzuki Celerio - at $99.77 - is the only car that costs less than $100 a week to own while the most expensive - the Nissan Patrol Y62 - will set you back an average $443.46 a week to operate.

The figures take into account purchase price, interest, fuel, new tyres, insurance and depreciation.

Rounding out the five cheapest cars to own are the Mitsubishi Mirage, costing $112.96 a week to run; the Holden Barina Spark CD ($117.69); the Nissan Micra ST ($124.08); and the Fiat 500 Pop ($126.03).


Joining the Nissan Patrol on the dearest list are the petrol Toyota Landcruiser GXL ($366.94 a week); the diesel version ($366.94); the Nissan Patrol GU ($324.09); and the Hyundai Genesis ($317.08).

APN Australian Regional Media motoring expert Iain Curry urged new car buyers to do their homework before signing on the dotted line.

"Analyse what you'll need from your car in the short and long term," the vehicle reviewer and journalist said.

"For example, will you be travelling long or short journeys, do you really need those extra seats and luggage space, and do you need 4WD capability?

"Once you've established that, identify the market segment which suits those needs."

Mr Curry said doing a simple comparison could save thousands of dollars.

"Compare models within that segment, taking fuel consumption, servicing and depreciation into consideration," he said.

"Websites, magazines and newspapers give excellent, unbiased expert reviews for all cars for sale in Australia, so make sure you do your research and go armed with knowledge to a dealership."

Mr Curry said shopping around and striking a bargain would also help the bank balance.

"Look for dealer finance and special promotion offers, and don't be afraid to haggle," he said.

"We have over 60 car manufacturers selling in Australia and they all want your business."

RACQ technical and safety policy executive manager Steve Spalding said new car buyers should consider depreciation and fuel costs when choosing a new car.

"Unlike the weekly fuel bill, depreciation is a hidden cost that most owners don't think enough about and it only becomes apparent when the vehicle is traded," Mr Spalding said. 

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