Car cost varies up to €344 per month across Europe
Norway is the most expensive country in Europe to drive a petrol car, Hungary the cheapest. On average, Norwegians pay €708 per month – almost double the amount for Hungarians, who fork out €364.
If you're Dutch and you like diesel, you've got bad luck: at an average of €695 per month, the Netherlands is the most expensive country in Europe to operate a diesel car. Again, Hungary is cheapest, at €369 per month to drive a diesel.
Those are just a few of the findings in the LeasePlan CarCost Index 2016, which lists the costs of car ownership in 24 European countries, for both petrol and diesel.
Drawing on LeasePlan’s continent-wide, multi-brand knowledge and experience, the study details all cost elements – price, depreciation, repairs and maintenance, insurance, taxes, fuel cost, etc. - for vehicles in the small-to-medium segment, e.g. Renault Clio, Opel Corsa, VW Golf or Ford Focus. The analysis is based on the first three years of operational costs and an annual mileage of 20,000 km.
Some key findings:
- The average cost of operating a car in Europe can vary by as much as €344 per month. Italy (€678) and Denmark (€673) are also very expensive for petrol cars, and Finland (€684) and Norway (€681) for diesel cars.
- Driving a petrol or diesel car is significantly cheaper in Eastern Europe, with cost starting at €369 per month.
- At a Europe-wide average of 37%, depreciation is the main TCO factor, followed by road tax and VAT (20%), followed by fuel (16%).
- Diesel is more expensive in 6 of the 24 countries. The fuel itself is cheaper, but taxes, insurance and maintenance drive up TCO.
- Road tax and VAT correlate significantly with overall TCO. Both are high in Italy, the Netherlands and the Nordics, and low in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic. This indicates the 'greening' effect of taxation, which adds 31% to diesel car TCO in the Netherlands, and 29% to petrol car TCO in Norway.
- Repair and maintenance cost is highest in Sweden, where it takes up 15% (€85) of the total cost per month. Turkey has the lowest repair and maintenance costs at € 28 per month. Labour cost explains the difference between both extremes.
- Switzerland has the highest insurance costs in Europe: up to €117 per month, for both diesel and petrol. Sweden – generally an expensive country but also one which prioiritises safety – has the lowest insurance costs, at € 39 per month for a diesel vehicle.
- -Average monthly fuel cost in Europe is €100 for petrol, €67 for diesel. High fuel tax makes Italy the most expensive place for petrol (€136). Large domestic oil reserves make Russia the cheapest country for petrol (€54). Poland is cheapest for diesel, at just €49.
“Depreciation and lack of control over cost are two factors that raise doubts about the benefits of car ownership over leasing or other mobility alternatives”, says LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning, (pictured). “Our presence throughout the automotive value chain and our global scale allow us to manager our lease vehicles very cost-comptetively and indeed at a lower naked cost than purchasing”.
Image copyright: LeasePlan