The cost of running a car is not something you can answer easily. And, this is just passenger cars, commercial vehicle costs are a completely different story.
In Europe, the costs to run a car can range from €440 a month in Greece to €830 a month in Norway. Read more about how European countries compare in the 2019 Car Cost Index. There are a few common car cost factors. These are: depreciation, taxation, fuel, insurance and repairs and maintenance. So let’s dive deeper into each cost component.
When looking at car running costs depreciation is quite often a forgotten factor when you own a car for personal use. But, for business cars you should always take it into account as it will represent your largest monthly car cost. Newer cars lose their value quickly and depreciation can represent anywhere between 32% to more than 50% of your monthly car costs.
On average taxes will account for 17-20% of your running costs. But, what you pay in taxes depends on the country and city you live in. Most countries have car registration tax and different tax brackets depending on your car’s CO2 emissions. Keep in mind that some countries, like Australia, also have luxury car taxes for cars over a certain price.
Your car’s fuel (petrol, diesel or electricity) accounts for around 14% of your monthly car costs. Here, choosing the right car for your needs is important. What you spend on fuel will vary per month it really depends on, how many kilometres you drive, your driving behaviour, the area you live (road conditions) and the price of fuel in your area. In some cases it might be more economical to drive electric over petrol or diesel and a relaxed driving style will always help save on fuel costs.
Insurance costs like third party insurance are incredibly important and represent around 12% of your monthly costs. Your insurance will also cover any damage related repairs.
General repairs, maintenance and tyre costs represent around 6-9% of your total monthly costs. If your car is under warranty, normally 3 years, repairs will be covered, but routine maintenance, inspections and services (tyre & oil changes) are not included.
Other costs you might expect:
If you’re leasing you pay a small monthly fee for administration and customer support. If you have purchased your car with a loan you will need to pay interest each month. These two combined are around 5% of your monthly car costs.
Of course, costs aren’t everything! Personal taste, driving experience, making sustainable choices and the way you initially fund your car are also important.