The most recent analysis has shown that, in Europe, the largest share of costs for cars and vans driving on petrol or diesel are the depreciation costs, at just over 40%. In second place are fuel costs at almost 20%, repair and maintenance have a respectable third place at 14.6%, insurance scores 12.2%, and interest 8.2%.
Vans vs. Cars
Looking at light commercial vehicles only, however, depreciation costs for these are lower than average at 35.5% of total cost of ownership. In general, depreciation for cars is higher than for vans, and this is especially true for premium cars. For example, the analysis shows that the average depreciation for a Mercedes E-class is 51% of total cost of ownership, while the average depreciation for a Volkswagen Polo is 32%. This is probably partly due to the fact that demand for second hand luxury cars is lower than for volume brands (due to relatively high subsequent maintenance and insurance costs).
At 24.7% of total cost of ownership, fuel costs for vans are higher than for cars. This cost difference is due to the relatively larger and stronger engines with which vans are equipped, resulting in higher fuel consumption.
The highs and lows of depreciations costs
Of all European countries considered in LeasePlan’s analysis, Finland scores highest on depreciation costs at 53%. Sweden comes in second at 51%, while Romania (34%) and Italy (27%) rank lowest. The high depreciation costs in Nordic countries is mainly due to their inclination to drive larger premium cars, equipped with all add-ons, making these cars expensive and increasing depreciation costs.
Maybe the most surprising result from our analysis was that, although having one of the highest fuel prices in Europe, The Netherlands has the lowest share of fuel cost in the total cost of ownership: a mere 14.4%. This is a direct result of governmental restrictions on CO2 emissions and tax advantages on environmentally friendly vehicles. These measures have resulted in a wide uptake of hybrid vehicles. This in turn has led to a drop in fuel consumption.