Costs revealed by LeasePlan

The UK is the seventh cheapest country for driving a diesel car and the eighth cheapest country for driving a petrol car, according to LeasePlan’s CarCost Index 2016.

The Index reveals the cost of driving a diesel car stands at an average of £374, and a petrol car, at an average of £396 per month. The UK also has the second cheapest Service Maintenance and Repair costs across the 24 European countries surveyed.

The LeasePlan CarCost Index 2016 maps out all the cost elements of an automobile in great detail at an international level, drawing upon LeasePlan’s knowledge and experience from its own multi-branded fleet using index methodology.

Within Europe, the average cost of driving a small to medium car can vary as much as £297 per month. The top three most expensive countries for driving a petrol car are Norway (£609), Italy (£583) and Denmark (£579). The ranking of most expensive diesel car countries is led by the Netherlands (£597), followed by Finland (£588) and Norway (£586). It’s noteworthy that in East European countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, the costs of driving a petrol and diesel car are significantly lower, starting at £317 per month.

Depreciation costs are the main contributor to the total cost of car ownership. Within Europe, the average depreciation costs for small to medium cars represent 37% of the total cost. In Hungary, the low overall cost is due primarily to the lower than average purchase price which positively affects the deprecation costs. Road tax and VAT account for 20%, while fuel contributes 16% to the total cost of a car per month. This means that car owners have relatively little influence on the costs as 84% of all expenses are fixed.

Matt Dyer, managing director, LeasePlan UK, ‘An often-overlooked factor when buying a new car or van is depreciation. Yet as we’ve seen in the CarCost Index it’s also the single biggest factor affecting running costs.

‘Indeed, the overall lack of visibility over a vehicle’s running costs, whether taxation, deprecation or maintenance, all need to be considered when weighing up the benefits of car ownership versus leasing or other emerging mobility alternatives.’