How much does a car cost

  • Clear infographic

  • The most important things in a nutshell

  • Including electric cars & natural gas cars

The cost of maintaining a car is often underestimated. Because in addition to the purchase, there are annual expenses for fuel, insurance, taxes and maintenance. We calculate the cost of the car.

There are many advantages to using a car, but it is also associated with regular costs. Here you can find out how the costs are made up and how you can save:

  • You have to reckon with these costs for the car
  • How high are the acquisition costs?
  • How high are the fuel costs?
  • How much does car insurance cost?
  • What does the road tax cost?
  • How much is the loss of value?
  • What are the maintenance costs?
  • The maintenance costs for the car at a glance
  • What are the most expensive & cheapest cars?
  • The five cheapest small cars
  • The five cheapest cars in the lower middle class
  • The five cheapest mid-range cars
  • The most expensive cars
  • Maintenance costs of electric cars and natural gas cars
  • When is an electric car worthwhile?
  • When is a natural gas car worthwhile?

The most important things in a nutshell

  • The maintenance costs for the car consist of acquisition costs, fuel costs and costs for vehicle insurance, taxes, depreciation and maintenance costs.
  • Type class, equipment, your age, your accident risk and your region play a role in the amount of the costs.
  • For a small car or one of the lower middle class, you can expect an average of 200 to 400 euros.
  • The bigger and more powerful your car, the higher the running costs.

You have to reckon with these costs for the car

The cost of maintaining a car is very wide. At first glance, having your own vehicle doesn't seem that expensive, but you have to face considerable follow-up costs every month. You have to consider the following costs and weigh up whether you want to and can finance them in the long term:

  • acquisition cost
  • Fuel costs
  • Car insurance
  • Taxes
  • Depreciation
  • Maintenance costs

Of course, there is no flat-rate specification of what a car costs you per month. Depending on the type class, Equipment, your age, your accident risk and your region you have different expenses. Roughly, you can expect maintenance costs of 200 euros per month for a small car, and often twice as much for a mid-range car.

So that you can roughly classify the costs of your own dream car, we have one rough cost statement for a used VW Golf V in front. Because the model is one of the most popular cars in Germany.

How high are the acquisition costs?

A New car is normally more expensive than a used car, of course. It also has a much higher depreciation. That’s for one used cars Fuel consumption, repair risk and insurance costs are usually higher. Even with safety, manufacturer guarantees and the latest technical standards, used cars cannot score.

Nevertheless, you are usually cheaper to drive a used car: Before you buy, you should have all the important points checked by an expert using our car purchase checklist. Because soon repair or TÜV costs can otherwise quickly become expensive.

For an approximate price idea, you can use the ADAC's list (PDF) with average prices for used cars in 2018 as a guide. You should also consider the cost of vehicle registration and license plates. At around 30 to 50 euros, however, they are not very high overall.

Acquisition costs for the VW Golf V: The Golf V models differ depending on the equipment, engine and mileage. They are between 2,000 and 18,000 euros, on average you can expect around 6,000–7,000 euros.

How high are the fuel costs?

If Petrol or diesel, there is no clear winner here. The fuel costs alone are cheaper with diesel. Acquisition value, taxes and insurance are cheaper with gasoline vehicles. Depending on how much and which model you drive, you have to weigh up: Do the lower diesel fuel costs stand in relation to the higher other costs?

The general rule: The smaller the vehicle and the fewer kilometers traveled, the more it pays off with a gasoline engine. You can also save a lot while driving, for example by always looking for the cheapest petrol stations nearby using the app or website.

Current fuel costs: The average gasoline cost in 2018 was around 1.43 euros per liter. The average diesel price in 2018 was around 1.28 euros. Assuming, for example, 7 l / 100 km and 15,000 km per year, that would have been roughly 1,500 euros in gasoline costs and 1,340 euros in diesel fuel costs in 2018.

How much does car insurance cost?

How much car insurance costs annually depends on many points. These include, among other things Type class, no-claims discount, group of drivers, kilometers driven per year and registration district.

As a novice driver, you pay significantly more, as your risk of accidents is a lot higher. However, you can save by transferring the no-claims discount, an agreed deductible or insuring the car as a second car.

The Motor vehicle liability insurance is required by law and covers damage caused by the operation of your vehicle. Partial and fully comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, are voluntary: Both insurances pay if your own vehicle has been damaged. This could be damage from a wildlife accident or fire, for example.

The Partial insurance covers the most common types of damage. The Fully comprehensive insurance also pays for damage such as vandalism or self-inflicted accident damage to the car. With the latter you are on the safe side, but not necessarily on the cheap. You can check which sum insured you can expect directly in our vehicle insurance calculator.

Car insurance for the VW Golf V: It is not possible to give an exact number because of the many points that influence the topic. The costs can be between 100 and more than 1,000 euros per year. Assuming partial coverage and four years of no-claims class, you can roughly expect 500 euros a year.

What does the road tax cost?

The state uses the revenue from the vehicle tax to improve the infrastructure and preserve the environment. The vehicle tax depends on the size of the engine capacity, the pollutant emissions and the date of first registration. The less polluting your car is, the lower the road tax will be. A higher vehicle tax is therefore payable for diesel cars and (almost) no vehicle tax for electric cars.

Vehicle tax for the VW Golf V: Depending on the initial registration, engine type and cubic capacity, the vehicle insurance can be between 100 and 300 euros per year.

How much is the loss of value?

The depreciation of a new car is enormous. In the first year, its value drops by about 25 percent. Over the years it levels off at five to six percent. The depreciation depends on various points such as the type of vehicle, the image of the manufacturer, the condition compared to the vehicle's age, the number of kilometers or the marketability. With good care and maintenance you can counteract the loss of value in a positive way.

Loss of value for the VW Golf V: The older the car, the lower the amount of loss of value, of course. A VW Golf V from the years 2008/2009 has a current depreciation of around 500 to 1,000 euros per year. But that always depends on the model and thus on the new price.

What are the maintenance costs?

Don't underestimate the maintenance costs: Every two years your car has to go for a general inspection, this costs around 100 euros. Also is once a year An oil change is also due, which can cost you up to 100 euros.

Wear parts like alternators, brakes, exhausts or tires, you will have to replace them over time. Electronics problems are one of the most expensive. An unforeseen marten damage, hailstones or car theft are all costs that are not covered by any insurance or may require a deductible.

Maintenance costs for the VW Golf V: If you assume, depending on the model, mileage and without unusual incidents, around 30 euros per month, that is 360 euros in maintenance costs per year.

The maintenance costs for the car at a glance

All in all, you can expect these maintenance costs for a used VW Golf V: 200 - 300 euros per month (2,400 - 3600 euros per year) if you drive 15,000 kilometers a year.

Our infographic gives you an overview of the costs you will have to pay for buying and maintaining your own car.

What are the most expensive & cheapest cars?

The maintenance costs can be calculated on many websites on the Internet. A reputable source for the costs is the ADAC. The automobile club also annually compiles a list of the cars with the cheapest maintenance costs.

The most expensive cars

Whether you drive a subcompact, small car, mid-range car, or an expensive luxury car has the greatest impact on how high the maintenance costs for your car are per month.

Because a bigger and more powerful car always costs you per month and per kilometer driven more than a smaller car. For example, a heavy off-road vehicle or SUV uses more fuel than a lighter car model. With a luxury sports car, you have to pay high costs for your car insurance and road tax. In addition, workshop and maintenance costs can be higher overall for higher-quality models because an expensive car usually also contains more technology.

The expensive luxury cars therefore cause the most costs on an ongoing basis. In some cases, they even incur more than 1,000 euros for monthly maintenance costs.

Maintenance costs of electric cars and natural gas cars

Electric or natural gas cars score with environmental friendliness. From a cost perspective, however, they are not always a cheap alternative.

When is an electric car worthwhile?

Electric cars are significantly more expensive to buy. Despite the environmental bonus, they often cost twice as much as a gasoline or diesel engine. That's what they are for Maintenance costs cheaper:

  • Electricity costs less than conventional fuels. Of course, that always depends on the electricity price.
  • Vehicles registered between 2016 and 2020 are 10 years old exempt from road tax.
  • Some Insurance companies offer discounts for electric cars at. Because the cars are quite new, it is almost always advisable to take out fully comprehensive insurance, which is, however, more expensive.
  • To the Depreciation There's not much that can be said yet because the number of electric cars is still quite manageable.
  • The Maintenance costs are lowerbecause there are hardly any wearing parts and few moving elements. There is no need to change oil or filters.

If you drive a lot, the additional costs of an electric car are definitely worth it after a few years. For many, however, an electric car only pays off when its production costs become cheaper.

When is a natural gas car worthwhile?

A natural gas car is also significantly more expensive in terms of acquisition or conversion costs. On the other hand, natural gas is not only more environmentally friendly, but also cheaper than petrol, diesel or LPG. But keep in mind that the network of filling stations that offer natural gas is still quite small. You should therefore plan your trip well, especially when you are abroad.

Usually you can every car with a gasoline engine retrofit. But that's not exactly cheap. Roughly it can be said that there is a renovation from around 50,000-60,000 kilometers driven worth it.

Save maintenance costs

The cost of maintaining a car is not cheap. But there are also ways to save costs:

  • Calculate before you buy what costs you would have to pay per month.
  • Check the carbefore you buy it. After all, bargains do not necessarily remain bargains in retrospect.
  • Drive environmentally friendly, that also saves your wallet. There are also some tricks to get around To save fuelas you can read in our guide.
  • Take advantage of discounts on insurance like the transfer of the no-claims bonus.
  • Always compare the fuel prices.

If the maintenance costs for a car still seem too expensive to you, you can alternatively carry out a leasing calculation.

We wish you a good trip all the time! Your Allianz Direct

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