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UK seventh cheapest country for driving a diesel car in Europe

Ownership costs for both petrol and diesel cars in the UK are among some of the cheapest in Europe, new research finds.


The research compares the most important cost elements, including repairs and maintenance.

According to the LeasePlan CarCost Index, the UK is the seventh cheapest country for driving a diesel car and the eighth cheapest country for driving a petrol out of a total 24 European countries. 

The research compares the most important cost elements, including purchase price, deprecation costs, repairs and maintenance, insurance, taxes and fuel expenses, for the small-to-medium car segment based on the first three years of operational costs and an annual mileage of 20,000km (12,427 miles).

At £598 per month, car owners in the Netherlands pay the most to drive a diesel car, while Hungarians pay the least at £317 per month. Car owners in the UK pay £374 per month to drive a diesel and £396 per month for a petrol.

Overall, the research found the average cost of car ownership can vary by up to £296 per month between the most expensive and cheapest of the 24 European countries surveyed.

In only six of the 24 European countries studied, driving a diesel car is more expensive than driving a petrol car. Although in the UK, the pump price for diesel is more expensive than petrol, LeasePlan said other factors such as fuel economy, and reduced running costs, explain the lower total cost for ownership of a diesel vehicle. 

The study also showed that costs were higher in countries using taxation to clamp down on higher-emission vehicle take-up. For example, in the Netherlands, VAT and road tax add up to 31% of the total costs of driving a diesel car. When it comes to petrol vehicles, Norway – which is the most expensive for driving a petrol – is number one in taxes, which can add up to 29% of the total cost.

The survey also revealed the UK had the second cheapest Service Maintenance and Repair costs across the 24 European countries surveyed. 

However, the single biggest factor affecting ownership costs is depreciation, which is often overlooked when buying a new car or van. Within Europe, the average depreciation costs for small to medium cars represent 37% of the total cost.

LeasePlan added that the figures show the need to consider whole-life costs when making vehicle selections.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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