Car maintenance costs - These are the "Total Costs of Ownership"

Florian Fratzscher - April 7, 2021

#AutoAbo #TotalCost of Ownership

Dream car selected, bought and you’re done with paying bills? No way! The additional costs for a car are often underestimated. After all, in addition to the purchase, there are expenses for fuel, insurance, taxes, and maintenance.

For many, the purchase of a car is unavoidable, because the journey to the workplace or the coordination of family life often can not do without a vehicle. Company cars are also usually the best option for businesses and their employees to stay as close to their customers as possible.

The use of a car offers many advantages and ensures individual mobility. However, buying a car is extremely expensive. Unfortunately, this is not the end of the cost spiral, because a car can also become really expensive in terms of running costs. Especially if you forget to add these expenses into your equation, nasty surprises can quickly arise. 

To help you avoid unexpected costs, we present the common cost model: 'Total Cost of Ownership'.

If you want to make things easy for yourself and you don’t want to worry about costs at all, then a car subscription from CARIFY is just right for you. This way you save yourself and your company unpleasant surprises and at the same time you are super flexible in your mobility.

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The cost of buying a car is just the beginning

Car maintenance costs can vary widely. In fact, it's often the case that buying your own vehicle doesn't seem that expensive at first.

The problem is that there are considerable monthly follow-up costs that are often forgotten.

You should pay attention to the following costs and weigh up whether you can bear them in the long term for yourself or your company.

What does a car really cost?

Actual monthly maintenance costs car - car subscription is the better alternative (Source: RWI)

Acquisition costs: a new car costs more than a used car and has a higher depreciation at the beginning. The used car, on the other hand, usually has higher fuel costs, risk of repairs and insurance costs.

Fuel costs: Diesel cars are cheaper than gasoline cars, but the price, taxes and insurance are more expensive. The smaller the vehicle, the more likely a gasoline engine makes sense.

Insurance: The no-claims class or the risk of theft and kilometers driven influence the price. Third-party liability is a must, partial or fully comprehensive insurance is optional.

Taxes: Costs depend on engine capacity, pollutant emissions, and date of first registration. The lower the emissions, the lower the taxes

Depreciation: New cars lose 25% of their value in the first year. Subsequently, it is about another 5% per year. Good care and maintenance help to keep the price stable.

Maintenance costs: Oil changes, repairs, roadworthiness - all this costs money. A car has many wearing parts that need to be renewed continuously

What additional monthly costs arise from a car is not to be determined in a general way. Roughly you can calculate with a small car about 300CHF maintenance costs per month, with a middle-class car often even twice as much.

If you also pay off the car in installments or use leasing contracts, you will quickly incur considerable costs.

Total Costs of Ownership for a car - hidden costs car (Source:

The 'Total Costs of Ownership (TCO)' for different segments

The multitude of additional costs results in considerable sums that have to be paid in addition to the acquisition costs, credit or leasing installments. Here are some examples of 'TCO' for different vehicle classes:

-          Micro cars: e.g. Toyota Aygo monthly costs of 350CHF and more.

-          Small cars: e.g. Nissan Micra more than 400CHF per month.

-          Lower middle class: e.g. Skoda Rapid Spaceback costs around 470CHF per month.

-          Middle class: e.g. Hyundai i40 station wagon with 600CHF monthly costs.

-          Upper middle class: e.g. Audi A6 Avant 40 TDI Tiptronic costs about 950CHF per month.

-          Upper class: e.g. BMW 730d Steptronic costs about 1.500CHF monthly.

(ADAC figures were based on a vehicle holding period of five years and mileage of 15,000 kilometers per year).

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Consider 'Total Costs of Ownership' when buying private and company cars

For the economic development of a vehicle fleet or the purchase of a company car, it is essential to include all follow-up costs. This is made possible by calculating the total costs of ownership.

In this way, all costs from procurement to operation to resale of the vehicle are disclosed. This results in the total costs incurred by ensuring mobility. Only in this way are direct comparisons of vehicle models and, above all, usage models really meaningful.

Taking the 'total costs of ownership' into account, all-inclusive models, in particular, become interesting. Here, for example, the car subscription from CARIFY is convincing. All costs for a vehicle are already included in the flexible long-term car rental.

An electric car subscription can also be a good way to test how you like the new technology. With e-cars, the purchase costs are even higher, but there are potential savings down the road.

Instead of different cost points for purchase, insurance, taxes, maintenance, and depreciation, the car subscription offers a clear monthly rate that covers everything except fuel. It really doesn't get much simpler than that!

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