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Where is the Cheapest Country to Own a Car?

For most of us, owning a car can mean freedom. It means getting to go, see and do what you want, whenever you want. Whether that’s going to work each day or on a road trip, cars really are a part of essential daily life for many, but they also come at a cost… and we’re not just talking about purchase price either.

Getting insurance, fueling up and paying for repairs all bump up the cost of ownership, but as cost comparisons are so high on the agenda for us here at Scrap Car Comparison, we wanted to find out how these costs differ around the world.

The Most Affordable Countries to Own a Car

To find out where the cheapest and most expensive countries to own a car are, we took the average car costs (for the same car models) and added them to the average cost of car insurance, repairs and current fuel prices to evaluate just how expensive it is to own and run a car around the world.

These costs were weighted against average yearly earnings in each country, to give a fair gauge of affordability – enabling us to calculate the percentage of a country’s average yearly salary required to own a car!

Once all that math was out of the way, we found that it’s Australia that stands tall as offering the best value for money for drivers. Requiring just under half of the average Australian yearly salary (49%) the costs to own and run a car are lower here than any other country.

The likes of the car-centric United States, as well as multiple countries in Europe also ranked within the top 10 for automotive value, too. With a higher cost of living than many other countries in our research, the UK fell outside of the top five, however still managed to prove its value, sneaking into the top 10 in ninth place!

Of course, within the United Kingdom alone, prices do vary, with costs of purchase, fuel and repairs coming at a higher cost in the likes of London and Brighton, but like most things, cheaper in Northern cities such as Manchester and Sheffield!

Country% of average yearly salary required to buy and run a car  
1. Australia 49.48% 
2. United States of America 54.87% 
3. Denmark 60.34% 
4. Canada 64.40% 
5. Sweden 75.84% 
6. Germany 78.44% 
7. Netherlands 84.65% 
8. France 87.00% 
9. United Kingdom 89.36% 
10. Finland 91.58% 

The Most Expensive Countries to Own a Car

On the other end of the scale, salary of course plays a huge part in how affordable anything is going to be, so it was no surprise to see that countries where average salaries are lower, being much more expensive to own a car, even when new car prices are comparatively cheap to the likes of the UK and USA.

Turkey, ranked as the most expensive place to own a car within our research and requires more than 6 times the average Turkish annual salary to buy and run a car, while it is also particularly hard to buy new in South America.

Country% of average yearly salary required to buy and run a car  
1. Turkey 652.29% 
2. Argentina 515.77% 
3. Colombia 508.93% 
4. Uruguay 443.68% 
5. Brazil 441.89% 
6. Ukraine 413.78% 
7. Guatemala 355.94% 
8. Russia 290.04% 
9. Mexico 285.20% 
10. Costa Rica 269.83% 

If you’re reading this and feeling your current car is close to needing to be swapped for a newer model, with repair costs spiralling – maybe it’s time to consider scrapping your car? scrapping your car?

We looked at the 40 countries where average cost data is readily available for earnings, car price, insurance, repair and fuel were analysed, while countries with no available car cost data for comparison were removed from the study. Car prices were averaged from two popular models, a VW Golf and a Toyota Corolla, and added to average fuel, insurance and repair costs before being weighed against average yearly salaries, to calculate the final rankings. The results reveal the percentage of each countries’ average yearly salary (per person) required to purchase and run a new car. All data correct as of August 2021. Sources used with the research include: 

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