Car maintenance costs: electric car vs. Gasoline and diesel

What else you should consider when making your purchase decision

When choosing a car, not only the purchase price plays a role. Later, there are many other costs – which vary depending on the car type. Some electric cars are already less expensive than comparable cars with internal combustion engines. So what is the smarter choice?

Anyone who inquires about the purchase prices of electric cars quickly reacts with shock: what, so expensive?? And that with such a short range? But is this first impression always correct?

How does the balance sheet turn out after deduction of the environmental bonus?? Shouldn’t the significantly lower maintenance and energy costs also work in favor of electric cars over the years of use??

Comparison: electric cars vs. Combustion engine

At the end of 2018, the ADAC automobile club compared eight electric cars with conventionally powered models comparable in terms of equipment and engine performance – and based its calculations on the so-called full costs: i.e. not only the purchase price including the environmental premium, but also the operating and maintenance costs as well as the loss in value.

According to the ADAC, four e-cars were cheaper than comparable internal combustion vehicles: the BMW i3s, the hyundai ioniq elektro, the smart fortwo coupe EQ prime and the tesla model X.

the ADAC calculations were based on a five-year holding period with an annual mileage of 15.000 kilometers, or a total of 75.000 kilometers. The total cost includes fuel and electricity costs, insurance and road tax, garage costs such as maintenance and repairs, tire wear, an annual flat rate for car maintenance, and depreciation.

ADAC’s conclusion: the more an electric car is driven, the more it pays for itself – thanks to the comparatively low maintenance and operating costs.

What will my car cost me besides the purchase price?

This comparison shows what the classic maintenance costs are and how they are distributed in detail:

Fuel: free with electricity?

the cost of diesel, gasoline or electricity varies all the time. In addition, consumption varies depending on vehicle type. The electricity consumption of electric vehicles depends even more on the way they are driven than is the case with internal combustion engines.

Diesel drivers benefit from a tax-privileged fuel that is subsidized by about 20 cents per liter compared to gasoline. From 10.000 kilometers per year, a diesel driver generally drives cheaper.

Electric drivers sometimes even charge for free. Many parking garages and lots, supermarkets, hotels, savings banks and restaurants provide charging points. Even some companies do this for their employees. With average consumption, the electric car saves 180 euros a year compared to diesel and 400 euros compared to gasoline.

For more detailed information, use our fuel cost calculator before buying a new car. So you can quickly see what you can save depending on consumption.

cleaning: beauty costs for the car

Even a car has to go under the shower. For most, this includes a trip to the car wash – interior cleaning included. These maintenance costs cannot be avoided.

Even if you like to clean your car personally, you’ll still have to spend a lot of money on cleaning products and co. Not passing. The type of drive does not matter.

Maintenance and repairs: (when) does my car need to go to the workshop??

The regular main inspection (HU) and the exhaust emission inspection (AU) are mandatory. This is the only way to get the necessary TuV sticker for your vehicle. These costs are clearly calculable, because there are fixed fees.

To pass the test, the car has to be inspected regularly. Or to have the vehicle brought up to scratch before the date of the main inspection. there are always costs – the older the car, the more expensive.

Another important cost factor is wear and tear: an eight-cylinder engine has 1.200, an electric motor only 17 parts. So electric vehicles are much simpler to build – and therefore less prone to repair. Similar situation with clutch and transmission. An exhaust is not available anyway.

According to a study by the Institute of Automotive Economics at the University of nurtingen-geislingen, the picture is similar for maintenance costs. It has identified savings of around 35 percent in the cost of inspections alone for electrically powered small cars.

The German automobile club ADAC has calculated that annual maintenance costs are 972 euros for a diesel, 936 euros for a gasoline and 576 euros for an electric car. Only the tires of a stromer wear out more quickly: due to the higher torque, after about 25.000 kilometers lost their profile.

Garage gold: how much is a parking space worth??

you have a free parking space directly in front of the door or in the underground garage? Then you can consider yourself lucky. If not, you will have to pay for your own garage or parking space.

The price varies greatly. It does not depend on the type of your car (petrol, diesel or electricity) but on the region and whether you live in the country or in the city.

Due to the real estate boom, rental prices have increased significantly. They currently range between 20 and 150 euros a month. This explains why financial magazines now recommend car lots as an attractive financial investment.

car insurance: e-cars cheaper than combustion cars?

every car must have motor liability insurance. Partial and fully comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, are taken out voluntarily. the amount of the premium depends on many factors.

They are graded according to regional classes, freedom from claims and many other individual characteristics. That’s why they are not so easy to compare.

If you get an environmental bonus from your insurance company for your electric car and choose a fully comprehensive policy that covers the batteries, you will initially pay about the same as for a car with an internal combustion engine.

But car insurers have found that drivers of electric cars generally drive more carefully and with more foresight – and cause fewer accidents. In a direct comparison, insurance for e-cars is therefore up to 22 percent cheaper than for internal combustion cars, according to a comparison portal.

car tax: 0 euro – no? But!

Motor vehicle tax, or kfz for short, is payable for every registered vehicle – except for e-cars. The amount of the tax depends mainly on the type of engine, the engine capacity and the emission class. It is due once a year.

For a diesel of average size and average consumption, 180 euros in taxes are due per year. With a ten-year service life, this adds up to just under 1.800 euro tax. A petrol car costs 64 euros a year, or. 640 euros in ten years.

For an electric car, owners pay 0 euros in vehicle tax for the first ten years. But this only applies to electric-only models. Hybrid variants are not affected.

fees: what are the costs?

Registration, de-registration or re-registration: not only vehicle registration costs money. Depending on how often and for what purpose you use your car, different charges apply. Whether it’s an electric car or a combustion engine, it doesn’t matter.

From parking fees and highway tolls for international travel to fees for the environmental badge or a resident parking permit in some inner cities. you should calculate with an average of 200 euro per year. A more concrete overview is provided by the road traffic office.

Don’t forget: warnings and fines for traffic violations are also expensive. But that depends entirely on you!

Depreciation: the underestimated cost driver?

Sad, but true: a vehicle loses value the moment it is registered. After one year, a quarter of the new price is often gone, after four years half – sometimes more.

For buyers, this loss is difficult to assess. It varies depending on the type of vehicle and use and is influenced by many factors.

Experts are divided on the question of whether e-cars have a higher or lower loss than internal combustion engines. The only thing they agree on is that the increasingly broad range of electric vehicles will significantly increase their loss of value. Especially because the new models will have longer runtimes.

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