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Cheapest cars to own

20 września, 2023

The cost of your car is so much more than just the purchase price, tax and insurance. We've compiled the total monthly cost of ownership for some of the most popular used cars. There are thousands to save!

That's how we calculated

It's easy to forget certain costs when trying to tally up the cost of car ownership. But in order to get an accurate picture of the costs, you have to calculate all expenditure items, even those that are hidden, such as depreciation. This is exactly what we have done in an analysis of 15 best-selling models on kvd.se.

The calculation, which is based on three years of ownership, has cars with model years 2019-2021 and which have driven approximately 4,500 miles.

That car is the cheapest – in a double sense

Our calculation shows that the electric hybrid Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid (116 hp) is the cheapest with a monthly cost of only SEK 3,592. As a bonus, it's also the cheapest car to buy.

The Yaris delivers in all areas, but it is above all the minimal reduction in value that makes the car a winner. The price of a three-year-old Toyota Yaris is just under SEK 160,000, and the expected residual value after a three-year period is approximately SEK 118,000, which means a decrease in value of approximately SEK 40,000. To put this in perspective, we can compare with the Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor AWD, one of the more expensive cars in the comparison, which is expected to lose almost three times more (SEK 114,000).

- Our analysis shows why it is so important to spend time on the car purchase and carefully compare different options. This applies not least to the hidden cost that depreciation entails, which is only noticeable when it is time to sell. There, there can be an enormous difference between different car models and brands, says Daniel Odsberg, sales manager Kvdbil.

According to Odsberg, a rule of thumb is that the cheaper a car is to buy, the cheaper it is to own.

- You should always do your homework and count on it, but it is almost always correct, he says.

After the Yaris, we find the plug-in hybrid Kia Niro PHEV (141 hp) at a monthly cost of just under SEK 4,000. The Niro has a slightly greater reduction in value than the VW Golf 1.0 TSI Sportscombi (115 hp) in third place, but makes up for this with a lower fuel cost, which is possible thanks to its electric motor. The fuel cost for the Niro is estimated to be slightly over SEK 10,000 per year, a figure that only fully electric cars can match. If you choose the Golf instead, you can expect to spend another 5,000 kroner a year on fuel.

Top 5 cheapest cars to own

1. Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid (116 hk)3 592 kr
2. Kia Niro PHEV (141 hk)3 888 kr
3. VW Golf 1.0 TSI Sportscombi (115 hk)4 344 kr
4. Kia Optima 2.0 GDI PHEV (205 hk)4 364 kr
5. VW Passat GTE Sportscombi (218 hk)4 699 kr

That can make the electric car expensive to own

In fourth and fifth place are two other fuel-efficient cars with plug-in hybrid technology, namely the Kia Optima 2.0 GDI PHEV (205 hp) and the VW Passat GTE Sportscombi (218 hp). Then, only in sixth place, comes the first all-electric car. It is the Kia e-Niro 64 kWh (204 hp), with a monthly cost of just under SEK 5,000. The Kia e-Niro has the lowest fuel cost of all the cars in the comparison. At the same time, the insurance cost is higher and the reduction in value is greater, which overall does not make the car one of the most economical choices, says Daniel Odsberg.

- Many people choose an electric car to cut mileage costs. But it's important to understand that there are other things that can mess up the calculation. For electric cars, this often involves a greater reduction in value and more expensive insurance.

Over SEK 17,000 a year separates the car with the highest insurance cost, the Tesla Model 3 (SEK 24,525), from the one with the lowest, the plug-in hybrid Kia Niro (SEK 7,190).

The car with twice the monthly cost compared to the Yaris

However, whoever chooses the four-wheel drive diesel car Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 4x4 (190 hp) has to spend the most money. Here, the monthly cost is close to SEK 7,000. That is, almost twice as much as the winner Toyota Yaris. The Kodiaq mainly suffers from a relatively low residual value, but is also the car with the highest fuel costs. According to the WLTP test, consumption is 0.72 liters per mile in mixed driving, which with current fuel prices means almost SEK 26,000 a year, based on a mileage of 1,500 miles.

Read more: See the full TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) table of 15 best sellers on the used car market

About the survey
Kvdbil has analyzed the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for a selection of best-selling cars on the second-hand market. This means that we have taken into account all the costs that follow from the purchase decision, even the hidden ones such as the reduction in value. The calculation is based on an ownership period of three years and an average annual mileage of 1,500 miles. When it comes to fuel costs, we have started from the current prices of SEK 21 per liter for petrol, SEK 24 per liter for diesel and SEK 3.50 per kWh for electric cars. Costs for insurance and service are estimated and have been obtained from the insurance company Trygg-Hansa and the car service chain Mekonomen. Estimate is based on an average person (male, 30 years old, living in Stockholm) and can vary greatly depending on individual factors.

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