What is the total cost of owning a car in Austria?

Are you planning to buy a car? Then it is good to know how the costs of owning the car will affect your monthly budget because these costs are not low in Austria. In this article, you will learn how much owning a car in Austria costs per month, including depreciation, expenses for repairs and maintenance, insurance, taxes, and fuel.

The total average monthly costs of owning a small or medium-sized car in Austria, in the fourth quarter of 2020 are:

  • Petrol car: 685 EUR 
  • Diesel car: 672 EUR
  • Electric car: 718 EUR

The above total costs are including fuel, depreciation, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. These are the total monthly costs under the assumption of an annual mileage of 30.000 km.

Although public transportation is perfect in Vienna, owning a car is more important than ever for Austrians. The increasing number of registrations leaves no doubt about that. There are around 5 million registered cars in Austria. If you still don’t have a valid driving license in Austria learn how to get it.

Around 680 EUR euros per month for a small or medium-sized car

Austrians spend 680 EUR on average on a small or medium-sized car for a petrol or diesel car. This is the result of the recently published Car Cost Index by the fleet manager LeasePlan. The cost calculation includes acquisition costs, depreciation, expenses for repairs and maintenance, insurance, taxes, and fuel. The costs were collected for 18 European countries. In a European comparison, Austria is in the middle when it comes to monthly expenses for a car. 

How much does it cost to own an electric car in Austria?

Source: LeasePlan

According to the LeasePlan Car Cost Index, Austria ranks in the upper middle field of the cheapest countries for electric mobility. The average monthly total cost of ownership for gasoline vehicles is EUR 685 and for diesel vehicles EUR 672. If you take into account the government subsidies for electric vehicles, their monthly costs are reduced to around 614 EUR. This means that the operation of e-cars is much more economical than that of conventional cars. With the temporarily available COVID-19 investment bonus, the costs are reduced even further.

According to the ÖAMTC, the prerequisites for private individuals to receive federal funding are:

  • the electric vehicle must be new
  • or can also be a demonstration car or a daily registration, the first registration of which was not more than 12 months (exactly 365 days) ago when it was purchased.
  • may not exceed a gross list price (basic model) of a maximum of 50,000 euros
  • must achieve a fully electric range of at least 50 km
  • and must obtain electricity from 100% renewable energy sources (only electricity from renewable energy sources or green electricity according to E-Control).

The following are excluded from the funding offers:

Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and range extenders (REX or REEV) with diesel drive as well as used cars.

Total costs of owning a car

Source: LeasePlan

The biggest price drivers for running costs are usually vehicle taxes and insurance. Taxes are above average, and car insurance in Austria is particularly expensive when compared to other European countries. This point accounts for more than a fifth of the monthly expenses. According to LeasePlan boss Nigel Story, it is worthwhile to compare insurance offers and, above all, the benefits. The expert recommends that private individuals take the time to compare the different providers and, above all, their services. 

Most of the car costs can hardly be influenced. A car loses value over time, it needs permanent (insurance) protection, regular care, and, if necessary, new accessories – and that costs. Even the decision for a gasoline or diesel engine has little effect on the running costs. The lower price for diesel at filling stations is largely offset by higher acquisition costs and higher taxes.

The “Pickerl”

The so-called “Pickerl” is a badge that the car receives when it is roadworthy. To get this “badge” you have to bring a new car to inspection 3 years after the first registration, then after a further two years, and then annually, where they fix errors. The worse the condition of your car, the more expensive the “badge” is.

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The insurance

You have to take out liability insurance, only then will you get a license plate and the car will be approved for traffic. You can also insure your car against damage (“comprehensive insurance”). The more you insure, the more expensive the monthly insurance premium. Fully comprehensive insurance costs the most and covers most of the damage. With partial comprehensive insurance, you have to pay for some repairs yourself.


For gasoline, you currently pay on average 1,07 euros per liter. How many liters of gasoline you use depends on your car. Large cars, especially SUVs, consume much more fuel. When buying a new car, be sure to pay attention to gas mileage. Also plan to refuel, motorway filling stations are more expensive and the fuel often costs more before the weekend!


In Austria, you also have to buy the “vignette” to use the motorways and stick it on the windshield. We have ten-day, two-month and annual vignettes, with the 2017 annual vignette costing 92,5 euros.

Parking sticker

It depends on where you live in Austria. In Vienna, for example, you have to buy a parking sticker in some districts, they cost between 90 and 120 euros a year. There are also paid short-term parking zones in larger cities. Garage spaces can cost you between 80 and 120 euros a month.

How so start saving money with the car purchase

“Buying a car itself is the biggest cost factor. The day a car is bought, the loss in value begins,” says Stix. “And quietly and secretly, because these are not costs that you feel in everyday car use. The rude awakening only comes when you try to resell it.” With a few rational considerations when buying a car, you can save yourself cash every month. ÖAMTC technician Stix shows potential savings on a virtual shopping tour:

  • It starts with a weaker engine or slightly less luxurious equipment
  • A smaller model also helps save money: It is also worth considering switching from the middle class to the compact class. 
  • Those who drive little are often cheaper with a petrol engine:
  • With 8,000 annual kilometers and five years of use, the total costs for a diesel-powered VW Polo with 47 KW per month are 312 euros. The petrol equivalent is eight euros cheaper per month at 304 euros.
  • Frequent drivers are usually better off with a diesel car than with a petrol car: With 20,000 annual kilometers and five years of use, a Renault Mégane with 60 KW and a petrol engine costs its owner 493 euros a month. With a total cost of 465 euros, the corresponding diesel model is 28 euros cheaper per month.
  • Compared to a gasoline engine and a petrol car, the running costs of electric cars are significantly lower. Anyone who covers around 15,000 km per year with their electric car can expect electricity costs of around 495 euros per year in Austria.

Author: Sofia Ivanov is a blogger at AustrianCareer.at. She holds a MA in international business and also contributes photography to AustrianCareer.at.

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