A recent study by Vignetteswitzerland.com, a Swiss provider of road tax stickers, has shed light on the most and least affordable European countries for car ownership.

The research analysed various factors including fuel prices, vehicle taxes, and insurance costs, relative to average salaries, to determine the financial burden of owning a car in different countries. Each location was assigned a unique score out of ten to unveil where owning a car is the least financially strenuous.

Switzerland leads the pack

Switzerland emerges as the most affordable European country for car ownership, boasting a perfect score of ten. Despite its reputation for a high standard of living, Switzerland offers remarkably affordable options for car ownership, with expenses associated with fuel, taxes, and insurance significantly lower when compared to the average net salary of €5,569.

Ireland close behind

Following closely is the Republic of Ireland, securing the second spot on the index with a score of 7.7 out of ten. Ireland provides a competitive market for car buyers seeking affordability, with a monthly average gross salary of €3,367, making car ownership accessible to residents.

Luxembourg's thriving economy

Luxembourg claims the third position with a score of 6.8 out of ten. Despite its small size, Luxembourg's thriving economy offers relatively low expenses for vehicle taxes, fuel, and insurance premiums. With an average fuel price of €1.29 per litre, an average car price of €39,380, and an average monthly salary of €3,699, Luxembourg stands out as an attractive choice for cost-conscious car buyers.

France and Spain offer balanced affordability

France secures the fourth place on the index with a score of 5.4 out of ten, offering reasonable expenses associated with fuel prices, vehicle taxes, and insurance premiums. Similarly, Spain rounds up the top five most affordable countries for car owners with a score of 5.2 out of ten. Spain provides an appealing market for those seeking cost-effective cars, with an average monthly net salary of €1,910 and competitive car prices.

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Contrasts in affordability

While Switzerland leads in terms of affordability, Norway, Finland, and Turkey face significant challenges. Norway, with an index score of 0.76, struggles to provide affordable car ownership options despite a relatively high average net salary. Finland experiences higher-than-average expenses, contributing to its low affordability rating of 0.57. Turkey stands out as the least affordable, with an index score of 0, due to the stark contrast between the average monthly salary and the high car prices.

Commenting on the findings, M.E.Wijnmalen, CEO of Vignetteswitzerland.com, highlighted the significance of understanding the nuanced factors influencing car ownership affordability. He emphasised the importance of balanced economic policies in ensuring affordability without compromising quality, as demonstrated by Switzerland and Luxembourg. He said: "The study underscores the balance between quality of life and financial considerations when it comes to owning a car. It's interesting to see how different countries prioritise affordability amidst varying economic factors."


The index compilation involved the use of five factors. Raw data for each factor underwent cleaning, verification, and standardisation on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 and 10 denote the worst and best values in the data, enabling precise comparison across factors. Factors with higher scores representing negative outcomes were adjusted by subtracting them from 10 to reverse their scoring.

Furthermore, each factor was assigned a weighting corresponding to its significance in the analysis. The factors, their sources, and their percentage weightings are outlined below:

Fuel Price, www.cargopedia.net, 20% weighting  

Vehicle Sales Tax, www.worldpopulationreview.com, 20% weighting  

Vehicle Tax, www.acea.auto, 20% weighting  

Car Prices, www.theicct.org, 20% weighting  

Insurance Costs, www.autocosts.info, 20% weighting  

Once the weightings were assigned, the total score for the factors was calculated, producing an overall index score out of 10 for each entry, upon which the final ranking is based.