The UK is one of the cheapest countries in Europe in which to own a car, according to fleet lessor LeasePlan.

The ‘CarCost Index 2016’ surveyed 24 European countries, and the found the UK was seventh cheapest place to own a diesel car and eight cheapest for a petrol, with running costs of £374 and £396 per month respectively.

The survey also revealed that the UK was the second cheapest country for vehicle service, maintenance, and repair.

When asked about the largest expenses related to car ownership, 37% of respondents cited depreciation costs, while 20% opted for road tax and VAT.

Matt Dyer, managing director, LeasePlan UK said: “An often-overlooked factor when buying a new car or van is depreciation. Yet as we’ve seen in the CarCost Index it’s also the single biggest factor affecting running costs.”

Norway was found to be the most expensive place to drive a petrol car at £609 per month, and the Netherlands was the country where it was most costly to drive diesel at £598 per month.

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Hungary was the cheapest country across the board, with driving costs for petrol of £313 per month, and £317 per month for diesel.

The study showed a positive correlation between overall cost and road tax and VAT, which LeasePlan attributes to a push towards alternative fuels increasing environmental regulation through taxation, in countries such as Norway.

Norway, which was the most expensive place to drive both petrol and diesel cars, has 100,000 electric vehicles on the road, and aims for 100% of new vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2025

Dyer continued: “Due to the complexity of these cost elements, we recommend that people consider the whole life costs of the vehicle when deciding to look at a new car or van.

“Take the time to look into alternatives to ownership as products such as leasing can be lighter on the wallet and the environment.”