How Expensive Is It to Own a Car in Germany


You are probably thinking about buying a car in Germany or bring your old one from your home country. Then it’s good how much the car will actually cost you in Germany? Here I mean your monthly expenses for owning a car, whether you buy it or already have one. I suppose you have a valid in Germany driving license because it’s whole another story and we won’t touch on it at this time.

Car is surely useful to have in Germany, some activities such as a weekend trip, visiting the supermarket, holidays in another country will be easier to complete and it’s just great for your daily mobility.

How much exactly a car will cost you per month depends on many factors. This article gives you a good overview of all potential costs for your vehicle in Germany.

What are the main costs?

First, if you are buying the car consider its price.

Of course, a new car costs more than a used car. The decline in value also higher in the new cars.

On the other hand, fuel consumption, car insurance, and repairs are higher in the case of used cars. Nevertheless, the rule of thumb is: in total, a used car will cost you less than a new one.

For example, if you are buying new VW Golf V expect to pay between 15,525 – 35,469 EUR, depending on the equipment, model, engine. The used one will be ranging from 2,000 to 18,000 EUR, on average you can expect about 6,000–7,000 EUR.

Second are maintenance costs.

  • Fuel costs, car insurance costs, repairs as well as taxes and depreciation of the car’s worth

This costs depend on:

  • Type of the car, equipment, your age, your accident risk and region where do you live

For a small standard car, for example, VW Golf you can expect to pay between 200 EUR and 400 EUR per month. The bigger and more powerful your car is, the higher the maintenance costs are usually.

Overall, the average car costs lie by 300 EUR per month, depending on which car you drive. You can calculate about 200 EUR per month for a small car, 400 EUR per month for a car of the middle class with average annual kilometers.

This includes fixed costs such as taxes, repairs or vehicle liability as well as operating costs such as fuel or TÜV (inspection). The exact amount of the costs depends on several factors, such as the choice of car insurance and others.

In this article, we will look at all these costs more closely and how you can save where it’s possible.

These costs you can expect

As I already mentioned exact costs for a car depend on several individual costs and can’t be easily estimated.

From the purchase of the car to the car insurance to your own driving style and possible repair costs, these factors determine what your car will ultimately cost you.

In addition to the purchase price, there are the running costs for a car. On average, a car needs to be repaired after every 20,000 kilometers. If an accident occurs, it can become more expensive. Here is estimated and a bit rough cost overview.

The monthly cost for your car can be divided into:

  • Fixed costs: the fixed costs include taxes, repairs, and inspections, car insurance such as vehicle liability, partial or comprehensive insurance.
  • Operating costs: these include costs such as fuel, oil change or maintenance.

In addition to fixed and operating costs, you also have to include the loss of value of the new and even used car.

Maintenance costs for a car vary a lot. Having your own vehicle does not seem so expensive, but you can expect considerable follow-up costs in some months.

Here are all costs you have to consider before owning a car in Germany and if you can finance it in the long term:

  • Fuel costs

The smaller your car and the less you drive, the lower the fuel costs. Diesel is cheaper per liter than petrol – this pays off for many annual kilometers.

  • Car Insurance

Many factors determine the costs of car insurance. These include your age, how many accidents you already had, your yearly driving distance, the region where do you live and the number of potential drivers. What is the best car insurance in Germany?

CosmosDirekt is one of the best, inexpensive car insurance in Germany, offering extensive coverage and great customer support. You can choose between a basis and a comfort package for your car.

  • Taxes (Kfz Steuer)

Engine displacement, pollutant emissions, and first registration, as well as diesel, gasoline or electric drive, determine the amount of the vehicle tax. The payment for this occurs yearly.

  • Reduced value

This is especially important for new car owners. In the first year new car loses about 25% in value, in the following years about 5% – 6%.

  • Maintenance

On the regular basic car must be controlled by TÜV, the oil must be changed, brakes, exhaust, tires or alternator must be replaced.

  • Other costs

There are regular parking fees in the cities. In winter, you need antifreeze for your windshield wipers.

  • Unpredictable damage

If you have no partial or full comprehensive coverage (Teilkasko, Vollkasko), you have to pay for a flat tire, damage in the paint due to vandalism, rockfall, etc. all from your own pocket. Depending on your driving style, brake system, coupling, and suspension must be repaired sooner or later.

Additional costs when you buy a car

  • Vehicle registration (Kfz-Zulassung)

The first thing you will have to pay for after purchasing the car is the registration at the KFZ – Zulassungsstelle. This may cost around 27–30 EUR. It will cost you more if you select a desired license plate number.

  • Number plates (Kfz-Kennzeichen)

The second is buying number plates. Without you aren’t allowed on the roads. This should cost around 10–15 EUR.

However, If you are buying a used car that is already registered, you can ask the owner if you can keep the existing license plate number, so you will save money on that.

How much will you spend on fuel in Germany?

Whether petrol or diesel, there is no clear winner here. The fuel costs alone are cheaper with diesel. However, purchase value, taxes, and insurance are cheaper for petrol engines.

In general, the smaller the vehicle and the less mileage, the more worthwhile a petrol engine is. Also, you can also save a lot, for example by always looking for the cheapest gas stations nearby.

Current fuel costs: 1,185 per liter for petrol and 1,074 per liter for diesel. Assuming, your car consumes 7 liters for each 100 km and you drive 15,000 km per year.

That would have been roughly 1,250 EUR for petrol fuel costs or 1,128 EUR for diesel fuel costs. The difference is 120 EUR per year or 10 EUR per month, only you can decite if it’s worth it.

How much does a car insurance costs in Germany?

Costs for car insurance in Germany depends on many many factors. Such as:

  • Your age, how many accidents you already had, your yearly driving distance, a region where do you live and the number of potential drivers

To start using your can in Germany you will need at least the mandatory liability insurance. It will cover the costs only of third parties in case of an accident.

How much this cost depends on the exact model of the car (each model/engine combination is judged separately how accident-prone it is).

The categorization of the car is especially important because the difference can be several hundred EUR per year. Another factor is, how many years you haven’t caused an accident.

This can change the rate significantly too. After 26 years without an accident, the rate will be reduced by up to 80% – if the base premium is 1,000 EUR per year you’d only pay 200 to 250 EUR.

But it can also increase if you have several accidents within a short time, and even go up to 245%, so you would pay 2,450 EUR. Therefore, the insurance amount increases every time you actually use the insurance.

For more detailed information about car insurance in Germany, you should read this article. It explains different types of car insurance and their cost structure.

Teilkasko is only a little more expensive than mandatory liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung). This type of insurance covers any damage to your own car and all other third parties who were involved even if it is your fault.

Vollkasko or comprehensive coverage is the maximum of coverage that you can get and therefore most expensive one. It protects your car and your health in addition to third parties as well as acts of vandalism or crazy nature and other small neat things.

Compare providers and rates for various insurances, debit & credit cards, credits & loans, tariffs for internet, electricity, much more to find a perfect deal for your situation. You can do it all on the platform which will also allow you to buy from a selected provider. 

With Vollkasko you don’t have to worry about your car or yourself at all. Overall it is recommended to get at least Teilkasko. So you and others are protected.

Therefore, how much car insurance costs annually depends on many factors. As a beginner, you pay significantly more, because your accident risk is much higher.

In general, the costs of car insurance can range from 100 EUR to over 1,000 EUR per year. 

Accordingly to the statistics, third-party coverage will cost you 250 EUR per year on average, partial coverage – 800 EUR, and comprehensive coverage – 1,100 EUR.

As you can see finding good insurance company in Germany is really important!

Check out the best car insurance in Germany on this rate comparison platform Tarifcheck. Fill out your data and preferences to get comprehensive information on car insurance providers and prices in Germany.

Best car insurance companies in Germany:

With good and trustworthy car insurance you can save hundreds of euros per year. These companies are also worthwhile for people who want to change their insurer.

Above mentioned providers offer most optimal price, performance ratio, coverage, compensation, and customer service.

How much are car taxes?

Everyone who has a vehicle has to pay taxes on it. Yes, Germany loves its taxes. But they do it for a good because you harm the environment with the pollution so the money while goes into vehicle taxes is used with the purpose.

In fact, the state improves the infrastructure and preserves the environment on this money. The car tax depends on the cylinder capacity, the emission of pollutants (CO2) and the date of first registration.

The lower the pollutant your car is, the lower the vehicle tax. For diesel cars, therefore, a higher and for electric cars, almost no car tax applies.

Ultimately, you pay 2 EUR per 100 cm³ of cylinder capacity and 2 EUR per g/km of CO2 your car produces (110 g/km are free – you pay only if your car produces more than 110 g/km). You can calculate it here.

For example, car tax for the VW Golf V can be between 100 and 300 EUR per year, depending on the first registration, engine type and engine capacity as well as the car insurance.

How much is the loss on value?

The loss in the value of a new car is huge, keep this in mind when buying one. In the first year, its value drops by about 25%.

Over the years, it fluctuates between 5% and 6%. The loss of value depends on various points such as the type of vehicle, the image/prestige of the manufacturer, the condition compared to the age of the vehicle, the number of kilometers or the marketability. But with good care and maintenance, you can compensate for the loss of value positively.

On average a three-year-old car is worth about 50% of its list price when selling.

This factors will help to calculate loss of value for your car:

  • Car class
  • Engine
  • Loss of value for previous models of your current car
  • Analysis of the used-car market

Loss of value for the VW Golf V: the older the car is, the smaller the loss of value. A VW Golf V from 2008/2009 has a current value loss of about 500 to 1,000 EUR per year. However, this always depends on the model and thus on the buying price.

Don’t forget to change the tires

Changing the tires in Germany is a must. You will need to do it twice a year, for winter and summer season. In theory, you can drive with winter tires an entire year, yet they wear down quickly.

Overall there is a rule to change tires in October to the winter once and in the middle of April for summer. Or you can orientate on 7 Celsius temperature, as soon it comes in just change your tires (look only for night temperature).

You can either buy:

  • Just the rubber tires (Reifen)

In this case, you will pay less up front, but you will have to pay more every time you have to get them changed at a garage (You can do it yourself if you are an expert).

  • Tires with rim (Reifen mit Felgen)

In this case, you will pay more upfront, but you will have to pay less every time you have to get them changed at a garage. Also, you can change the tires on your own with a need of much expertise.

You also need to consider costs for changing the tires if you don’t do it on your own.

  • For tires without rims, this can cost between 20–35 EUR for one.
  • For tires with rims, this can cost between 7–15 EUR per wheel.

As a result, you will be paying between 30 EUR and 140 EUR twice per year for just changing the tires. On average you will be paying 52 EUR each time.

Inspection, maintenance, and repairs

Each 2-year car needs to be controlled by special institution TÜV, it’s not free, expect to pay 100 EUR. New auto has to be controlled after the first 3 years.

In addition, an oil change must be done once a year, where you can expect a check on up to 100 EUR. Also don’t forget about the air filter, pollen filter, etc. This all can cost an additional 100-200 EUR. Wear parts such as alternator, brakes, exhaust or tires that must be replaced over time. To fix problems in electronics will be the most expensive.

For example maintenance costs for the VW Golf V will also depend on the model, driving performance is about 30 EUR per month, which is 360 EUR only in maintenance costs per year.

When some major maintenance/replacement of parts has to take place costs around 400–800 EUR can occur. Always keep at least 500 EUR on the side for your car, you never know.

Once in a while, doesn’t matter how much you care about your car, something is going to go wrong. You will also end you paying for the repairs. In Germany, with its expensive workers, minor repairs can also cost a lot.

Car wash is also necessary

This is one of the smaller costs that accumulate over time but needs to happen sometimes. You don’t want to scare people with your car, and unpredictable German weather can harm your car look quite a lot.

In Germany, you are not allowed to wash cars in the street or in your own garage if it doesn’t have a special drainage system. Therefore, if you don’t have such a system washing your car in an auto wash (Autowaschanlage) will be the only solution. It can cost between 8–20 EUR every time.

Although you can save money on this too, some shops provided you a place, water, and soap to hand wash your car. If you are not afraid to get your hands dirty, you can save a lot of money (It cost 2–5 EUR to wash this way every time).

And last but not least – parking costs

If you are living in the city you will need to park somewhere right. Most of the time there must be enough free parking places near your house so you can park when you at home. If you need to rent a parking place (Stellplatz) or a garage for any reason (your job doesn’t provide one) expect some monthly fees.

This price highly depends on the city, for example, Frankfurt is the most expensive – 200 EUR per month for a parking spot. The cheapest one is in the Hannover – 70 EUR.

If we are talking about parking slots in town with hourly rate expect to pay between 2 EUR and 4,20 EUR per hour also depending on the city.


Here are estimated costs for a standard car such as VW Golf:

  • 500 EUR per year for Insurance (Teilkasko)
  • Car taxes 150 EUR
  • Fuel 1,150 EUR yearly
  • Car inspection 100 EUR every 2 years
  • Garage/Parking place 100 EUR per month for (not always necessary)
  • Changing the tired 100 EUR yearly

Total: 1,950 EUR per year or 162 EUR per month if you don’t have to pay for parking, also individual costs apply.

Accordingly German statistics average costs for a normal car is 520 EUR and 788 EUR for an electric car per month.

But of course, it ranges a lot. A small car costs you about 200 EUR a month, a midsize car about 300 EUR, assuming you don’t drive more than 15,000 kilometers a year. These are already good benchmarks of costs, which you have to calculate per month.

Here are other examples of cars and their total costs per months:

  • Ford Fiesta 168 EUR per month; 2,016 EUR per year
  • VW Golf 183 EUR per month; 2,196 EUR per year
  • Audi A4 220 EUR per month; 2,640 EUR per year
  • Mercedes C class 264 EUR per month; 3,168 EUR per year

You can even calculate costs for your car through special tool from ADAC (German automobile association).

Recommended products and services in Germany:

This post contains affiliate links. The affiliate link means I may earn an advertising/referral fee if you make a purchase through my link, without extra cost to you. It helps to keep this blog afloat. Thanks for your support. 


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