Car ownership cost: How much do you think you spend on it monthly

To keep things simple, let's not add fuel expenses to this since that may vary significantly based on usage.

BHPian automowheels recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Thought it'd be interesting to learn from fellow BHPians about what their car's monthly cost of ownership looks like. Getting this number is far from straightforward- you will need to add up your car's on-road price, interest paid (if applicable), projected and actual service cost over the car's expected tenure with you, repairs, repainting, et al.

If there are any insurance recoveries, please remember to deduct that from this figure. While we're at deductions, you will also need to deduct the expected resale value of the car. Eventually, you may divide this net cost by the number of months you are likely to keep the car with you since purchase. To keep it simple, let's not add fuel expenses to this since that may vary significantly based on usage.

Illustrating this with an example

Total expected usage tenure= 8 years

  • Cost of car: Rs. 8,00,000
  • Cumulative loan interest: Rs. 1,50,000
  • Average service charge per year: Rs. 6,000
  • Repainting & touch-up: Rs. 15,000
  • Tire change= Rs. 12,000
  • Battery change= Rs. 6,000
  • Resale after 8 years= Rs. 4,00,000

Total cost of ownership (TCO)= 8,00,000+1,50,000+(6000*8)+15000+12000+6000= Rs. 10,31,000

Net cost of ownership (NCO)= TCO- Resale=10,31,000-4,00,000= Rs. 6,31,000

Monthly cost of ownership = NCO/(8*12)= 6,31,000/96=Rs. 6,573

Getting to this figure was very insightful for me. Hope it is for you as well.

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

Don't forget depreciation, guys! That is the silent killer. But to keep things simple, let's focus on the obvious ones.

Thar Petrol AT

  • Fuel cost / month = 5,000. @ 6 kmpl, it is a guzzler
  • Insurance cost = 5,000 (averaged of 60k a year)
  • Maintenance = 500. Still in warranty and I expect the annual services to average at 6k over 5 years
  • Cleaning = 600
  • Detailing = 1500. I get all my cars detailed every 6 months, at approximately 9 - 10k per session
  • No EMI as the car was bought outright

Total = 12,600 each month

530d M-Sport

  • Fuel cost = 3000
  • Insurance cost = 5000. Still have zero-dep on a 10-year old car
  • Maintenance = 10,000. The annual average since ownership has been between 1 - 1.5 lakhs a year
  • Cleaning = 600
  • Detailing = 2000. Costs approximately 12 - 14k for each bi-annual session.
  • No EMI

Total = 20,600 each month

Not including tyres here which wear out every 20,000 km and cost 70 - 80k for a set of 4. My running is very less due to all the review cars I have to test-drive.

Here's what BHPian condor had to say about the matter:

Including fuel, insurance, maintenance, & routine replacements including tyres - the average spend for my Storme does touch 18-20k a month. Fuel itself comes to about 45% of this.

Here's what BHPian androdev had to say about the matter:

I prefer to look at percentage terms instead of absolute numbers. I believe some ownership costs like insurance, schedule service, depreciation, cost of taking a loan, etc. can be expressed in simple percentage terms of the total cost of the car.

Insurance + scheduled service:

0.25-0.3 % per month (3-4% per year). Initially, insurance cost will be high, later on, service cost will be higher but the total cost can be considered as a constant. Owning a 10 Lakh car will result in Rs 2.5-3K per month for insurance and service. The same would be 25-30K for a 1cr car.

Depreciation cost:

1-2% per month depending on the model, resale value and duration of ownership. If you keep the vehicle for 15 years, this can be as low as 0.5% per month. The cost of buying a new Honda City every 2 years would not be very different from buying a high end luxury car every 15 years.

Other costs like fuel and repair costs totally depend on nature of usage and luck.

Affordability can be judged by looking at 2% of the cost of the new car as your monthly outgo - if that's a comfortable amount you are willing to spend every month, then you can consider the car to be within affordability limit.

Here's what BHPian ashis89 had to say about the matter:

Costs apportioned per month:

  • Car: Seltos D MT
  • Fuel: 9000
  • Insurance: 2000
  • Maintenance: 6000 (includes tyres, accessories, suspension, clutch, brakes, etc @50k per year)
  • Cleaning: 500 (I clean it myself, with a water wash whenever necessary)
  • No interest costs and I am excluding depreciation in the calculation
  • TCO: 17-18k per month

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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