Mileage costs in Switzerland: what your car will really cost you

What are the kilometre costs in Switzerland? How much does my car really cost me? You’re definitely not alone with these questions. So that you know what costs you will be faced with, in this post we help you to shed light on the darkness.

The rule of thumb is: 1 Swiss franc per kilometre. This everyday wisdom is common around this topic. But is it really true? Does a driver who drives 15,000 kilometres a year pay 15,000 Swiss francs a year? We worked it out.

It is much cheaper to travel quickly from Zurich to Basel by car than by train. Without a Half-Fare travelcard, a one-way trip by train costs you around 34 Swiss francs.

It’s much cheaper by car: The petrol costs for an average vehicle on this route amount to around 10 francs. However, many hidden costs are forgotten in this bill.

The vehicle incurs many additional costs that are not necessarily seen at first glance. I’m sure many newcomers have already fallen into this trap. “The car only costs 4,000 Swiss francs,” is a phrase often used by people buying a used car. However, these costs remain hidden at first glance. We have listed three case studies

Mileage costs for new drivers – Case study 1

Information about the vehicle

Cheap used car worth 4,000 francs. Engine displacement: 1.2 litres. Performance: 100 hp. First release for service: May 2010. CO2 in g/km: over 130. Mileage: 60,000 km. Eight tyres.

  • The insurance:Partial coverage insurance for a new driver can quickly break the 2,000 Swiss francs barrier per year.
  • Initial cost: The car was bought for 4,000 Swiss francs. We expect an annual amortisation of 1,000 Swiss francs over 4 years.
  • Maintenance: Used cars in particular need to be checked at a garage at least once a year. With older models things often needs to be replaced again and again. New costs arise. The small service without additional work already costs around 500 Swiss francs. We add another 500 Swiss francs for replacing items subject to wear and tear such as brake pads, brake discs and spark plugs. With a used car the service is often not the only work, so you have to expect additional costs at any time.
  • Fuel costs: With an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometres and an average consumption of 7 litres/100 kilometres, this quickly costs around 1,700 Swiss francs.
  • New tyres; They do not have to be replaced every year, but is often needed every 2-3 years. In addition, we need two sets of tyres in Switzerland. If we calculate with a new rate every year, in our example the “Continental EcoContact 5” on the internet will cost you around 350 Swiss francs. The price for fitting is not included, of course. Given that most new drivers do not do this work themselves, we add another 150 Swiss francs for the work.
  • Taxes: The annual road tax depends on the weight and engine displacement of your vehicle. In our case it is 120 Swiss francs a year. In addition, there is the motorway sticker which costs 40 Swiss francs per year.

The bottom line is that this small used car costs you 6,360 Swiss francs a year. Not taken into account: Probability of damage due to everyday use. This variable should not be underestimated for older vehicles

The cost per kilometre is at least 42.4 Swiss centimes.

Kilometre costs for normal leasing – case study 2

Information about the vehicle

New car worth 34,000 Swiss francs. Engine displacement: 1.4 litres. Performance: 150 hp. First release for service: May 2018. CO2 in g/km: over 130.

  • Insurance: Fully comprehensive insurance is compulsory for leased vehicles. Cost of such insurance amounts to 2,000 Swiss francs per year.
  • Initial cost: With a leasing contract in the medium price segment, the car costs around 350 francs per month, annually: 4,200 Swiss francs.
  • Maintenance: For a new car, maintenance costs are usually low at the beginning. Nowadays the first service is only due after 2 years. We expect service costs of 500 Swiss francs per year.
  • Fuel costs: With an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometres and an average consumption of 7 litres/100 kilometres, this quickly costs around 1,700 Swiss francs.
  • New tyres; In our example, the winter tyres are not part of the scope of purchase and must be purchased separately. They do not have to be replaced every year, but is often needed every 2-3 years. In addition, we need two sets of tyres in Switzerland. If we calculate with a new rate every year, in our example the “Continental EcoContact 5” on the internet will cost you around 350 Swiss francs. We round up to 500 francs per year including fitting.
  • Taxes: These are also included, of course. The annual road tax depends on the weight and engine displacement of your vehicle. In our case it is 138 Swiss francs per year. In addition, there is the motorway sticker, which costs 40 Swiss francs per year.

The bottom line is that this average new car costs you 9,078 Swiss francs a year. Not taken into account: Probability of damage due to everyday use, but these costs can usually be covered by the warranty.

The cost per kilometre is 60.5 Swiss centimes.

Mileage costs for a cheap leasing – case study 3

Information about the vehicle

New car worth 20,000 Swiss francs. Engine displacement: 1 litres. Performance: 100 hp. First release for service: May 2018. CO2 in g/km: under 130.

  • Insurance: Fully comprehensive insurance is cheaper for cheaper vehicles and around 1,200 Swiss francs per year for experienced drivers.
  • Initial cost: With a leasing contract in the lower price segment, the car costs around 200 francs per month, annually: 2’400 Swiss francs
  • Maintenance: For a new car, maintenance costs are usually low at the beginning. Nowadays the first service is only due after 2 years. We expect service costs of 500 Swiss francs per year.
  • Fuel costs: With an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometres and an average consumption of 5 litres/100 kilometres, this costs around 1,200 Swiss francs.
  • New tyres:In our example the winter tyres are not part of the scope of purchase and still have to be purchased. They do not have to be replaced every year, but is often needed every 2-3 years. In addition, we have two sets in Switzerland. If we calculate with a new rate every year, in our example the “Continental EcoContact 5” on the internet will cost you around 350 Swiss francs. We round up to 500 francs per year including fitting.
  • Taxes: These are also included, of course. The annual road tax depends on the weight and engine displacement of your vehicle. In our case it is 80 Swiss francs per year. In addition, there is the motorway sticker, which costs 40 Swiss francs per year.

The bottom line is that this small new car costs you 5,863.80 Swiss francs a year, minus the purchase costs.

The cost per kilometre is 39 Swiss centimes.

None of the 3 case studies exceeds the value of one franc per kilometre. However, in the above examples we put the focus on thriftiness. More expensive vehicles can quickly crack the 1 Swiss franc mark.

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