Where is the most expensive place to own a car?
REAL incomes have stagnated in many rich countries and family budgets are feeling the pinch. In Britain fuel costs 50% more than it did in 2007. But petrol prices are just one of the costs of running a car; owners also have to fork out for insurance, road tax and servicing.
Using data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, the chart below shows the total cost of buying a family car (an average of low- and high-end brands) in selected cities in 2010, then running it for three years. London car-owners may be surprised to see that they are no worse off than motorists in many other rich countries.Generally, where running costs are high, this is offset by cheaper car prices, and vice versa.
Since 2005-07, in cities where the total cost of running a car has actually fallen, (notably in Amsterdam, Moscow and Shanghai) this is largely thanks to lower car prices. It is possible that some of the higher purchase price in emerging-market cities like Shanghai can be attributed to import costs for higher-end brands such as Mercedes and Audi, which were used to allow international comparison.
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