• The average monthly salary in the UK is £2,140 compared to the average car price of £30,491  
  • A new study revealed the UK as one of the least-affordable European countries for owning a car
  • The findings consider fuel prices, vehicle taxes, insurance costs and the average salary of each European country 

A new study conducted by experts at Vignetteswitzerland.com has revealed the most and least affordable European countries for young drivers and the financial barriers they face when selecting their first car.

The UK ranked as the seventh least-affordable European country for car ownership overall, with an index score of just 3.1 out of 10. 

The research considered factors such as fuel prices, vehicle taxes, and insurance costs, compared to average salaries, to assign each place a unique score to reveal where owning a car is the least financially draining for learner drivers.  

The higher the index score out of ten, the cheaper that country's ownership costs are compared to their typical salaries. 

The average monthly UK salary of £2,140 compared to the average UK car price of £30,491, makes it nearly impossible for young drivers to purchase their first car. 

Car maintenance costs are another crucial factor in the low affordability rate, with fuel prices in the UK reaching £1.26, while the European average stands at £1.18. 

On the other side of the scale, the research unveiled the European countries that offer the highest affordability for car ownership, with Switzerland ranking top.  



Topping the list as the most affordable European country for car ownership is Switzerland, with an astonishing index score of a perfect ten.  

Despite its high standard of living, Switzerland provides affordable car ownership options, with the lowest expenses associated with fuel, taxes, and insurance when subtracted from the average net salary of €5,569. 


Following behind is the Republic of Ireland, securing the second spot on the index with a score of 7.7 out of ten. Ireland provides a competitive market for car buyers who are looking for affordable options. 

The country has a monthly average gross salary of €3,367, making it accessible for residents to own a car. Here, the average price of a car stands at €30,495, with an annual vehicle tax of €2,438. 


Luxembourg claims the third position with a score of 6.8 out of ten. Despite its small size, Luxembourg's thriving economy offers relatively low expenses for vehicle taxes, fuel, and insurance premiums.  

The average fuel price stands at €1.29 per liter, with an average car price of €39,380 and an average monthly salary of €3,699. This combination makes Luxembourg an appealing choice for car buyers seeking affordability without compromising quality. 


France secures the fourth place on the index with a score of 5.4 out of ten. The country offers reasonable expenses associated with fuel prices, vehicle taxes, and insurance premiums compared to neighbouring nations.  

With an average monthly salary of €2,464, an average car price of €29,331, and an average annual vehicle tax of €1,911, France stands out as an attractive option for those looking to maximise affordability. 


Spain rounds up the top five most affordable countries for car owners, boasting a score of 5.2 out of ten.  

With an average monthly net salary of €1,910, an average fuel price per liter of €1.36, an average car price of €29,485, and an average annual vehicle tax of €1,068, Spain offers one of the best markets for those seeking cost-effective cars. 

While Switzerland leads in terms of affordability, there are notable contrasts on the other end of the scale. Norway, Finland, and Turkey struggle with the highest costs associated with car ownership. 

Norway, with its index score of 0.76, faces challenges in providing affordable car ownership options to its residents. While an average net salary stands at €3,442, the average €44,197 car ownership price is the second highest in Europe. 

Finland, despite its well-developed economy, experiences higher-than-average expenses for fuel, vehicle taxes, and insurance costs, contributing to the county’s second-lowest affordability rating of 0,57. 

Turkey stands out as the least affordable, with an index score of 0. The high contrast between the average monthly salary of €627 and the average car price of €38,642 makes it the most expensive European country to own a car. 

Speaking on the findings, M.E.Wijnmalen CEO of Vignetteswitzerland.com, said: "The study underscores the balance between quality of life and financial considerations when it comes to owning a car. It's interesting to see how different countries prioritize affordability amidst varying economic factors. 

“In today's dynamic economic climate, understanding the nuanced factors influencing car ownership affordability is crucial for individuals and policymakers alike.  

“Switzerland's position as the most affordable country for car ownership is not a result of low expenses, but a testament to its balanced economic policies.  

“Similarly, Luxembourg's strong economy makes it a top choice, offering affordability without sacrificing quality. France and Spain also provide a balanced mix of reasonable costs and favorable conditions, ensuring a diverse landscape of affordable car ownership in Europe. 

"The study conducted by Vignetteswitzerland.com offers more than just data – it offers a nuanced understanding of the factors shaping car ownership affordability in Europe."