There are all kinds of restrictions, both direct and indirect, on car ownership across the world. The U.S. has the objectively dumb 25-year import rule that keeps us from our beloved JDM and European-spec cars for what feels like ages, and prices of average cars in Singapore are well into the six figures.
If you’re thinking about packing up and starting your life over in some random country on the other side of the world for either suspicious or non-suspicious reasons, there’s a new study showing just how much it could cost you.
Here’s what the study found, basically: Out of the countries and cars studied, you’ll get the cheapest sports car in Canada, the cheapest luxury car in Mexico, the cheapest small cars in India, and the cheapest SUV in Russia. The U.S. didn’t make the cut for cheapest or most expensive anything, which is alright.
Insurance-affiliated companies and do studies like this all the time for the sake of getting their names out there on the internet, and occasionally the studies end up being interesting. This was one of those.
Compare the Market, an insurance-product comparison website, researched the price of buying and living with cars from certain market segments in 24 different countries, coming up with where it was cheapest and most expensive to own and live with them for a year.
The countries included were India, Poland, Romania, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, Canada, France, the U.S., Australia, Russia, Greece, the UK, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Japan, the Netherlands, China and the United Arab Emirates. Compare the Market also picked one car to represent each segment, and used it to gauge cost of ownership in the countries.
Here are the cars that got the nomination for each segment, along with where Compare the Market found them to be the cheapest and most expensive:
This is a UK company, so the prices are naturally in pounds. In U.S. dollars, the cheapest and most expensive running costs on the Fiat 500 would be $9,013 and $27,537. The rest of those numbers would be $9,216 and $31,011 on the Golf; $21,519 and $28,503 on the Passat; $21,969 and $46,599 on the Tiguan; $42,477 and $87,746 on the 5 Series; and $80,628 and $210,674 on the 911.
The study gave a breakdown of the price ranges for owning the cars for a year depending on the country, with the range including things like the purchase price, fuel, insurance and road tax. The study didn’t specify trim on its “sports car,” the Porsche 911, but the Carreras start at $91,000 in the U.S., or 71,000 pounds at current exchange rates, meaning they used a model on the low end of the wide, wide 911 spectrum. Here’s how it did across the different countries:
The study has maps for all of the cars, as well as breakdowns on the running costs, in pounds, for each of the countries studied. It’s here and it’s pretty interesting, if you’re into this kind of thing.