Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cost of owning car in Taiwan

Owning a car in Taiwan can be a blessing and a burden at the same time, depending on your needs. Taiwan is very convenient place and the public transportation is very good - there are many ways for travel - using metro system connected to bus network and rail system as well as taxi transport at every single intersection. If you are planning to own a car in Taiwan, you must clearly understand what costs you are going to have on monthly basis.
In 2009 I have decided to purchase a new Honda CRV from the Taiwanese dealer. The process is simple really - you do not even need to have a first payment as long as you own a credit card. I ended up paying for loan NT15100 a month for 5 years. I paid it off after 2 years, to save money that I would pay for interest (about 5.9% per year.)

So what else you need to worry about while owning a car in Taiwan? A lot:

- Fuel tax: Each year government will send you a nice bill called fuel tax. It depends on the value of your car, I get hammered NT6500 a year.
- Licence plate registration: Another government tax per year. Around NT11000
- Insurance: Basic starts at NT12000 a year and premium around NT60000. The more expensive car you have, the higher the premium.
- Maintenance: need to bring car about twice a year (every 10k km) for regular check up. Add costs like changing tires, batteries, etc. Roughly, 6000-10000NT, twice a year.
- Gasoline: Expect to spend NT4000-7000 monthly
- Car wax: NT450 for small car, NT600 for SUV, every 3 months.

So I calculated all the costs, changed to monthly and I end up with the range of NT7608 to NT15324 a month for car expenses that you will have to take in addition to paying loan for the car.

Wait, this is not all!
Parking space: NT3000 a month to rent a place (range NT1500-4000)
Parking on the street, malls, parking lots: The sky the limit :)
Tickets: try not to break law, and it will cost you nothing.

So after adding parking costs the range becomes:
NT9108 to NT19324 + any loan payments for normal, non-luxurious car.

Car is a sink investment - buy it only if you really need it .


  1. Maybe you should add on how many kilometers per year your calculation is based on. With the mentioned fuel cost, either you drive close to 2000 km per month or you should fix the leaking problem.
    A far as I know, the fuel tax is related to the engine displacement rather than the price tag of the car. If you do need 3000 ccm ... well, your choice.
    Also, what the hell are you doing with your car, that you have to spend about 15000NT per year for tires and batteries? Or is it an hybrid racing car?
    I doubt that this profile fits to an average (foreign) driver in Taiwan.

    1. sorry mac but i have to agree with Tamasu

      i mean u change the battery and tires in a car in about 3 year time for normal driving NOT yearly. really (so stop doing all those burnouts heheh jk)

      but i do agree with u totally about stupid 3k per month for parking, and stupid fuel tax and tax per yer for size of engine (i mean who does that tax other then tw - i dont know) to me that is so stupid but anyways

      oil change for a car should be around 2,000nt its really not that hard man, u can do it urself too, the filter and oil only run around 1,500nt

      anyways, enjoy ur new car tomorrow :-)

    2. If i could get a car for a comparable cost in UK i wouldn't even think twice... I spend more on a micra in insurance alone...

  2. Honda CRV that I use is, if you notice, a SUV-CAR hybrid, and I get 11.3km per liter. With using 95 quality gasoline, which is around NT32.7 per liter, it is quite approximate costs.

    I do roughly drive about 300-400km per week, its easy to calculate.

    Again, CRV is larger car - things like tires are expensive. 4 new tires at COSCO were around NT22,000. Every 10k kilometers, I do inspection, which goes for NT5000 to NT10000, to change oil, clean up, things like this. If you do not care about your car - its a choice. If I did not mention that in the article, buying new car, you will probably care for it more and spend more money on it then buying a second hand.

    Please notice that it is my calculation and everyone has their own standards. If you wax your car, if you change oil and can do small inspection yourself, you save money. It is better to list more information here than nothing at all.

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  5. I think I must reinstate my post because it cause some confusions.
    This is true - we do not change battery or tires every year, but once every 3 years or so, depending on the usage (especially for tires.)

    However, how I calculated the averages are based per year. For my Honda CRV - I bought new set of tires in Cosco for around NT20k, so per year it is around 6600NT.

    In 3 years I did 70k km, which gives me approximate 6X maintenance (oil change - liquid change, some checks) + 1 time tire change + 1 time battery change + 1 time wipers change. Stuff like that.

    So when I put there 'per year' it is simply approximate cost that you will pay if you use car for long term. Sometimes cost will be lower, sometimes things need to be changed and they will be higher.

    You can save tons if you do it yourself, buy used tires, things like that. I tend to buy new car every 3 years and I spend a lot of that.

    I still find this post quite useful - for info like parking, fuel, different taxes, etc. Bottom line is - everyone will have different expense, but if you consider cost of fuel, renting parking lot + other stuff you need to spend - by the end of the day, my range seem quite reasonable.

  6. Does the Honda call for 95 octane gas? If not, then there is really no reason to use the more expensive gas. Higher octane gas are used in engines with higher compression ratio to reduce the likelihood of pre-combustion, also known as kncok. If the CRV engine is desinged of 89 octane gas, using any higher octane gas does not give you better mileage.

    1. Here in Taiwan, the octane ratings are RON (research octane number) 92, 95, and 98. These are about equivalent to AKI (anti-knock ratings) 89, 91, and 93 used in the US. Most passenger cars here state to use 95 RON or higher because the they use small-displacement, high-output engines where high octane content matters. In the US, cars are generally larger-displacement to achieve the output. This is because Taiwan's fuel tax is based on engine displacement, which discourages purchase of larger-displacement cars.

  7. Hi All,

    Is there a good website with car classifieds in Taipei or Taiwan? I'll move to Taipei soon and considering getting a car, as I like to drive and did stay for 4 months there, driving to Toroko, Alishan, etc. Any advise and link is appreciated. Thank you.


    1. You may try using these 2 websites:
      However, if you will just be here 4 months, unless you really need to drive everyday (which in Taipei is really not necessary because the public transport is excellent), it may be more cost-effective to rent a car when you want to take a road trip. Parking is VERY expensive and limited in Taipei City.

  8. If you are planning to own a car in Taiwan, you auto transport must clearly understand what costs you are going to have on monthly basis.

  9. I found the post(s) very helpful. Does anybody have similar info and experience in Kaohsiung where I've been told that things are much cheaper and easier compared to Taipei?

  10. Thiese topics and article are so information based.This is so interesting blog. You are best listing knowledge provide at this site. I am very excited read this nice article. used car prices. Found the car you want but unsure how to make the next step. Let us do the the haggling for you, that's what we do.

  11. Michael - most of things in Kaohsiung are much cheaper than Taipei, but at the same time, average salaries are much higher in Taipei.

    You will notice many young people moving to Taipei for job hunting.

    New cars? Pretty much everywhere same price. Used cars? Depends on your luck and which model you are after. Pretty much Toyota / Honda / Nissan are fast movers, and dealers make least of money on those due to the fact they can sell them out within days. Good turn over.

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