Wages that have been stagnating for decades, constantly decreasing purchasing power on top of the ever-present taxation of consumers. For a lot of Italians, buying and owning a car is really complicated, especially if you compare the situation to the rest of Europe.

And this is not just a feeling, but the result of research carried out by Vignetteswitzerland.com. The Swiss analysts compared various parameters in 10 European states and assigned a score according to how 'affordable' a car is for their respective citizens.

The methodology

Before analysing the ranking, let's try to understand how the researchers calculated the various data. Using a variety of official sources (for example, data from ACEA, the European Manufacturers' Association, was taken as a reference for the calculation of the ownership tax), the scholars put together data on the cost of fuel, the ownership tax, the average prices of new cars, and the average cost of insurance.

This data was compared with the average monthly salary in each country and then assigned a score from 1 to 10 based on how difficult or 'easy' it is to maintain a car.

Italy last in the Top 10

At the top of this special ranking is Switzerland. Although the cost of living is rather high and the average car price is the highest ever (€46,979), the average monthly salary of €5,569 certainly makes life easier for the Swiss. Also on the podium are Ireland and Luxembourg, where salaries manage to withstand the impact of rising new car prices.

Fast forward to tenth place, with Italy trailing behind. In the Bel Paese, the average cost of a car is over €27,000, at the expense of an average salary of only €1,740, which is the lowest in the Top 10.

This is certainly an aspect to be taken into account in the transition to electric cars, which inevitably also concerns Italy, where battery-powered cars have so far struggled to establish themselves. Apart from the (belated) incentives and the doubts of many Italians about the recharging infrastructure (which is, however, constantly growing throughout the country), the relationship between car price and wages probably remains one of the most important issues to be discussed.

Position Country Average price of a new car Average monthly salary Score
1 Switzerland €46,979  €5,569  10.00
2 Ireland €30,495  €3,367  7.72
3 Luxembourg €39,380  €3,699  6.83
4 France €29,331  €2,464  5.43
5 Spain €29,485  €1,910  5.18
6 Netherlands €36,033  €3,145  5.00
7 Austria €34,805  €3,269  4.90
8 Denmark €42,681  €4,149  4.69
9 Germany €37,504  €2,781  3.95
10 Italy €27,548  €1,740  3.84