The Cost of Owning a Car in Sweden [2023 Guide]

Whether you are already in Sweden or considering moving, one question you might have is: how much does it cost to own a car in Sweden? The answer, of course, depends on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, your driving habits, and where you live. In short:

You can expect to pay anywhere from around 10,000 SEK to 15,000 SEK per year to run a car in Sweden. The costs you will incur include taxes, registration fees, and insurance. The purchasing price is around 200,000 SEK (23,000 USD) for a new small hatchback to over 1 million SEK (115,000 USD) for a luxury SUV. Used cars are cheaper.

Owning a car the smart way can save you from getting over your head while sparing some money. In general, the cost of owning a car in Sweden is a little higher compared to other European countries but still relatively affordable compared to places like the United States.

This article will explain how much it costs to own a vehicle in Sweden and what to expect. Read our guide about buying a car in Sweden.

Cost breakdown of owning a car in Sweden

So, how much does it cost to own a car in Sweden? The long-term cost of owning a car is significantly more than the total price you pay for it. Ownership costs include taxes, fuel, repairs, maintenance, parking, and insurance.

Everyone knows that these costs can add up quickly, but few people know exactly how much it costs to own a car. Let’s find out.

Also, check out this article to learn which cars are the most affordable in Sweden.

1. Fuel cost

Fuel prices per liter in Sweden average at around 21 SEK for petrol and 25 SEK for diesel making it among the highest countries in the world.

However, Sweden recently announced plans for a subsidy package to help its residents cope with the rising fuel costs. The proposed subsidy will allow you a one-time minimum payout of 1,000 SEK, which will temporarily reduce petrol and diesel taxes.

2. Parking in Stockholm

The parking situation in Sweden can be pretty challenging. You will first need to check if there’s a parking fee in your neighborhood. However, in the city, especially Norrmalm, plenty of parking garages charge you depending on the parking time as you leave.

You will need to pay between 90 SEK and 120 SEK per hour on weekdays, while the parking garage will charge you a daily (24h) fee of around 400 SEK. 

Street parking meters in designated areas charge you by the hour, with most of them accepting VISA and MasterCard.

3. Congestion tax

Suppose you plan to enter or leave Stockholm by car (including cars registered in Sweden or elsewhere). In that case, you must pay a congestion tax to reduce traffic congestion and improve the environmental situation in the city center. 

The payment system for this tax is automatic and does not require you to pay in advance. The road toll cameras in Stockholm register all vehicles accessing the city center, and a bill is sent to you by the end month.

 However, the prices will be dependent on the time you enter or exit central Stockholm. Entering and exiting the city center between 18:30 and 6:29 is free; afterward, you’ll pay between 11 SEK and 35 SEK.

4. Vehicle tax

If you own a car in Sweden, paying the vehicle tax is compulsory. This tax is calculated based on the vehicle category, fuel, and CO2 emissions. The tariffs will be higher for diesel-powered cars than for vehicles using an alternative fuel type. 

The basic charge is 360 SEK per year and must be paid for all vehicles covered by malus (for high emission vehicles). You will then be required to pay an additional 250 SEK per year for diesel-powered cars.

New vehicle tax from 1 April 2021

These rules will apply to you only if your car is put into service for the first time on 1st April or later. The new rules mean that it costs 107 SEK per gram between 90-130 grams (82 SEK per gram between 95-140 grams and 132 SEK per gram for those exceeding 140 grams per kilometer).

5. Insurance

Sweden has different types of car insurance. If you own a car in Sweden, take a third-party liability coverage (road traffic insurance) as it is mandatory.

This insurance covers damages that may be caused to other people or their cars. You are also supposed to register your vehicle at the Swedish Transport Agency (Transport Styrelsen).

There’s halvforsakring which isn’t mandatory but includes the third party coverage while still covering the costs of damages caused to your vehicle by fire or other people.

Lastly, there is helforsakring which includes the previous two together with vagnskadeforsakring, which covers the costs for all damages caused to your car regardless of who caused them.

The most commonly used in Sweden is third-party insurance, but you can select a package to suit your personal needs from the options available. You can also take car insurance online, which is quick and easy, especially when out of time.

For example, if your car is older, expect to pay around: third-party 450-700 SEK, half 600-100 SEK, full 800-1,800 SEK. 

6. Unexpected costs

If you plan on buying a car anywhere, including Sweden, you should factor in other costs, such as mechanical repair and service visits. Car repairs in Sweden will cost you around 886.55 SEK per month.

7. Importation costs

Suppose you import your car from the USA to Sweden, for example. In that case, the price starts at 1,295 USD, with an estimated turnaround time of 21 days.

If you’re shipping from Dubai, the cost can be between 20,580 SEK and 49,000 SEK for shipment. You will also need to factor in other costs like customs duties, insurance fees, and taxes before getting your car’s actual price.

How much does it cost to register a car in Sweden?

All vehicles must be registered in Sweden. Registration is also necessary for all imported to Sweden cars. You can order it here.

The cost of car registration is 700 SEK and can be done at the Swedish Transport Agency. After the registration, a vehicle needs to be inspected. This general inspection costs between 1,700 and 2,000 SEK. Eventually, you will receive a plate number in a few days via mail. 

A Swedish registration certificate contains two parts, both of which essential for a driver.

Part 1 of the registration certificate includes:

  • an authorization code
  • information about the owner
  • information about leasing or credit purchases
  • technical information about the car
  • general information about the car

Part 2 includes the following:

  • details about the current owner of the vehicle
  • details about previous owners/users of the car
  • general information about the vehicle
  • this part is essential for application: 
    – of a change of ownership
    – of deregistration

How much do cars cost in Sweden?

The prices for used cars may vary depending on the car model of choice. There are used cars that go for about 20,000 SEK up to 70,000 SEK. For a new car, the price can be anything above 150,000 SEK.

If you are considering leasing a car in Sweden, check out this guide.

Used car prices

Car modelAverage price
2016 Volvo S60 2.0 D3214,900 SEK
2016 Volvo XC70 2.4277,800 SEK
2012 BMW 5 Series 550i114,900 SEK
2018 Mercedes Benz S-Class 560809,000 SEK
2015 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 R294,900 SEK

New car prices

Car modelAverage price
Chery Tiggo 8 Pro 1.6 DEX Plus 2022 300,370 SEK
Land Rover Range Rover P400 SE 2022728,450 SEK
Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon Titanium 2022 279,395 SEK
Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce Ti AWD 2022429,973 SEK
Lexus LS 500 F Sport 2022677,450 SEK

Things one should know when buying a car in Sweden

Have a checklist to evaluate the car

Check all the official details of the car at Transportstyrelsen by keying in the registration number. Look out for:

  • Vehicle status (Fordonstatus)

Make sure the vehicle is allowed on the roads. If it’s on stands (owners who don’t use the car move the status from allowed to on stands), the owner gets a percentage of the vehicle tax refund which will be transferrable to the new owner to be allowed on the roads again.

  • Inspection before

Check for the next inspection date. The owner may be selling a car whose inspection is in the next 2-3 months.

New cars should be inspected 36 months after purchase for the first time, 24 months for the second time, and 14 months after that.

When buying, ask for previous Besiktning documents. The documents have information on the number of owners, last issued registration certificate and yearly vehicle tax.

  • Vehicle debts

You can find the car’s unpaid taxes and debts at Kronofogden.

  • Vehicle history

While this information is publicly available, you can save time by looking at sources like Carfax.

During the first meeting with the owner:

  1. Ask for the service booklet, if it exists
  2. Ask for vehicle inspection reports
  3. Check for errors on OBD
  4. Check for summer and winter tires, and if all spare rims are the same or threads have worn out
  5. Check for the engine oil level in the dipstick
  6. Test drive and perform basic maneuvers
  7. Whether the car has an engine heater since running with a cold engine drops down the mileage

Ownership transfer process

The transfer is a smooth and straightforward process. The owner has one or two documents depending on how old or new the vehicle is. The owner’s information is on one side, while the other has a form for filling in information about the new owner. 

Once the document is filed, it’s sent to transportstrylsen by the old owner. Transportstrylsen will receive the document 10 days after the transfer date.

You will now pay depending on what both parties agree on, after which a receipt is issued.

Insurance

Sweden requires all vehicles with a valid registration sticker to be insured, failure to which you might incur hefty fines. After assuming full ownership, you should now insure it as the next step. 

There are three types of insurance, motor, half, and full insurance. The insurance will cost more for an older car, so most people find half insurance a viable option. If the vehicle is relatively new, getting full insurance will be more beneficial.

Insurance for old cars costs approximately 450-700 SEK  for third-party,  600-1,000 SEK for half, and 800-1,800 SEK full package.

You can use popular apps for parking, such as Easypark, SMSPark, SmartParkAB, and Stockholm Stad for a flexible parking process.

Refilling fuel

Fuel prices may differ depending on the different fueling stations. For example, uncrewed stations such as ST1, Ingo, and Preem are cheaper than human-crewed stations like shell and OKQ8.

Road Toll

A road toll is a separate cost you may incur if you enter a toll zone like central Stockholm. The toll cameras will auto-detect your vehicle, and you’ll get an invoice from Transportstrylsen. Stockholm’s entrance toll is 35 SEK per entry.

Maintenance and servicing

For oil and oil filter change of a 2.4-liter engine, be ready to spend around 1700Kr and about 1,300-1,400 SEK for a 1.4-1.8 liter engine.

Wiper fluids cost 17 SEK per liter when you fill it from the petrol pumps but may cost less, around 6-7 SEK per liter, if you buy from a shop and store.

Where to service

You can get an online quote from Lasingoo and AutoButler by specifying your inquiry, or can get the list of workshops with costs for services like oil changes, brake parts replacement, or AC service.

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