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What you save on your car by working from home

How much do you actually save by leaving the car and staying at home in front of the screen in your home office instead of driving to work? FDM has made the calculation.

27. Mar 2023
3 min
English / Dansk

You will save money on the car budget if you skip the trip to the office, stay in front of your screen at the kitchen table and leave the car in the carport.

That is the result of a calculation prepared by the Federation of Danish Motorists (FDM) on behalf of Finansforbundet.

"Driving a car is expensive, and the loss of value increases the more you drive. That's why working from home is money in your pocket," says FDM consumer economist Ilyas Dogru.

He has made a calculation based on two classes of cars running on petrol and electricity, respectively. On this basis, he has, for example, concluded that you may save DKK 130 a day if you drive a petrol car worth around DKK 300,000 and work at home full-time.

"Most people get it wrong because they only look at how much they save on fuel when they leave the car in the carport. But that approach is simply wrong," the consumer economist states.

"The car is the second largest investment made by Danes, after their homes. But it's also the poorest investment because pretty much every car loses value."
- Ilyas Dogru, consumer economist at FDM

Expenses remain, even when working from home

He points to a long list of other factors that need to be included in your calculations. Because in addition to the variable costs such as fuel and ongoing maintenance, which depend on how many kilometres you drive, fixed costs such as insurance and green vehicle tax must be paid regardless of how often you take the car out of the garage.

"We still have to pay insurance even if the car stays at home. We still have to pay the green vehicle tax, although the car stays at home. And we still have to pay FDM membership fees and everything else when it stays at home," he explains.

ALSO READ: How much does it cost to work at home?

At the same time, you will incur so-called capital costs, which depend, in part, on how many kilometres you drive, but also some costs which cannot be avoided even if you leave the car in the garage.

This applies, for instance, to the car's loss of value.

"The biggest item in the car budget is the loss of value. The car is the second largest investment made by Danes, after their homes. But it’s also the poorest investment because pretty much every car loses value. Therefore, you should keep in mind that the car is aging, even if you work from home," Ilyas Dogru explains.

Eroding transport allowance

You do miss out on certain amounts, however, if you keep the car in the garage. These include the transport allowance you are entitled to if your workplace is more than 12 kilometres away from your home.

According to Ilyas Dogru, this is, nevertheless, a drop in the bucket as regards the overall expenses.

"The transport allowance will not determine whether you should choose to take the car to work or work from home," he says and elaborates:

"The transport allowance has been eroded to such an extent that it is not up to date. It does not take into account the actual car depreciation. Consequently, it becomes a loss-making project for employees if they are to make their cars available to the workplace. Neither does it encourage people to take up a job further away from home because the allowance is so insignificant."

FDM's calculation is based on the federation’s 2023 car budget. The assumption used in the calculation is 20,000 kilometres driven per year – half of which is work-related and the other half spare time-related.


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