Running Costs – Nano Vs Competition

Tata Nano -- 2500$ Car Launched In Auto Expo 2...
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I came across an article  in Money Today that talked about the running costs of the Tata Nano compared to the Maruti 800, the Santro and the Swift.  It was a very interesting read especially since I was wanting to put up a running cost calculator of my own on this website. I felt a better comparison would be of the Tata Nano with the Maruti Suzuki 800, the Maruti Suzuki Alto, the Maruti Suzuki Omni, the base Hyundai Santro and the Tata Indica Xeta GL. These are the 5 cheapest vehicles currently available. I feel there is no point comparing it with the Swift. The only true comparison is with the M800. The others are much costlier.

I have used Chennai prices as my reference. Insurance values come from For registration and life tax have used a standard 8%. I have used a different way to calculate costs and have added some parameters as well. Of course most of the parameters may need to be tweaked for actual use but hope this gives an idea.

Please click on the below image to view the comparison chart.


For 3 years the Nano has the lowest running cost with the 800 close behind. The Alto and the Omni are very similarly priced while the Santro and Xeta are also similarly positioned.

graphrunning1Of course the maintenance costs of the Tata Nano still need to be seen. Hope the quality of the finished vehicle will be decent enough.

Am still working on an online running cost calculator. Will add it in when I am done with it. Till then do let me know your comments on this comparison.  If you feel like you could also play with the excel I used to create it runningcostcalculator.

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9 thoughts on “Running Costs – Nano Vs Competition”

  1. Great post Sushil.
    For the parameters given here – typical in-city driving – Nano seems to beat the competition by a mile (pun unintended).
    A calculator – parameterizing some of these values – esp km. driven -is a great idea.
    It would be interesting to watch how the other important factor in an Indian context – “Resale Value” – plays out, with the Nano.

  2. Thanks Senthil. Hope you took a look at the attached excel sheet ? I gave up trying to write it with Javascript and finally did it in excel ;-).
    I wanted to add the Reva to this comparison since the running costs shouldnt be too much – just got stumped with trying to figure out insurance itself. Carwale calculator seems to use Engine capacity in cc for its calculation – entering a Zero didnt help 😉

  3. @Indian Autos Blog – Thanks ! I heard the 23 value as well – but just to be on a conservative side I chose 20.

  4. Great calculation ! However conumers never think of these when buying a car. They go by a very delicate match between brand name and affordability v/s their requirements of commuting and prestige.

    What do you guys think ? Have you heard of Suzuki Twin 660 cc ? Maruti Suzuki India Limited can you try a longer wheelbase 4 seater Twin homologated for indian market ?

  5. I am from Sri Lanka… and probably there are more Tata Nano’s per sq kilometer here in Colombo than any city in India.
    We use a Tata Nano in my company as a Salesman’s vehicle. Hence I know for a fact that the running costs in reality are much different to the chart that you have published.

    Our Nano has run just over 40,000 kms now. It has gone through 4 sets of tyres, 3 clutches and 2 A/C condensors. With the A/C on, and in the Colombo traffic the Nano does only about 12 km/lt. Hence the running cost of a Nano is extremely high compared to any of the other cars compared in your chart.

    Because Sri Lanka is a small country with a small population of cars, Nano owners are generally “mum” about the problems that they are having because otherwise they will not be able to sell their cars!

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