Hyundai NEXO running costs

Free entry to central London and low road tax don't offset the eye-watering purchase cost, and it’s disappointing that hydrogen currently costs more than diesel on a per-mile basis

Hyundai NEXO
Insurance group Warranty Service interval 2019/20 company-car cost (20%/40%)
45 Five years/unlimited miles One year/6,000 miles £1,818/£3,637

The Hyundai NEXO is exempt from the London Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) fee, but that’s where the financial incentives end.

A high purchase price of nearly £70,000 before the plug-in grant is beyond frightening for retail buyers, before you even consider potential resale values, which are about as predictable and appealing as a blind date with a cannibal. Company-car costs, too, are far from appetising, since they’re no cheaper than for a luxury electric car like the Jaguar I-Pace or a plug-in hybrid like the BMW 530e.
 
To give you a rough idea of what sort of fuel-economy the NEXO delivers, our test car claimed to be returning the equivalent of 53mpg, but it's disappointing that hydrogen currently costs around £12/kg, which works out at £80 for each circa-400-mile tank; in other words, more expensive than an efficient diesel car on a per-mile basis.

It’s hoped that hydrogen will get cheaper as demand rises, but that brings us back to the tricky chicken-and-egg situation of buyers waiting for better infrastructure, while the infrastructure providers wait for buyers. To add more woes to the real ownership proposition of the NEXO, dealers qualified to service it are few and far between, and the servicing intervals are very short. We’d like a longer warranty for the hydrogen fuel cells, too.

Hyundai NEXO insurance group

The Hyundai NEXO falls into insurance group 45, which is higher than an equivalent petrol or diesel Hyundai Tucson or Nissan Qashqai, if usefully lower than most executive cars of an equivalent price. In any case, insurance costs are unlikely to be a deal-breaker if you can afford a £70,000 car.

Warranty

Hyundai offers a five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty on all of its cars; the NEXO, its powertrain and fuel cells are covered by the same warranty.

The small lithium-ion battery that stores energy from the regenerative braking system is warrantied for eight years or 125,000 miles, but it’s disappointing that the hydrogen fuel-cell stack doesn’t get the same extended warranty, simply for peace of mind with such a new (to the mass market) technology.

Servicing

The NEXO has short service intervals of 6,000 miles or 12 months, which will be highly irritating given that a standard petrol or electric car requires far fewer trips to the dealer. We’re waiting for confirmation of service costs. 

Those Hyundai dealers qualified to service the NEXO are also few and far between, clustered mostly around London, and with only a handful scattered around the Midlands and beyond.

Road tax

Because the NEXO emits zero CO2, owners are exempt from paying the standard £145-a-year rate of road tax. However, since it costs more than £40,000, it’s subject to the ‘premium tax’ of £320 a year the first five times that you tax it.