Lexus RC 300h running costs

Yes, the Lexus RC 300h is a hybrid, but its economy and emissions are nothing to write home about

Just one version of the RC 300h comes in under £40,000, but that puts it on a par with rivals such as the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series and Mercedes C-Class - although it’s worth noting that none of those ranges include any hybrid models.

On the face of it, economy of 57.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 113g/km don’t look that great, even when compared to diesel-engined rivals. It doesn’t entitle the car to exemption from the London Congestion Charge, for example. But, one of the advantages the Lexus has is that it doesn’t incur the same surcharge on BIK company-car tax liability that those diesel rivals do. So, it can work out as cheaper as a company car.

If fuel economy is your number one priority, bear in mind that hybrids are very sensitive to how and where they’re driven. They’re at their best around town, where they can run on electric power for much of the time, but on longer runs beyond the city limits - especially on the motorway - they won’t even get close to the official economy figures. That’s almost exactly the opposite to diesel-engined rivals, so if you’re going to spend most of your time on the motorways, a hybrid like the RC 300h may well not be the best choice.

Lexus RC insurance group

Depending on which trim you choose, your RC will sit in insurance group 31 or 32. That’s considerably lower than the other, more powerful petrol-engined RC models, but very much on a par with the comparable (but non-hybrid) models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

Warranty

As with the insurance groups above, so with its warranty, Lexus is pretty much identical to its rival German makers. The RC gets a three-year, 60,000 mile warranty, and none of its rivals get longer cover, although in some cases (as with BMW and Mercedes), there’s no such limit on the mileage.

In addition, the hybrid components are covered for up to five years, and you can extend the standard warranty for an additional fee. This extended warranty will cover a Lexus up to 10 years old and with 140,000 miles. And, at the time of writing, two year’s extra cover on an RC (including Roadside Assistance and MOT cover) costs just under £1000.

Servicing

Whereas some makers ask you to take their hybrids to a small proportion of their dealer network, Lexus is quite happy for you to take their cars to any one of its dealerships.

There are currently just under 50 Lexus dealers, and an RC needs their attention every 10,000 miles. An ‘intermediate service’, which costs £300, is needed at 10,000 miles and every 20,000 miles after that. However, at 20,000 miles and then at 20,000-mile intervals, the car has to have what Lexus calls a ‘Full’ service and which costs around £600.

If you want to spread the cost of servicing into a series of easier-to-manage payments, you can take out a service plan. The precise cost will vary, depending on how long a plan you want, what's included and how frequently you’d like to pay, but it can all be sorted out by your Lexus dealer.

Road tax

After the initial CO2-weighted payment, the most basic RC models will cost £130 per year. However, if you buy a model that costs more than £40,000 - which most of them do, and even the basic model will do, if you add a few options - you’ll also have to pay the £310 surcharge, meaning an annual bill of £440.

Depreciation

As with any mainstream car, depreciation is the biggest single cost involved in owning it, and the Lexus doesn’t do too badly compared to its rivals. The RC is forecast to retain just over 40% of its value over three years and 36,000 miles, which is roughly the same as comparable versions of the Audi A5 and Mercedes C-Class - but better than the BMW 4 Series.