Toyota Mirai running costs

Daily economy is roughly on a par with a 40mpg car, but the Toyota Mirai lease deal includes fuel

If you want to impress the neighbours with the first fuel-cell car on your street, it’s going to cost you. Buy a Mirai outright and the sticker cost of £66,000 puts it head-to-head with some impressive plug-in hybrid and battery-powered electric rivals. That’s the price of being an early adopter though, and people who know about such things tell us that by the mid-2020s, Toyota fuel-cell cars should have reached price parity with more established hybrid alternatives.

There’s a bit of good news in the fact that Toyota’s £750-a-month lease also includes fuel. That seems expensive, but when you knock off the £200 or so Toyota reckons users might typically spend at the hydrogen pump, the £500 left over isn’t so savage compared to rates for similarly specified executive cars. If you want to drive on batteries, it’s about the same cost per month as the Tesla Model S.

Without a Toyota hydrogen fuel-card, you’d likely pay around £10/kg for fuel, which adds up to £50 for a full tank. Factor in a 300-mile range, and that’s where the cost-equivalence with a 40mpg (real-world) petrol saloon comes in, so you get nothing like the running cost benefits of today’s battery-powered electric cars.

The Benefit-in-Kind tax rate for company drivers is low at 9%, and with zero tailpipe emissions you’ll always be first in the queue for exemptions from environmental penalties like the London Congestion Charge.

Of course when fuel-cell tech becomes mainstream some years from now, Toyota – and others – expect road pricing to have replaced fuel duty as the main tax on car ownership, removing rivals’ battery-powered running cost advantages at a stroke.

Toyota Mirai insurance group

The Toyota Mirai hasn’t been awarded an insurance group rating, so you’ll need to discuss the cost of cover with your broker.

Warranty

The Toyota standard warranty of five years or 100,000 miles applies to the Mirai, and you can bump up the battery warranty a year at a time after that to a maximum of 10 years – if you keep the service record up to date.

Servicing

The Toyota Mirai needs an annual service check, but under the terms of the lease deal everything’s included. That said, long-term service and maintenance should be lower for fuel-cell cars than petrol or diesel equivalents. The fuel-cell itself has no moving parts and is designed to outlast the car, so apart from a couple of specific checks – a water de-ionising filter needs replacing every 30,000-miles and there’s a procedure to check hydrogen leak sensors – it’s all about brakes, tyres and windscreen wipers.

Road tax

Zero tailpipe emissions means the Mirai currently attracts zero road tax. But unfortunately as the Mirai is well above the £40,000 luxury-car surcharge threshold you still have to pay £310 for years two to six.

Depreciation

As there’s no real open marketplace for the Mirai in the UK, it’s hard predict meaningful residual values. That said, partly because its fuel-cell has no moving parts and doesn’t wear out or lose efficiency like an internal combustion engine or battery, Toyota is confident residual values should be as good or better than its current crop of hybrids.