Liver transplantation (LT) is the only definitive treatment to cure hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis. Waiting-list candidates are selected by the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD). However, many indications are not sufficiently represented by labMELD. For HCC, patients are selected by Milan-criteria: Milan-in qualifies for standard exception (SE) and better organ access on the waiting list; while Milan-out patients are restricted to labMELD and might benefit from extended criteria donor (ECD)-grafts. We analyzed a cohort of 102 patients (2011–2020). Patients with labMELD (no SE, Milan-out, n = 56) and matchMELD (SE-HCC, Milan-in, n = 46) were compared. The median overall survival was not significantly different (p = 0.759). No difference was found in time on the waiting list (p = 0.881), donor risk index (p = 0.697) or median costs (p = 0.204, EUR 43,500 (EUR 17,800–185,000) for labMELD and EUR 30,300 (EUR 17,200–395,900) for match-MELD). Costs were triggered by a cut-off labMELD of 12 points. Overall, the deficit increased by EUR 580 per labMELD point. Cost drivers were re-operation (p < 0.001), infection with multiresistant germs (p = 0.020), dialysis (p = 0.017), operation time (p = 0.012) and transfusions (p < 0.001). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that LT for HCC is successful and cost-effective in low lab-MELD patients independent of Milan-criteria. Therefore, ECD-grafts are favorized in Milan-out HCC patients with low labMELD.