The purchase price of your car and any subsequent loan repayments are just the start of costs when it comes to owning a vehicle. Going into any purchase fully aware of the ongoing costs is always a good idea. Here’s our average cost guide for your annual motoring to help you decide whether you really can afford that new set of wheels.
You can’t opt out of having insurance. It’s a legal requirement and not having it gets you a fine and points on your licence. The cost will vary hugely depending on your motoring history, postcode and age. Drivers aged between 21 and 25 in central London pay, on average, over £2,250 a year. As a contrast, a 45 year old living in the Scottish Highlands pays £300 a year. Never go with the first quote you see, shop around and do so every year rather than just accepting the renewal.
Another essential expense is road tax. Vehicle road tax rates go up and down all the time, depending on the policy of the government at the time. You can enter your vehicle’s registration number online and see what the current tax band is. You will also receive a reminder online when the tax is due for renewal. If you’ve bought a car with very low emissions, or an electric or hybrid vehicle, you won’t pay any car tax at all.
MOT and Servicing
If your car is over three years old, it will require a MOT test every year. The cost for the test itself is capped by the government at just over £50, but many garages choose to charge less than this in order to attract custom. If the mechanic finds something wrong with your vehicle during the test, this is when things can start to get pricey. A good way to avoid unexpected surprises at MOT time is by keeping up with your car’s recommended schedule of servicing. A basic service at a local garage will cost around £125 but often this doesn’t need to be done every year.
The average bill for fuel comes in at around £2500. There are ways of cutting this cost such as choosing a more fuel efficient car in the first place, or taking advantage on offers and promotions which garages often run. It’s also surprising how much you can cut your costs by driving more smoothly as sharp braking and accelerating can hugely increase the amount of fuel your car gets through.
You won’t have to change tyres every year, but it’s a cost worth factoring in. Tyres usually last two to three years depending on how many miles you’re doing. Once you know what size of tyres you need, search online for the best deal. You can expect to pay anything between £50 and £100 per tyre, including fitting. Maintain your tyres by regularly checking pressure and tread depth. If you notice uneven wear, this should be investigated by a mechanic.