How Much Does It Cost To Run A Car?

Yellow Mini Cooper Parked

We recently carried out a poll on Twitter to find out how much on average people spend on their car monthly. We did not get a huge response, however out of the 10, we can see that 80% of people spend between 0 – £200 a month. Broken down further, this is 40% between 0-£100 and 40% between £101 – £200.

UK Monthly Car Running Cost Survey Results

Where this was a small dataset, we decided to carry out a further investigation. Below, Kwik Fit has provided an excellent and accurate report of the monthly spending associated with owning a car.

“The average cost to run a car in the UK is £226 a month. If you were to add car financing costs, the average cost would increase to £388.”

ItemAverage Monthly Spend
Fuel£67.63
Car insurance£31.64
Routine maintenance and servicing£15.96
Unexpected repairs and breakdowns£13.26
Vehicle excise duty (road tax)£12.16
Breakdown cover£6.96
Parking permits and tickets£6.89
Cleaning£4.15
Fines£3.62
Total Monthly Average (without finance)£162.33
Finance£226.12
Total Monthly Average (with finance)388.45
Source: Kwik Fit

As you can see from the graph, the highest cost of running a car is fuel at £67.63. If we estimate that it’s 40p per mile, they’ve taken into consideration that you’ll travel at least 169 miles per month.

Without a doubt, the cost of owning a car can be high, especially if you’ve financed your car. However, you can save on the above factors, such as opting in for a telematics box to lower your insurance premiums.

What Is The Biggest Expenditure For A Car?

Using the above graph, we can estimate that they’re three main expenditures from owning a car. These are the below:

1. Petrol and Diesel

The highest cost to run a car was fuel at £67.63 (£811.56 annually), and this can widely range from the type of motorist you are. However, Kwik Fit only reported the data from cars they’ve performed work to. But on average, 59% of drivers travel 5,000 or more miles each year, instead of the small 2,028 they estimated, which means that this cost could be a considerable bit more at £2,000 annually.

2. Motor Insurance

The next most expensive factor to running a vehicle is car insurance. I’m sure we all saw this one coming, and I hate to say it, but it might be much more for young drivers or people with driving offenses. As a driver between the ages of 17-20, you’ll be expected to pay around £1,800 annually and for 21 to 25-year-olds, £1000. This is much more than what Kwik Fit predicted, but it can be dramatically decreased by getting a black box installed in your vehicle.

If you are between 17-20 and are looking for low -insurance options, you should read our blog post on the cheapest cars to insure for 17 year olds.

3. Repairs and Servicing

The third most expensive factor to consider when running a car is service and repair costs. This is expected, and unfortunately, there isn’t any way to make this cheaper. Well, unless you do it yourself. But if you’re not a qualified mechanic, I don’t urge you to do this.

When buying a vehicle, you should look into the associated full car servicing costs. This will give you an idea of future expenses.

Final Words

As we can see from the above, running a car can be remarkably expensive over the course of a year. There are many “hidden” fees that new motorists may not be aware of while operating a car, and even the smaller costs certainly rack up.

But nevertheless, you’ll be able to save money on your car insurance, fines, and any full car servicing costs if you treat your car correctly.

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