Owning a car is a major responsibility and can be surprisingly expensive. The learner driver faces not only the cost of buying a car but also insuring it, taxing it, obtaining an MOT certificate for it, filling it with fuel and maintaining and servicing it. There are optional extras such as breakdown cover that also add to the total price of owning a car.
Although there are millions of cars on our roads, all ranging in price, quality and fuel consumption, the following is a breakdown of the cost of owning a typical small UK car.
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The Cost of Owning a Car
The following annual cost analysis is based on a Renault Megane 5 door hatchback; 1.6L, petrol engine, first registered August 2005 with 22,000 miles on the odometer. It is also assumed that car purchase is funded buy a three year car loan at 8.8% APR.
The car insurance cover assumes an 18 year old male driver, currently living with parents. The cover also assumes a usage of 12,000 miles per annum and that the driver has 0% No Claims Discount. The insurance cover is fully comprehensive with a £500.00 excess.
Please be aware that this analysis is solely intended to highlight an order of cost of owning a car and is not a definitive analysis of running costs of this particular vehicle. Maintenance, servicing and insurance costs can greatly vary.
For more information on each of the elements of owning a car and what each entails, just click on the appropriate link.
The total annual cost of £7,104.10 equates to £592.00 per month. As you can see, the decision to buy and run a car should not be taken lightily. In this particular case, the running costs are fairly significant. Note however that once a new driver starts to accumulate ‘No Claim Discounts’, the insurance premiums should reduce on a yearly basis making the cost of owning a car that bit more affordable. This obviously assumes that you have no accidents and don’t make any other claims on your policy.
Please also note that breakdown cover, car tax, maintenance and servicing are usually one-off payments: the above monthly payments analysis assumes that you would save in advance for each of these bills, ie: the first service occuring 12 months after first owning the car.
There are many drivers on Britian’s roads who do not insure or responsibly maintain their cars. What at first seems a much cheaper and more affordable way to run a vehicle is in fact significantly more dangerous and could end up costing you more than the normal running costs of a car: you could kill yourself or another road user, you could be heavily penalised financially or you could even be given a custodial sentance.
Consider the likely outcome if airline pilots didn’t undertake a very thorough cockpit drill or that an aircraft was not appropriately maintained or serviced. I bet you would be extremely nervous boarding a plane for your summer vacation.
It’s essential that all road users and car owners fully follow the rules and safety procedures set in place by the Government. This includes a degree of common sense being applied by road users as to the state, condition and road-worthyness of a car. If in doubt, get the car checked out by a mechanic, double check that you have the appropriate insurance and have paid all statutory fees associated with car ownership. The responsibility is your’s – do the right thing: don’t be a fool.