Can you afford to run a car?

There’s no denying that running a car is expensive. Once you have payed for the vehicle, there are still numerous running costs to take into account, including road tax, maintenance, servicing, insurance and more. When added together, these outlays can quickly build up to a jaw-dropping amount. If you are unsure whether or not you can afford to keep a car on the road, this guide should shed light on some of the associated costs.


Insurance is one of the biggest expenses for drivers, and the level of cover you choose can have a big impact on your car’s operating costs. To make sure you’re getting the best value deal, you may benefit from enlisting the help of insurance brokers. These companies can quickly scour different insurance providers to help you find the most competitive offers. In fact, you can compare car insurance quotes online in just a few minutes. With such help at hand, you can easily find a policy that suits your specific needs and budget.

However, while you want to get a good deal, it’s also crucial that the policy you choose suits your particular circumstances. For example, while third party may be cheaper, it only offers a basic level of insurance and may prove to be a false economy. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you may pay more for insurance if you are a young driver, live in an area with a high crime rate or your car has a powerful engine.

Road tax

Tax rates depend on engine size and fuel type, the date of first registration and C02 emissions. The lower the car’s emissions and engine size, the lower tax band it falls under and the less you will have to pay. To put this into perspective, owners with cars that emit the most emissions can be paying up to £500 per year, while an owner with a cleaner car may pay no tax at all.

Maintenance and servicing

How well your vehicle runs will also affect your driving costs. Performing regular maintenance checks will ensure that your car runs more efficiently and help to prevent expensive repairs further down the line. If your car is older, it is likely to need more regular MOTs and servicing.

Prices for servicing can range from £45 up to £200, depending on the level of service needed. Remember that the overall cost of servicing will depend on the type of vehicle you have and the garage you go to.

Other considerations

Other commonly overlooked considerations include depreciation, breakdown cover and replacement of parts and tyres, as well as everyday expenditures like parking, tolls, congestion charges and fuel costs.

Of course, the overall price you pay will ultimately depend on the type of vehicle you own and how you use it. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are always ways to make driving cheaper. After you have considered the potential costs, you should have a better idea of how to remain within your budget.

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