If you’ve just passed your test or are in the process of learning, you’re bound to have thought about what the costs are for owning a car. We all know they can be expensive, but what exactly does it cost to have a car out on the roads? Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
Unless you have a good chunk of money saved up you may have to go down the car finance route. This is useful as it allows you to spread the cost, and gives you the ability to own a better vehicle than you could probably ever afford to buy outright. A newer car will be more reliable with less chance of going wrong so can work out cheaper in the long run. Obtaining any kind of credit or finance is difficult when you don’t have a perfect credit score, but if you’ve had some issues in the past, it’s not the end of the road. You could find a bad credit car finance company who will be able to get you quotes from insurers who specialise specifically in this.
Another major cost to consider is your car insurance. As a new driver, this is likely to be the highest cost to deal with when it comes to owning a car. It all depends on your age, the area you live and the car you’re driving but you can expect quotes for a new driver to be anywhere from one to ten thousand pounds a year. Before purchasing any vehicle, always run some quotes through a comparison site to make sure the insurance is affordable.
Road tax for most cars is based on the co2 emissions they release. Therefore older cars generally cost more to tax, and newer more eco-friendly models cost less. Right now road tax will cost anything between £0 and £2000 a year depending on the car you have so again be sure to double check this before committing to any car. The last thing you want is to make such a large purchase and then realise you can’t afford the tax you need to legally drive it on the road.
Your fuel costs will vary hugely depending on how much you drive, your engine size and also the way you drive too. You can reduce fuel costs by not driving with the windows open (as this creates wind resistance) not using the air conditioning excessively and not revving the engine unnecessarily such as when you’re sat in traffic. Shop around for your fuel too, often Supermarkets have cheaper rates than garages like BP, Texaco, and Shell.
MOT and Repairs
One of the most dreaded times for a car owner is when it breaks down. Maybe something has gone wrong while you were driving or it was spotted during the MOT. Either way, car repairs are incredibly pricey. Signing up to a breakdown company can work out cheaper in the long run, as if you do end up breaking down you don’t have to pay an emergency callout fee. If you’re worried about being ripped off at a garage, a good tip is to have your MOT done at a council testing station. These are open to the public, but because they don’t do repairs they have no motivation for failing people. That way if they tell you something is wrong, you know that it definitely is and it’s not about getting money out of you!