When taking the decision to buy a car it’s easy to lose sights on the cost of buying the vehicle. But that should only be half your budget! Cars are like children – you have to feed them and pay bills on them and keep them healthy. Before splash out on the priciest motor you can afford, why not take some time to consider these costs so your car doesn’t run you into a chasm of debt.
Fuel prices are always going up. A debate stands as to whether petrol or diesel is more economical Personally, I choose diesel as although it is slightly more expensive, you burn through it a lot slower than petrol. You can drive as carefully as possible, but you’re always going to have to fill up eventually, so make sure you have the spare income to keep your car fed.
Any vehicle that’s on the road has to pay tax. This tax is based on the emissions it produces – so cars that produce more emissions generally have to pay more tax. There are some occasions where you might not have to pay tax, for example if you have an electric car or a very old car. Disabled drivers don’t have to pay road tax either. Average road tax in the UK is £166 a year.
Once a year you will have to pay for a mandatory health & safety test for your vehicle called an MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. This test checks your car to make sure that it is safe for the driver and other drivers, that it does not produce too many emissions and that it is generally roadworthy. Failing your MOT can result in having to pay for repairs.
Although some makes are known to be more reliable than other, all drivers will have to shell out on repairs now and again. These can be some of the most costly parts of running a car, although you can save money by visiting specialists (for example, for brake repairs there are companies like whocanfixmycar.com that specialise in this area). On top of repairs, remember DIY purchases such as air, water, engine coolant and wiper fluid (although these are generally inexpensive!)
This is the big expense! Everyone hates car insurance. The longer you’ve been a driver and the less claims and trouble you get in, the less pricy your insurance becomes. £429 is the average insurance cost a year for drivers, more than most people’s annual income tax. For new drivers, it can be more than double this. Alongside the cost of buying your new vehicle, insurance should be the top cost you consider (in some case insurance can be more expensive than buying the vehicle itself) Shopping around can stop you from paying extortionate amounts demanded by some companies. New drivers on a budget should look into shared schemes or deals specifically aimed at new drivers (including the black box method).