The true cost of owning a car

Posted on 01 May 2013 by Tony Santos

The true cost of owning a carThere are many variables involved with working out exactly how much your car will cost you to run, making it very difficult to say with any precision exactly how much money you will set aside to keep it on the road in the year ahead. For new motorists this is particularly tricky, so here are some things to bear in mind in order to avoid finding yourself in unexpected debt:

Runnning vs standing charges

These two main categories refer to the two different types of expenditure that are necessary. Standing charges are those that you would incur whether or not you actually take the car out of the driveway, and are simply built up in preparing your vehicle for use. These include the cost of buying the car itself, motor insurance, road tax, and any breakdown cover that you decide to take out. Some companies such as AXA Insurance offer roadside assistance as part of your policy, so you may be able to save money by combining those two elements. The other big factor in establishing the overall annual cost of your car is how much it will depreciate in re-sale value. Unless you own an immaculately maintained genuine classic car, this is only going to go one one way, and is generally affected mostly by the mileage. Keep an eye on the second hand markets to see how much you can expect to receive for a sale.

Running costs are made up of the day to day expenses involved in actually using your car for travel. The most obvious one is petrol, the price of which is broadly speaking always on the rise.  Filling your tank may be the most regular outgoing, but other things to remember are toll roads and parking charges.

While a few pounds at a time may not sound like a great deal, it can really add up over a year so don’t forget to factor these in. If you live in a city and need to invest in off the road parking for insurance, safety or convenience purposes, this can be a much greater cost than perhaps you expect. Also included in this category are servicing charges and the associated purchases such as repairs and new tyres. It is always worth keeping a sum set aside for these eventualities, particularly if you rely on your car for work.

Keeping the cost down

The most straightforward way that you can affect the overall cost of owning a vehicle is to use it only when necessary. Assess each journey to see whether or not you really need to take the car, and by cutting out the shorter ones or combing trips you can save money on petrol, keep the car mileage low for resale and reduce your overall wear and tear. Keeping safe on the roads by driving carefully will help you reduce your insurance premium by racking up some no claims discount, as well as saving money on mending damage.

Categorized | Car News, Car Tips

Related Posts

Comments are closed.