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The True Cost of Owning a Car

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Understanding the true cost of owning a car – beyond the initial purchase price– is crucial for keeping your finances healthy.

This guide will unveil the hidden expenses associated with car ownership and equip you with savvy strategies to keep your monthly outgoings in check.

Fuelling The Drain on Your Finances

Fuel is a significant ongoing cost, and with steep price rises in recent years, it's more important than ever to make smart choices.

Fuel efficiency varies greatly between car models, so choosing a car with a higher MPG (miles per gallon) number can help.

Additionally, consider adopting techniques like smoother acceleration and maintaining steady speeds to maximise fuel efficiency. For some drivers, vehicles like hybrids or electric cars (EVs) might be a viable option, although they come with a higher upfront cost.

Steering Clear of High Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums are another major expense for motorists. They're influenced by factors like your car's make, model, your driving record and even your postcode. You will need to get a car insurance quote that suits your driving habits and shopping around for competitive quotes from different insurers is crucial.

Additionally, consider telematics insurance, which tailors your premium based on your driving habits. These policies can reward safe drivers with significant discounts.

Taxing Times

Let's not forget about road tax, officially known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). The amount you pay depends on your car's CO2 emissions, with more polluting vehicles attracting higher rates. You can check the VED rates for your car online. Factoring this cost into your initial budget is essential.

Maintaining Your Motor

Regular servicing is vital for keeping your car running smoothly and safely. While servicing costs can vary, neglecting them can lead to expensive repairs down the line. Think of servicing as preventative maintenance for your car, similar to a health check-up for yourself! Setting aside a budget for servicing will save you money in the long run.

The Extras Add Up

Beyond the headline costs, there are various additional expenses associated with car ownership. Don't forget to factor in the cost of parking permits, MOT tests, breakdown cover for unexpected roadside assistance, and even car washes!

Reducing the Financial Burden of Car Ownership

Now that you're aware of the various costs involved, here's how to keep your car ownership expenses under control.

  • Be savvy with your selection: When choosing a car, prioritise fuel efficiency, reliability, and models that hold their value well. Research various options online and consult car review websites before making a decision.
  • Embrace fuel efficiency: Practice fuel-saving techniques and explore alternative vehicles like hybrids or EVs if they suit your lifestyle. Consider using a fuel price comparison app to find the cheapest petrol stations near you.
  • Outsmart insurance: Shop around for competitive quotes and consider telematics insurance for potential discounts. Raising your voluntary excess on your insurance policy can also lower your premium.
  • The magic of maintenance: Regular servicing will prevent costly breakdowns and keep your car running smoothly.
  • Explore alternatives: For shorter journeys, consider car-sharing clubs, public transport options, or even cycling.


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