Blogs > Life in the UK

The cost of running a car in the UK

  • September 19, 2018

After you have settled into the UK, found your way around the local area, obtained a UK driving licence, you will begin to think about purchasing a car. Buying a car can be an expensive venture, therefore, in today’s post, we provide you with all the costs involved in running a car.

To drive a car on public roads there are certain requirements you must meet by law:

Car Insurance

The amount you pay for your car insurance is called a premium. Insurance companies will take various details from you to work out what your monthly or yearly premium will be. This includes personal details (such as age and postcode), the cars details, the level of cover you are looking for, previous car insurance claims etc. This information will allow the insurance broker to calculate your premium based upon the provided information.

The best way to get cheaper car insurance is to use comparison sites to find the best deal. Once you have a couple of good quotes, you might want to call an insurance broker and ask them to beat it (it’s free, they will do all the work and then call you back).  We also advise for you to pay your premium all at once, rather than monthly instalments as you will have to pay interest on instalments.  

Useful Car Insurance Comparison Websites:

Compare the Market

Go Compare

Car Tax

Car tax is also referred to as road tax and it must be paid on all registered vehicles that are kept or driven on public roads.

The price of road tax can vary depending on how environmentally friendly your car is. When you purchase your road tax online, it will be automatically transferred with the vehicle. It is important to remember that you must tax your car before you use it.

Choosing the right car can make a big difference to your tax costs, as choosing a low-tax car could mean it holds its value better as more people will want to buy it.

If you have already bought a car and you want to find out how much its tax is going to cost, please click here.

Please click here for a list of tax free cars.

MOT Testing

An MOT is a yearly test for all cars over three years old. The vehicle, by UK law, must pass its MOT to ensure it is safe and roadworthy.

The maximum price for an MOT costs £54.85, however, some garages offer cheaper prices to guarantee they get the repair business too.

Other costs involved in running a car:

Fuelling the car

The average price of a litre of fuel in the UK is around £1.29 (September 2018) for petrol and £1.33 for diesel, however, this price will fluctuate from street to street and town to town.

To calculate how much it will cost for you to fuel your car each month please click here.

Tips for reducing your fuel costs:

  • Careful driving: gentle acceleration and not driving quickly all the time will reduce the amount of fuel that you use
  • Efficiency: The bigger your car's engine is the more fuel it will use in general
  • Shopping: If you buy your fuel from the same petrol provider then they are likely to offer a loyalty card, which will allow you to build up your rewards points to spend on other shopping
  • Travel for your fuel: Buying it from a supermarket petrol station over a motorway/local stations – the prices can be considerably lower

Servicing and Maintenance Costs

Upon considering how much it will cost to run a car, it is important you do not forget about maintenance fees of the car.

The RAC, a UK motor car service states that it costs around £472 a year to maintain a used car. This fee includes an MOT, a service and any repairs needed. However, please note that if you buy a new car it is likely that you may not need any repairs at all.

It is important to service your car regularly, as it will help maintain its value and reduce costs in the long-term.

To read our blog: How to get a UK driving licence please click here.

References (2018). Car insurance for young drivers – the key facts. [online] Available at: https://www.moneyadviceservi


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