RAC Cars News


How Much Does Owning A Car Really Cost?

By raccars Published

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Everyone knows that car ownership is an expensive business - now more than ever, but what's the true cost of owning a car in the UK? The Ford Fiesta is Britain's best selling car, both on a monthly basis and ever. The most popular model in the range is the Zetec 1.0 Ecoboost, with a list price of £15,395. If you run it for five years, the total cost will be £28,083 or £5,617 every year, or £468 per month.

Five years of road tax on this model could reach £1,055 and the average car owner can expect to spend £912 on parking the car over a five year period. You are likely to spend £4,030 on insurance in that time and £2,446 on maintenance and repairs - £834 on tyres, £1,362 on servicing and £250 on breakdown cover. In five years, you are likely to spend £5,300 on fuel.

Then there's depreciation - an hour after driving your new Fiesta off the dealer's forecourt its true market value has decreased to £13,855 or only 90% of what you paid for it. The first year of ownership carries the biggest hit to a car's worth, up to 34%, so that Fiesta will only be worth £10,125 a year after you bought it. Within 24 months, it will only be worth 54% of its original price or £8,326, going down to £6,849 or 45% after three years. Four years of ownership will wipe 61% from your car's list price for a true market value of £5,825, going down to £5,165 or 34% after five years.

There are, of course, lots of ways you can reduce the costs of car ownership. Before you decide to purchase a new or used car, take a look at its emissions rating. This is the figure on which road tax is calculated and varies from nil every year for the cleanest and greenest car, up to £300 or more for more polluting models.

A number of factors go into the complicated procedure of calculating your car insurance premium, but the car's power output is one of them. As a rule, smaller engines mean smaller premiums, so don't buy a car with a big, powerful engine unless you really need it and are happy to pay more for your insurance. You can also look at depreciation statistics. Some cars lose their value far more quickly than others, so consider this, if resale value is important to you.

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