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Car Ownership Costs 2022

A normal car is parked on a city street

Many car owners in the UK have never given a second thought to how much money they fork out to maintain their vehicles. The best estimates are that you would spend around £3,600 a year on car ownership costs, which are separate from the purchase price when you bought the car.

The biggest car expenses

The most significant expense by far is having to top up your car with fuel. On average, most people spend around £1,000 a year on either petrol or diesel. It could be slightly less than this, or more depending on how much you drive, but typical drivers tend to spend this amount.

However, there’s a silver lining. If you opt for an electric vehicle, you could potentially slash these costs significantly, offering a glimmer of hope for reducing your annual expenses.

Car Insurance

The price of insurance will wildly differ for everyone, as car insurance is priced based on many factors. Nimblefins state that the average annual car insurance policy for people with no claims or convictions is just under £500.

It’s important to note that car insurance costs can be highly unpredictable, influenced by a myriad of factors. Whether you’re a new driver, have points on your license, or have a previous driving ban, there are numerous reasons why your car insurance could exceed the average. This understanding can help you better navigate the costs of car ownership.

Below is a table showing our minimum and average prices for different types of car insurance, just to show how varied it can be.

Product Lowest price Highest price
Insurance for convicted drivers £302.40 £5176.87
Fast food delivery drivers £877.5 £6,968.8
Business car insurance £420.00 £4,850.00

There can even be vast differences with the products themselves. For example, in the insurance for convicted drivers, this would include people with just 1 speeding conviction, as well as people with multiple drink-driving convictions and bans and everything in between. It is impossible to give a basic figure on how much car insurance costs, but you would need to look at your own situation insurance-wise and be able to budget for it.

The average cost of running a car

Nimblefins states that UK car owners spend an average of over £3,000 to run their cars each year. The biggest expenses include petrol or diesel at £961 a year, motor insurance at £484 a year, and repairs and servicing at £273 a year. Additionally, drivers must factor in road tax, parking fees and permits, driving lessons, car clubs, fines, and other upkeep, which cost an additional £259 per car.

Servicing your car

The average amount to service or repair your car per year is between £250 and £300. Although just like the car insurance this can vary massively. Newer cars for example are not as likely to come across any issues that need repairing, whereas the opposite can be said about older cars.

Also, in the life span of your car, no two years are the same, service-wise. Your car could need major repairs one year, which could cost a lot of money, and the next year, everything could be fine. This means it can be difficult to come up with an average annual expense.

Other expenses

Other smaller expenses also add to the annual cost of maintaining a car. They may not seem like much, but they can add up. These things include

  • Road tax (This will be increasing from 1 April 2022; Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced his proposal in the autumn Budget 2021)
  • Car Washing
  • Necessities such as antifreeze, wiper fluid, tools, etc.
  • Any fines you may receive
  • Car parking costs/permits

More questions

How much does it cost per mile for petrol/diesel?

How much you spend on fuel will depend on factors such as your car’s fuel efficiency and how much you drive. The tables below feature data from the gov. UK website and are accurate as of 31 August 2022.

Regarding pricing, numbers have been rounded up or down to the nearest whole pence.


Engine Size CC Mean MPG Fuel Price (per litre) Fuel Price (per gallon) Rate per mile
Up to 1400 51.9 174.2p 791.9p 15p
1401-2000 44.1 174.2p 791.9p 18p
2001 + 38.8 174.2p 791.9p 27p


Engine Size CC Mean MPG Fuel Price (per litre) Fuel Price (per gallon) Rate per mile
Up to 1400 60.7 185.2p 841.8p 14p
1401-2000 49.8 185.2p 841.8p 17p
2001 + 38.8 185.2p 841.8p 22p

As you can see from the tables above, diesel is more expensive than petrol, but diesel cars are more fuel-efficient. This means that in the long run, fuel-wise, it is cheaper to own a diesel car.

How many cars in the UK are Diesel?

Data sourced from Statista, which was true as of January 2020, show us the breakdown of cars in the UK;

63.5% – Petrol

25.71% – Diesel

10.70% – Electric

How many cars per household in the UK?

There are currently around 1.2 cars per household in the UK.

So, while it can differ for everyone, the average yearly cost of owning a car is around £3,000, which does not include the price of the car. This figure was true before the rising petrol and diesel costs, so you may need to budget more than this figure, depending on how many miles a year you drive and whether your car is petrol or diesel. So it is always best to work out your finances before you purchase a car to see if you can afford to keep and maintain a car throughout the year.

Final thoughts

Overall, we hope that we have provided you with a deeper understanding of the cost of owning a car in the UK.

We found that the biggest expenses are fuel and car insurance, but there are also hidden costs that people sometimes forget about, such as road tax, parking, car washing and necessities like antifreeze and wiper fluid.