Car ownership costs

Insurance Revolution

There are many car owners in the UK who have never given a second thought to how much money they fork out in maintaining their vehicle.  Best estimates are that you would spend around £3,100 a year on car ownership costs, and this is separate from the purchase price when you bought the car. 

The biggest car expenses 

The biggest 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. 


Of course, if you have an electric vehicle, these costs can be dramatically reduced.


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. There are many people who pay much more than this, new drivers, those with points on their licence or a previous driving ban, and many other factors. There are many reasons why the cost of your car insurance could be above average. Either way, car insurance is one of the many costs of keeping a car.  


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


March 2020 - March 2021

Product Lowest Price Highest Price
Insurance for convicted drivers £304.19 £2,016.83
Fast Food delivery drivers £924 £1824.61
Busines Car Insurance £325 £1465.72

That 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. 


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, where the opposite can be said about older cars.  Also in the life span of your car, no two years would be 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 

There are other, smaller expenses which also add to the annual cost of maintaining a car. They may not seem like much, but it can add up. These things includes;


  • Road tax
  • 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 the fuel efficiency of your car, and how much you drive. The below tables feature data from the gov.uk website, and are accurate as of March 2021. 

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


Engine Size (cc) Mean MPG (Miles per gallon) Applied MPG Fuel Price (Per litre) Fuel Price (Per gallon) Rate Per Mile
Up to 1400 57 52.7 £1.21 £5.48 10 pence
1401 - 2000 48.2 44.6 £1.21 £5.48 12 pence
Over 2000 32.7 30.3 £1.21 £5.48 18 pence



Engine Size (cc) Mean MPG (Miles per gallon) Applied MPG Fuel Price (Per litre) Fuel Price (Per gallon) Rate per mile
up to 1400 71.3 65.9 £1.25 £5.68 9 pence
1401 - 2000 57.9 53.4 £1.25 £5.68 11 pence
Over 2000 49.8 45.8 £1.25 £5.68 12 pence

For information on electric cars, see our electric car blog

As you can see from the tables above, the price of diesel itself is more expensive than petrol, but diesel cars are more fuel efficient. This means 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. 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. 

Some of the data from this blog has been sourced by Nimblefins. 


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