The Cost of Running a Car

How to calculate running costs for your car

In order to estimate the running costs of each make and model ahead of its annual Petrol Car and Diesel Car Motoring Cost Reviews, the AA divides costs into standing charges and running charges. By doing the same for your individual driving needs, you can get a relatively accurate idea of how much you spend on your car each year.

Standing charges

Annual car tax, insurance, breakdown cover, financing fees and the loss of value due to vehicle depreciation all make up the basic costs of driving a road-ready car. Ironically, the biggest cost factor is the one that's easiest to lose sight of: depreciation. The more you drive your car, the faster it loses value – this is because cars with high mileage typically sell for the least when you want to trade up or put your car on the market. You can get free online car valuations to help you stay on top of any changes to your car's value.

Running costs

The kind of vehicle you drive will determine how much money you put into it each year. Factor in your fuel costs, servicing, repair costs, parking fees and toll charges. Again, the more you drive the higher your running costs will be. However, the costs of servicing tend to pay for themselves as a perfectly tuned car consumes around 25 percent less fuel.

Reducing your running costs

Of course, you also have control over your running costs by choosing what kind of car you drive. The higher the fuel economy, the lower your fuel costs. The lower the carbon emissions, the lower your road tax – in the case of cars that produce less than 100g/km, you can even earn exemption from road tax.

When you buy a new car, you often have a choice over the configuration. There will be a range of engine choices and some will be more economical than others. It's also useful to know that a manual transmission is typically more fuel-efficient than an automatic transmission – many new cars even come with gear change alerts to help you drive more economically.

How you drive your car can further impact your running costs. Abiding by speed limits, braking and accelerating gently, avoiding idling and fully inflating your tyres can all improve your fuel economy and help you make fewer stops at the petrol station. You can learn more about keeping your fuel costs to a minimum here.

Our qualified technicians are available to offer individual advice on your running costs and help you get more for your money with regular servicing. Please contact your nearest Charles Hurst dealership to find out more.