4 Ongoing Costs Car Owners Need To Be Aware Of

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Owning a car is about more than simply heading out to your local dealership and buying any vehicle that catches your eye. Much like a house purchase, buying a car can come with many ongoing costs on top of the upfront expense.

The average cost of a car in the UK can range from £12,000 to £24,000 and can be more or less depending on the vehicle you want and your budget. However, the average household spends around £1,4000 per year on car-related expenses and finances, meaning that those looking into whether or not they can afford a car need to factor in these annual costs. So before you head out of your local peugeot dealer or used car showroom, for example, knowing what you will end up paying for can be worthwhile once you bring your new purchase home.


Your car will need an MOT every year once it’s older than 3 years. New cars don’t need an MOT for the first 3 years, but once past this point, you will need to get it done every year. 

The average cost of an MOT for cars for up to 8 passengers is around £55, although it can be more or less depending on the provider you use and your local area. Some offer free retesting if you fail, but you might pay a higher price. Some might offer a low MOT on special offers, but looking around your local area can alert you to the price you might expect to pay.


It is a legal requirement for every driver on the road to have insurance for a vehicle they own and drive. Insurance premiums are rising, and there is no set rule or guide for how much you will pay for your insurance. Multiple factors will affect your premiums, including. 

  • The car you buy
  • The age of the car
  • Your local area
  • Your driving history
  • Your age
  • If you have any no-claims bonuses
  • If you have any markers against your name, i.e. if you’ve been refused insurance before or had insurance cancelled on you

Car insurance can be paid annually or monthly for an added premium on the total cost.


Cars need to be serviced yearly or 10,000 miles, whatever comes first. Servicing allows you to ensure that your car is in good working order. Much like the MOT, car service can vary in price, depending on the type of service you have done and the car you have. You can get a general service for an average of £210, but specialist dealerships or mechanics might cost you more. Servicing your car isn’t a legal requirement; however, doing this each year will improve the lifespan of your car and ensure you’re driving a vehicle in good condition. A full service includes visual inspections of brakes and steering controls, fluid changes, new spark plugs, fuel pipe and engine checks, transmission inspections, and much more.


Every vehicle on the road needs to be taxed, even the cars that qualify for £0 road tax. You still need to register your vehicle to be taxed. The age of your car and the missions will dictate the cost of your annual road tax, but you can pay for this monthly or annually. It can be anywhere from £0 to £20 per year, all the way up to £735 for some older cars.

Your car will require you to be able to afford all of the above costs, as well as repairs, maintenance, and even breakdown coverage if you require it. Before splashing out on a top-of-the-range motor, you must understand the annual costs and how much they will cost to be sure you can afford the ongoing payments.