Owning a car sets Brits back £206,000 during a lifetime

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Owning a car sets Brits back £206,000 during a lifetime

A new survey in the UK has revealed that Brits spend over £206,000 on their cars over the course of their life.

The biggest spend over the lifetime of a driver is petrol and diesel fuel costs of approximately £54k.

The study involved surveying  2,000 drivers on how much they can expect to spend on repairs, petrol and parking, as well as insurance and car tax. On average, the Britons spend £439 per year on essential repairs and upkeep. This adds up to £27,716 over a lifetime behind the wheel.

It was also revealed that the average adult will own five cars, worth a total of £41,976 in value, or £8,395.20 each.

The survey was commissioned out by the online lending company MYJAR. A company spokesperson said:
“Running a car is a necessity for many people in the UK, but our survey found that the costs of owning a car run far beyond the initial payment of buying one.

"Things like fuel and maintenance costs can quickly creep up.

“And many of the smaller costs of car ownership – like paying for it to be cleaned, or buying accessories – are less likely to be budgeted for by many consumers.”

It was also revealed during the study that the average cost of annual car insurance is £342 while another £181 per year is spent on cleaning costs. This means that over the owner’s lifetime the cleaning bill alone comes in at a whopping £11,460.

During the study, almost half of those surveyed questioned whether they should even keep their car due to how much it costs them as even when the car is not being used, drivers are being hit with expenses. For example, on average, motorists can spend an incredible £20,409 on parking alone over the years.

Tax and insurance combined will also hit drivers for £6,943 and £21,595 respectively.

The study also revealed that the Brits tend to buy more expensive cars as they get older with their first costing an average of £1,717, and their most recent car purchase setting them back on average £6,845.

Showing that they are dependent on their own personal transport, only one in 10 motorists in the UK feel they could get by easily without their car, with more than half saying their life utterly depended on it.

An interesting find in the study also revealed that loose change lying around in their car added up to a cool £145 over the average lifetime of the driver.

To cover the staggering expenses of owning a vehicle one-fifth of respondents have taken out a loan, and 46 per cent have put them on credit cards.

It was found also that the majority of motorists took out loans to purchase their vehicles and that credit cards where the most common way for motorists to buy petrol or in paying for unexpected repair bills.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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