service your car

Average car costs UK drivers £388 a month

service your car

How much are you paying to keep your car on the road? It might surprise you to learn the average UK motorist is spending £162 per month – and that excludes any finance repayments.

Factor in the cost of a typical loan, lease or PCP deal, and the monthly cost increases to £388.45. This might surprise a few people, especially considering the average monthly payment on a mortgage stands at £671.23. In other words, it typically costs around £1,000 to put a roof over your head and drive to work.

The research, conducted by Kwik Fit, also found that the availability of finance has tempted many drivers into stretching for a car they couldn’t afford if paying upfront. The average price paid in cash is £10,511, while those buying on finance bought a car with an average value of £15,438.

While the difference of 47 percent might appear stark, it’s worth remembering that a cash buyer will need to consider the cost of depreciation, which is merely an indirect concern for motorists buying a car on a PCP deal.

Cost-cutting is a ‘false economy’

In the last 12 months, motorists have spent an average £191.53 per month on maintenance and servicing, £159.09 on repairs or breakdowns, £67.63 on fuel and £4.15 on cleaning. Interestingly, the Kwik Fit research found that 30 percent of drivers cut the cost of cleaning by using household products, while eight percent confessed to never washing the car at all.

The cost-cutting extends to routine maintenance, with eight percent of owners claiming they have spent nothing on servicing. We wonder if it’s the same eight percent who never wash their car.

Roger Griggs, Kwik Fit’s communications director, warned that this might be a false economy. “Regular servicing is important to ensure a car is running efficiently, and also to pick up any issues before they create long-term damage. As with most things in life, prevention is usually better than cure.”

He continued: “It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new car and not taking all finances into account. The actual car payment is just one aspect of the overall cost. People should remember to take additional costs such as insurance and maintenance into account when budgeting for a vehicle.”

The Kwik Fit table in full:

Item Average monthly spend
Fuel £67.63
Car insurance £31.64
Routine maintenance/servicing £15.96
Unexpected repairs/breakdowns £13.26
Vehicle excise duty £12.16
Breakdown cover £6.96
Parking permits and tickets £6.89
Cleaning £4.15
Fines £3.69
Monthly total (exc. finance) £162.33
Finance £226.12
Monthly total (inc. finance) £388.45

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