Revealed: the most expensive place to run a car

Manchester is the most expensive place to own a car

New research reveals the most expensive places to run a car – and it’s bad news for drivers in Manchester.

The city is the most expensive in the UK, where it costs £2,808.63 a year to run a petrol car. It’s less expensive to run a diesel, with the total running to £1,095.76.

At the opposite end of the scale, Carrick, Ayrshire, is the least expensive place to run a car. The figures are £1,958.72 for petrol and £1,142.60 for diesel cars.

To compile the data, researchers looked at the cost of car insurance, breakdown cover, MOT fees, average annual fuel costs for each area and vehicle excise duty (VED). 

While breakdown cover, MOT fees and VED were consistent across the UK, there are wild fluctuations in the cost of petrol, diesel and insurance.

Manchester: expensive car insurance

Expensive place to own a car

The cost of car insurance is the big issue for drivers in Manchester. At £1,638.51 per annum, the cost of cover is around £1,000 more expensive than in the cheapest area.

Conversely, petrol shouldn’t break the bank, with drivers in Manchester paying an average £908.43 for fuel – the seventh lowest.

Predictably, large cities dominate the top half of the table for expensive car insurance, with drivers in Manchester paying £1,638.51 a year. Next up is Birmingham (£1,572.19), followed by Bradford (£1,571.65), Luton (£1,545.43) and Blackburn (£1,522.97).

On the flip side, drivers in urban areas tend to pay less for fuel than drivers in rural outposts. 

Comparethemarket, the company behind the data, produced a separate set of results for London. It found that drivers in the City of London are paying the most to run a car, while motorists in Richmond and Kingston are paying the least.

Most expensive places to run a petrol car (excluding London)

AreaTotal cost (petrol cars)
1. Manchester£2,808.63
2. Luton£2,743.25
3. Birmingham£2,736.49
4. Bradford£2,706.94
5. Blackburn with Darwen£2,673.96
6. Pendle£2,651.59
7. Oldham£2,647.96
8. Rochdale£2,641.63
9. Liverpool£2,626.55
10. Sandwell, West Midlands£2,625.84

Least expensive places to run a petrol car (excluding London)

AreaTotal cost (diesel cars)
1. Carrick, Ayrshire£1,958.72
2. Exeter, Devon£1,975.70
3. Torbay, Devon£1,990.77
4. East Dunbartonshire, Scotland£1,995.08
5. East Renfrewshire, Scotland£1,996.86
6. Weymouth and Portland£2,001.33
7. Aberdeen City£2,003.53
8. South Hams, Devon£2,006.20
9. Restormel, Cornwall£2,010.73
10. South Gloucestershire£2,015.12

Figures used: breakdown cover (£36.84), MOT (£54.85), VED (£170).