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Is car ownership too expensive?

Whether it is expensive or not to own a car is quite subjective depending on a person’s personal circumstances. For some people, owning one car is all they can afford, while others own more than one for different purposes.

Eleven factors may influence expense of having a car:

Sources of income

To be able to cover all costs of having a car, a person needs to have a decent income from one or more sources. Many people use a car to generate income, such as driving to their place of work or using their car for deliveries. The income is necessary to cover car purchase or car loan, car maintenance, tires, MOT, tax, insurance, and fuel consumption.

Model of car

The model, age and condition of the car will determine cost of repair, maintenance, fuel consumption and insurance. Insurance on older cars and repair of computer-run cars may be higher.

Use of car

Purpose and frequency of vehicle use plays a role in costs as intensive driving may hike up costs for maintenance, repair and fuel, while not using a car enough may waste money paid on car ownership.

Travel distance

Fuel consumption, wear on tires and other parts is affected by the distance travelled by car. Additional charges may be payable for mileage and maintenance depending on car lease.

Vehicle tax

All cars are required by law to be taxed, so that the money may be used for repair of roads. Whether owning a car, leasing a car, or paying one off through car loan repayments, road tax will need to be paid in addition to other costs.

Vehicle insurance

It is a legal requirement that all cars are insured. Should an accident occur while driving, another driver will not be able to claim on an uninsured vehicle. The cost of insurance is impacted by the experience of the driver, the amount of past claims or no claims, where the car is kept overnight, the area resided in and the model of the car.


Annually, every car needs to be MOT checked to see that the car is road worthy and not at risk of breakdown or accident due to existing wear and tear. Worn tires may need replacing, lights fixed, breaks tuned, and clutches repaired. If not in good condition to pass MOT, the car may need to be repaired to be road worthy or scrapped.

Vehicle maintenance

All cars require maintenance as tires lose thread over time, break pads wear and pressure on the clutch may cause damage. Lights may need replacing and parts repaired. Vehicle maintenance costs may differ depending on the type of car, how it is used and where the car is serviced. A car may be serviced routinely, when breakdown occurs, when a part fails, or annually at MOT.

Fuel consumption

There is a cost difference in the type of fuel used to power the vehicle. Currently, diesel is more expensive than petrol. Expense varies dependent on whether the car is a hybrid or energy-saving vehicle powered by electricity or gas. The fuel consumption type is based on the model of the car, and the amount of fuel used depends on its efficiency and the distance travelled.

Transport alternatives

The expense of owning a car is also influenced by the need for the car versus availability and cost of alternative suitable transport options. If vehicle use is only needed once in a while, taking a bus, train or taxi may be less expensive than the total costs of being the owner of a car. Where a person lives and access to transport may impact car ownership choices and associated expenses.

Car ownership

Expenses may rise depending on if the car is owned outright, purchased through secured or unsecured car loan, leased through a hire purchase agreement, or by personal contract purchase agreement. But bad credit car loans can help you to get the car you want. The type of car loan may either add to or lower the expense of car ownership.







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