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Vehicle Running Costs: Everything you Need to Know

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Filed under Automotive, Editorial

The cost of motoring in the UK, much like the cost of everything else, is on the increase. Some of these additional expenses might be obvious; others might take you by surprise. Let’s see if we can break down the money you’ll be spending to keep your vehicle on the road, and how we might get maximum value for it.

Tyres, Wipers, Fluids, and Other Parts

First, let’s look at the things you’ll need to keep your car physically running. Of these, the most important are arguably your tyres. These need to be regularly inflated, checked, rotated and replaced. Quality tyres tend to offer superior performance and last longer. You can pick up Bridgestone tyres online, without spending too much.

Your wipers, too, are essential. Without them, you’ll be unable to drive in the rain. Make sure that they’re replaced when necessary, and that your fluids are topped up. This means not just your wiper fluid, but your engine oil and coolant, too.

Service and MOT

It’s a legal requirement that every vehicle on British roads undergo an annual test, after the third year following registration. What’s not essential are regular services, which are there to ensure that the vehicle is in good working order. For certain vehicles, the cost of a service will tend to pay for itself, in that it will help to prevent future repairs.


Every so often, your car will suffer a mechanical failure. It’ll need to be repaired before you can drive it again. To give yourself the best chance of avoiding this, you’ll want to ensure that you’re maintaining it properly, and that you’ve researched your vehicle before you purchase it: certain models are more prone to breaking down than others.

Insurance and Tax

Two further legal requirements come in the form of insurance and tax. Insurance comes in many types, and the cost will vary according to both the vehicle and the driver being insured. Your rate of payable road tax will also vary, this time according to the emissions put out by your car. More polluting vehicles have to pay more.


If you’re going to be doing a lot of parking in cities and towns, then you might find that you have to pay a lot for parking. This applies even if you’re taking advantage of ‘park and ride’ schemes to reduce your costs. If you’re consistently parking in the same place, then you might find that you can reduce your costs by paying for a season ticket or shopping around and looking for an alternative location. Sometimes, you might find that you can pay someone for the use of their drive – and thereby save big in the long term.


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