Ever bought a car and all-too-quickly regretted it because it cost an arm and a leg to live with? Do you consider the running costs of cars before you buy?
Being a car fan, I have to admit that I’ve regretted some of my car purchases due to the cost of running them. Before my mortgage and kids were denting my earnings, one of my most extravagant purchases was a 1939 Studebaker Commander.
Not only did it weigh a couple of tons, it was fitted with a 2.7-litre petrol engine with the thirst of a squaddie on a weekend’s leave. And to top off the astronomical running costs, this American giant was also too big to fit in my garage, so I had to rent a barn for it to live in.
That may be a very extreme case, but there are still pretty massive differences in the cost of running different versions of the same modern car model.
Car running costs calculated
If you choose a pacey Audi RS6 Avant estate over a bog-standard A6 Avant you’ll pay 20p more for every single mile you drive. The RS6 costs £1.90 per mile for fuel costs servicing and car tax, while the A6 costs £1.70 according to CAP.
And most people cover more than 10,000 miles a year, so that’s a £2,000 difference.
Before buying my Commander I could really have done with a quick calculator to plug in some raw stats, which would then spit out a simple cost-per-mile figure. That way I could see how much each element of ownership was going to cost up front, as well as the overall figure.
Do you work out the cost of owning a car before you buy? If so what factors are most important to you – depreciation, car tax, servicing, fuel costs, insurance, or others? Or perhaps you don’t really consider costs upfront and have a car running cost regret to share…