The Hidden Costs of Driving: How Much Do You Spend in a Year?

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Passing your driving test and getting out on the road can be exciting, but it is also expensive. The cost of learning, getting a license, buying a car and getting it insured will add up to thousands of pounds. However, the cost doesn’t just stop there. Even if you manage to get a cheap car that is low on insurance, driving can be really expensive. Do you know how much you are spending on your car each year? Below you’ll discover the hidden costs you don’t always consider.

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Wasted fuel – the cost of getting stuck in traffic

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Skoda has recently carried out research to determine the real cost of motoring. In this research, it was found that even just being stuck at traffic lights can be costly. As reported by The Sunday Times Driving, the average motorist will spend a massive six months of their life stuck at traffic lights. The trouble is, your engine is still running and you are continuously losing fuel while you wait. The same applies for when you’re stuck in traffic. The more you drive, the more likely you are to frequently get stuck. Those living in cities and large towns are more likely to be affected; particularly during rush hour.

Hidden costs of driving in the snow 
Sorry to depress you, but the colder weather is coming. Throughout the winter months, snowy roads are a big possibility. If you find you have to drive in snowy conditions, it could be causing a number of surprising problems for your car. Your chance of getting into an accident is dramatically increased and wheel misalignment is also a possibility. After driving in the snow you could end up having to get your car repaired or at least re-aligned. Read the blog on the T W White & Sons website for some tips on winter driving.

Running costs – the things you don’t always think about
When you think of running costs, you typically only take fuel consumption into account. While this certainly makes up the large proportion of running costs, it isn’t everything that you need to be aware of. You also need to think about the cost of parking, toll charges and servicing costs. The AA has provided a guide on the actual costs of running a car that you might want to check out.

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There are so many things you need to take into account when adding up the total costs. Young drivers are particularly hit with high running costs due to the price of insurance. The type of car you own will also make a huge difference to your annual costs. Larger and sportier cars don’t tend to be as energy efficient as smaller, non-sporty models. So the amount you are paying will depend very much upon your individual circumstances.

You’ll find a number of useful calculators online that can help you work out your individual car running costs. Ideally you should look at the costs before you invest in a new car. That way you will be able to make a more knowledgeable decision on what is right for you.

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  1. If you buy new, unless you go for a QQ or similarly cheap car the largest cost factor in a car ownership is usually depreciation. The QQ or similar exception won’t work if you have to write it off within two years.


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