The True Cost Of Motoring

02 June


Everybody knows that buying and running a car is expensive – especially of fleet of cars, but have you ever really weighed up all of the costs?

Many people pay a significant amount of their monthly budget for a vehicle or vehicles but where exactly is all your money going?

Vehicle Purchase

This is actually not the biggest cost in the long-term, though it may feel rather significant as you browse through various vehicles, gazing reluctantly at the price tags attached to them. It is a choice how much you spend at this point, and you could pick up a car for as little as a couple of hundred pounds, or as much as tens of thousands. Second hand cars are cheaper, and you might be able to pick up a bargain, but you should keep in mind that if you try to cut corners now you may cost yourself much more money in the long run; with more maintenance and repairs, higher fuel costs, and a need to replace the vehicle sooner.

  • It is important to take your time and carefully consider all of the factors of your purchase. Is it better to pay more now and save later? How much is it to insure your potential vehicle(s), and is it better to get smaller more fuel efficient cars? If you are going to buy second hand, then make sure everything is in full working order, and check the history of the vehicle.

Road Tax, Insurance, MOT

Unfortunately, these unavoidable costs add a fair chunk onto the cost of motoring. You have to make sure you pay your road tax, and that your vehicle is adequately insured in case of accidents and so on. Every year you need to have your vehicle serviced by a specialist, who will decide whether it can pass its MOT test. If not, any problems will need to be addressed.

  • Road tax and MOT tests are just a fact of life. So is insurance, but you should do some serious shopping around to get the best deal. Comparison websites can help. You could also consider third party insurance if it is an option for you.


Cars, being full of moving parts, engines, and electronic systems, as well as a thousand other potential problems, need regular maintenance. This can be anything from small tweaks to large issues, but the result is often unforeseen expense. One of the main costs of motoring which often goes unaccounted for is maintenance costs. Obviously, the better condition your car, the less maintenance it is likely to need.

  • Keep a check on your vehicle regularly, and sort any problems early on, before they cause more damage and require more costly repairs. If you followed the advice above and choose a vehicle that is not falling apart, then you will not need as many repairs.


One of the main running costs for motoring is the fuel. Every car has a different fuel efficiency, but generally the trend is that vehicles are becoming more efficient, burning less petrol per mile.

  • Buy an energy efficient vehicle which costs less to run. If you own a commercial fleet, small or large, consider Allstar fuel cards to find reductions on petrol, easy payment and controlled admin.         

These are the main factors that pertain to the true cost of motoring. There are a few more, less predictable and regular outgoings, such as parking permits and tickets, toll roads, fines, garage hire, breakdown cover, and so on. There are tools available online to help you to calculate the costs of motoring more specifically to you.

Share this article