How Much Does Your Car Cost Over Its Lifetime?

How much does your car cost? Buying a new car is an exciting experience, but over the course of an entire lifetime, it’s easy to become engrossed in swapping and choosing new makes, models, colours, and added extras, and this can encourage car owners to completely overlook expensive long-term costs.

There are certain expenses that you cannot dodge, and some vary depending on factors such as the car you own, your age, your driving record and how long you’ve been on the road. However, there are some things you can be pre-warned about when you buy a car.

At Exminster Garage, we’ve been keeping the people of Exeter on the roads for more than 100 years with our affordable car servicing. Based on extensive research from Aviva, we relay the information that they have on average costs and the most popular models in dealerships today.

Here you can review the main expenses you’ll have to consider, from tax to maintenance depending on the style of your car.

Electric or Hybrid

Tax: £34 Maintenance: £222 Fuel: £526

Electric car costs: The costs of running a hybrid and electric cars is unrivalled. The cars looked at include both, meaning that the cost can be higher or lower depending on your choice. With an electric model, there will be no diesel or petrol outgoings, although you will need regular access to a charging station. You are also only exempt from tax if your car is completely electric.

Hybrid car costs: Stuart Masson from The Car Expert recommends that the electric motor is used for quiet urban driving, while on the road, the petrol engine is suited in order to provide the range required. Having two motors does mean that your car will always have excess unused weight, which means they may not be as efficient, but show that you could save a lot of money by choosing this option.


Tax: £485 Maintenance: £412 Fuel: £1281

UK drivers purchase convertibles more than anywhere else in the world according to Masson. Although the luxury of driving with the top down may feel wonderful, driving at speed in a convertible will seriously affect fuel consumption.

Tax costs are also noticeably higher than other vehicles mentioned, which has the potential to increase under new tax regulations if a car is worth more than £40,000.


Tax: £140 Maintenance: £121 Fuel: £877

Generally practical and fuel efficient, hatchbacks are also fairly inexpensive for repairs and servicing, which is why it’s unsurprising that they are the most popular type of car sold in the United Kingdom. Overall, they are one of the cheapest in terms of tax, fuel and maintenance – which works out at around just £1138 per year.

With many models and engine sizes to choose from, you can decide on the best running cost and lowest depreciation. Masson, however, recommends that you do not add too many expensive extras to your hatchback, as you won’t receive much ROI when selling the car later down the line.

Estate / Saloon

Tax: £162 Maintenance: £305

Estates are generally larger than hatchbacks and therefore use more fuel. These vehicles are great for families who require the additional space but be sure to shop around to make sure you get a good deal. On average, estates and saloons cost almost £400 more than hatchbacks a year.


Tax: £466 Maintenance £326 Fuel: £1322

The costs are fairly high because SUV’s are based on basic hatchbacks, however, you are paying more for extra weight, higher levels of pollution and poorer fuel economy.

  • Having said this, resale values are usually better than a standard hatchback, so you can get additional money back when you do decide to sell the vehicle.
  • How to save money on your car
  • Go green
  • Use an independent garage

Exminster Garage – Your Local Exeter Garage

At Exminster Garage we specialise in car servicing, maintenance and general vehicle repairs. As an honest, straightforward and hard working team, we work to get you back on the road with a smooth drive as soon as possible. We are an affordable, trusted and highly valued car servicing establishment.

Research courtesy of Aviva

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