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How much does a car cost?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
14 replies 786 views
saubrynsaubryn Forumite
610 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
I'm currently on a very low income, and although this might sound stupid, public transport costs are killing me! They used to be OK, but they've gone up twice in the last few months, and a journey that takes around 30 mins on the bus+1 change to metro is costing me nearly a fiver per person each way.

I joked it might be cheaper to learn to drive, but would it?

If either my husband or I (both eventually) learned to drive and bought an old but reliable car (I can do basic repairs myself, bit rusty, but a haynes manual should fix that :) ) then how much overall would tax, insurance, fuel, etc set us back assuming we just used it for the weekly shop, and for the occasional long trip instead of getting the train?

Any comments appreciated!
DFW Nerd No. 140 :)
Status as of 30/11/12
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Replies

  • Graham_DevonGraham_Devon Forumite
    58.6K Posts
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    Its too hard to say as all cars differ in terms of costings. However, once you know the car your looking at you can work out insurance, fuel, tax.

    However. Bear in mind that one MOT can criple you. New tyres may be needed, your exhaust may fall off, you may need new brakes, a new cambelt. All these are wear and tear items.

    My recent MOT cost me £380. I have always had newer cars, but downgraded to an older (10 year old) diesel (was a first time buyer). Thought it was great as was saving loads on insurance and fuel costs (always had high performance petrols before now). And then it failed the MOT, needed welding underneath. So all that money I had saved on fuel and insurance was wiped out by that one MOT.

    Then a couple of weeks after had a stone hit the window on the motorway which caused a big chip. Thought not a problem, can be repaired. Next day, the chip had turned into a crack right along the passenger side. Another 50 quid gone for a new windscreen.

    So, to sum up. Last month my car cost me 80 quid in fuel (did 1200 miles roughly). £380 MOT. £16 Tax. £24 insurance. £50 window.

    Total: £550

    Month before was just fuel, insurance and tax. Or so I thought, needed a new tyre too when one developed a slow puncture. Another £60.

    I'm hoping this month will be relatively easy!
  • Well from my experience, lessons are around £20-24 an hour and you need one two hour lesson a week to be worth while. Its recommended that you have at least 40 hours of lessons before taking a test. The theory test is around £25 and the drving test nearer £50, plus instructors fees for the test time!
    Once you pass, tax is around £110 a year for a small engined car, and insurance anything from £600 to £1500 for first year of driving, depending on age, sex etc.
    Petrol will cost around £30-£40 to fill up a small car, and depending on economy you can get around 400 miles a tank if its economical
    The car itself is the most price variable. My first car was a very cheap, couple of hundred pounds, and it lasted two years with minor problems. A good price would be from £700 to get a car that should be fairly relieable and cheap to run. The main problem with buying an unrelible car is the serviving and MOT costs can be lage!!
    Hope that helped a bit

    Tom
  • Eeek - thats a lot more to learn to drive than I thought, and the MOT costs are scary too!

    It sounds like if you can get a reliable car, and don't rely on it too much (as in if the MOT hits you hard, you can save up for a month or two before repairing it) then it might be a viable option, but it sounds like a lot of saving will need to be done first.

    Thanks both of you for those figures. Thats a lot to think about.
    DFW Nerd No. 140 :)
    Status as of 30/11/12
    [strike]Rent 2500 Council Tax 800 NlPower - 800[/strike][SIZE=-2]:j IF - 8000 :(British Gas - [strike]112[/strike] - 102 Lloyds - 1123
    Barclays - 306 Barclaycard 1,123 HSBC - 200 Capital 1- 400 Barclayloan - 4500[/SIZE]
  • Try http://www.learnerdriving.com

    I previously booked 35 hours for £500 for my ex gf. Think their rate is £17 an hour last year. When you do come to look at cars I would suggest a nissan micra, they are very reliable cars with little maintenance.
  • saubrynsaubryn Forumite
    610 Posts
    Thanks for the suggestion. Better get saving!
    DFW Nerd No. 140 :)
    Status as of 30/11/12
    [strike]Rent 2500 Council Tax 800 NlPower - 800[/strike][SIZE=-2]:j IF - 8000 :(British Gas - [strike]112[/strike] - 102 Lloyds - 1123
    Barclays - 306 Barclaycard 1,123 HSBC - 200 Capital 1- 400 Barclayloan - 4500[/SIZE]
  • if you get a small cheap car

    £20 per week petrol
    £300 Insurance *estimated
    £120 Tax *estimated
    £300 repair bills and MOT
    (a lot of the repair bill depends on luck, but you can get a cheap car that will last years without much expenditure) especially if only using locally, and willing to solve small problems yourself, ie dead battery, DIY Repairs

    It would work out around £33-£35 per week once you got the driving lessons out of the way (think of them as an investment) so would be cheaper if you spending £10 a day alone just getting to work, and thats before you´ve been anywhere else.
  • K9cuddlesK9cuddles Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    It took me ages to pass my test on my third attempt! The only good thing was that it prepared me to get used to not relying on that money!!!

    I currently have a £20k on finance!!!! This means I have to pay £308 a month, if I pro-rata the other expenses, fuel, insurance, tax, services (to young for a MOT so far!) I spend another £300!!!!

    Obviously once you passed your test your not gonna buy a 20k car, but it all depends on your budget, how far your going to drive, type of car you drive etc.

    I loved my first car £600 fiesta but even the insurance was £1100!!! Cars are not cheap!!! Looking back now.. I would of prefered to take a motorbike licence.. but even they too have pro's and con's!
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 092

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  • ArsenalFCArsenalFC Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    owen2k wrote:
    if you get a small cheap car

    £20 per week petrol (My 1.0 micra gets 80-100miles on £10)
    £300 Insurance *estimated (£300 is a cheap estimate, it will depends on loads of factors, try www.confused.com for quote and use quidco)
    £120 Tax *estimated - (£110 For 1500cc and below a year)
    £300 repair bills and MOT (MOT £40, You wont get a £200+ repair bill a year unless your car is very bad)

    (a lot of the repair bill depends on luck, but you can get a cheap car that will last years without much expenditure) especially if only using locally, and willing to solve small problems yourself, ie dead battery, DIY Repairs

    It would work out around £33-£35 per week once you got the driving lessons out of the way (think of them as an investment) so would be cheaper if you spending £10 a day alone just getting to work, and thats before you´ve been anywhere else.
    Yes it could certainly work out cheaper than your current form of travel, also you can enjoy the luxury of having your own car and using it on demand - including weekends and other travel trips.
  • don't forget parking costs /congestion charges/toll roads if applicable.
    get a quote for insurance, may be high if you have not had a licence for long and don't have any "no-claims" bonus
    i have a 1.1engine, just use it to drive few miles to town + occas long trip, petrol approx £50 a month
    Wiggly:heartpulsFB

  • AstarothAstaroth Forumite
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    The other difficulty will be if neither of you drive, do you have friends or family that will be able to take you out to practice between lessons? Learning to drive is 20% learning and 80% practice, it will get exceptionally expensive if you are having to pay a driving instructor £20 an hour simply for you to get experience driving around the block.

    Without knowing your age, where you live etc it is very difficult to do any form of estimation on insurance. If you are over 25 and live in a reasonable area and intend to get the most basic of cars you would still be looking at the £700 mark for insurance. £110 for tax, £40 for MOT and then any repairs and petrol on top of that.
    All posts made are simply my own opinions and are neither professional advice nor the opinions of my employers
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