How much does it costs to run different types of car every year based on tax, maintenance and fuel costs?
Insurance giant Aviva compared the costs of running a hatchback, estate, convertible, SUV and electric car, along with Stuart Masson of The Car Expert website. The results are fascinating, because while you can save a lot of money by choosing a hybrid or electric model (average total annual cost £782), it’s not necessarily the right option for everybody.
Obviously, if you go for an electric model, you won’t have to pay for petrol or diesel, but you will have to pay for the electricity and the inconvenience of making sure you have access to a charging point. Similarly, you are only tax-exempt if you have a car that’s completely electric and costs less than £40,000, so remember to take that into account.
In terms of hybrids, Masson says, “around town, you can use the electric motor for clean, quiet urban driving. And out on the road, you have a petrol engine to give you the range you need. But it also means that you are carrying around two motors all the time while only ever using one, so the other one is a few hundred kilos of dead weight. This means they are never as efficient as they could be in the real world”.
Hatchbacks are still the most popular type of car sold in the UK. They are generally very practical and fuel efficient, and relatively inexpensive for servicing and repairs.
According to Aviva’s research, they are one of the cheapest categories of car in terms of tax and fuel, and the cheapest overall for maintenance. Average total: £1,138 annually.
Estate and saloon cars fared worse than hatchbacks, partly due to the fact that they’re usually larger and use more fuel. Depreciation is usually worse, but for families, or people who need that extra boot space, the cost may be worth it. Average total: £1,519.
Convertibles are as popular as ever in the UK, but you do pay for the privilege of dropping the top – convertibles cost more than equivalent coupes, and driving at speed with the roof down will seriously affect your fuel consumption. Average total: £2,178.
Despite the fact that an SUV will cost a whopping £2,114 a year to run (on average), according to Aviva, the good news is that resale values are normally better than an equivalent hatchback, so at least you’ll get some of that additional money back again when you sell it.
However, at the end of the day, say The Car Expert Stuart Masson, the price to pay for that “chunky SUV styling and feel” is extra weight, poorer fuel consumption and higher levels of pollution.