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Can I run a car on £200pm?

(16 Posts)
ATourchOfInsanity Wed 21-Nov-12 17:04:04

Hi everyone, wasn't sure where to post this, so sorry if it is in the wrong place!

I don't currently drive and am starting to feel the negative side of this now I have DD, which I can only assume is going to get worse as she gets older. For example, I don't get to go anywhere much in the week unless I plan bus/train routes in advance, which can be hard if steps to platforms aren't mentioned and no one can help with buggy. Anyway, many reasons for me wanting to drive!

I am just completely unaware of costs involving owning and running a car. I actually have no idea how much petrol will get you how far in a basic car (not talking 4WD!). I know MOT and tax and parking - I don't have a drive yet so would have to factor in 20pm road fee to Council, but costs of these things and insurance are completely new to me. I am imagining £200 would work? A I being optimistic?

IAmSoFuckingRock Wed 21-Nov-12 17:11:53

i think you are being optimistic tbh. (sadly- i wish it were possible)

it really depends what type of car you have.

the lowest tax bracket is £35 a year AFAIK but IME only quite new cars fall into that and can be expensive to buy. if you dont have much money it rules them out. what is your budget for purchasing a car?

mot costs me £31.50 for the test. it's less if you need to retest.

insurance varies massively depending on age/job/where you live/where you park etc. mine is around £600 a year. although i awas able to pay it upfront, if you pay it through DD over the year they add interest.

petrol, again depends on the type of car and what type of journeys you are making. long motorway journey are easier on the petrol than short town trips stopping and starting.

also take into account you need to have an insurance excess incase of an accident. repairs and servicing costs, small maintenance costs like windscreen wipers, tyres, oil changes etc.

craftynclothy Wed 21-Nov-12 17:13:03

Depends on the car and how far you travel.

We have a diesel Ford Fusion. It's £30 a year tax iirc. We budget £50 a month for diesel and that's generally fine (only time we use more is if a few long trips end up being in the same month). On top of that is insurance and service, which is covered by us putting aside £59 a month. We get our MOTs free (deal when we bought the car).

ATourchOfInsanity Wed 21-Nov-12 17:15:42

Yes, I thought I might be. I just can't see how people do it!
I would use it for maybe three 20mile trips a week (imagining visiting friends in nearby villages and going to nice woods for a walk etc). Was just going to get a simple small car (it's just me and DD so no need to be too OTT) and would even consider an electric car?

BackforGood Wed 21-Nov-12 17:20:23

There are just so many factors this depends on.
The fuel efficinecy of the car, and the size of the car in terms of how much fuel it drinks (cost £60 to fill up my Zafira about twice a month for us, and about £35 to fill up our Micra).
Depends on how much car tax you pay - there are lots of bands, and the older (ie cheaper to buy in the first place) cars are often in the more expensive brackets.
Depends on how much your insurance is. If you're not a driver now, then I'm presuming you have no 'No Claims Discount', so your insurance could be your biggest cost.
Depends how much you have to pay out for repairs / MOT stuff (as others say, you have to pay for the test once a year even if nothing needed doing)
Ongoing maintenance, from new windscreen wipers to new tyres aren't needed that often, but will, over time, need replacing
Buying the car in the first place....

All of that said, the freedom being able to drive places is invaluable IMO, and I guess you'll save a fair bit on not paying out for expensive train and bus fayres.

derekthehamster Wed 21-Nov-12 17:27:29

We put £100 in an account each month to pay for tax/mot/insurance + repairs. Occasionally the repairs put us over this.

I then spend £40/month on petrol, but I travel about 250 miles a month.

ATourchOfInsanity Wed 21-Nov-12 17:30:17

I have about 2.5k to buy a decent second hand car...again may be being optimistic!

Are there subsidies or electric cars? Not thought to look until now!

IAmSoFuckingRock Wed 21-Nov-12 17:30:53

i do about 45 miles a week (sometimes less) and petrol costs me about £15 a week. however i drive a mazda6 and fuel effiency isn't great in that.

tax is £245 a year

i want to change for something cheaper but i need to get a 7 seater and i'm not sure i'll get much more than £1k for my car (if even that) so i'm stalling as all the 7 seaters i've seen for less than that are not in great nick or even any better fuel wise.

IAmSoFuckingRock Wed 21-Nov-12 17:39:55

actually working out my own costs it looks like you could do it for £200 per month! mine is working out at about £175 and my car isn't the cheapest to tax/insure or fill up.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 21-Nov-12 17:41:13

Your OP says you don't drive, and I presume from your questions you can't drive?

In which case unless you can learn very quickly using an intensive course (and presuming you already have your theory test done, or there is no chance, as you'd need to book your practical very quickly) first insurance might be very dear whatever your age. If you live in a low crime rate that will reduce it, as will adding a partner if they have good no claims etc but only if they will actually drive the car and only as a named driver or it's illegal, but from December it will be illegal to offer women special rates. This was common practise up to now, women always got cheaper rates because they are less likely to show off/joy ride/crash, but it's been branded discriminatory. I can't drive due to medical problems but am insured as I was learning, had had a few lessons and have taken my theory - my practical was days away. My insurance will rocket. I'm not a teenager, either, so I didn't expect to be too affected. I will be, even with OH's 6 years no claims.

I'd look at models you can afford, look at the tax band (its around £200 a year to tax a 2009 Mini, for example) and run some insurance quotes using your address to see how much it would cost. Remember the cost will go up by a few hundred if you pay by DD. Then petrol wise....a few trips a week will probably cost around £20. You are likely to drive more than you currently go out though, because it's so much easier to drive somewhere than to use public transport.

Repairs...OH drives a pretty new car at the moment. It's got MOT for life and recently had it's first MOT. We've paid quite a bit in repairs. Not falling apart things, because it's new, and it's never failed its MOT, but the window froze when it snowed last year so that was £70 to have fixed so it could move again, one tyre burst so that was £160, the brake pads will need replacing soon (around £400 at the dealers, which he'll probably use, because it's got full dealer history). He's had the brake lock replaced three times over two years because the rattling bothers him hugely, the first was free, second and third were £90 each.

Remember to factor in things like new tyres, de-icer, air freshener, and a good car seat that fits the car for your DD.

Once you've worked out the tax/insurance/buying cost, see what you've got left each week, and how much you could save towards repairs. Do you have any savings you could dig into if you needed too? Then you'll see what you'd need each month, realistically.

HTH smile

IAmSoFuckingRock Wed 21-Nov-12 17:44:13

air freshener? grin my poor car does not get lavished with such extravagences.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 21-Nov-12 17:46:43

For reference, OH works 20 minutes away. He's going in to the office about 3x a week at the moment because he has to look after me somedays due to my health, and puts about £45 a week in. We do some smaller trips to Sains 5 mins away, but not much else. We spend about £20 a week on random trips every few days not-to-far-away when he has the week off.

His insurance with 6 years no claims - he's mid 20's - is £800. We live in a very, very low crime area. We moved from a low crime area and got £150 back. We don't have a garage that we can park the car in every night or it would be cheaper still. Insurance I think he put on a 0% credit card and paid £400 each month for 2 months to clear.

Repairs add up but aren't a problem, we have savings for them and add to that monthly.

Car doesn't cost much else. Bought a bottle of antifreeze (£15) bug remover (£6) and new car mats (£35) this month, but that's it apart from petrol. No other costs, no repairs, nothing else. So it's cost us just over £200, but he does commute some days, and we did buy things that weren't essential or the cheapest because the cheapest don't work well

Vivalebeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 17:49:51

Get some quotes for car insurance on the internet. Try some different models and see what you get quoted. If you've not had insurance before it could be expensive.

I pay £300 a year for insurance
Tax is £205 I think
An interim service is £99, I rarely bother with a full one but they're about £160
MOT was £35 bit can be more at some garages, normal price is about £50

Then petrol

Then any repairs.

2.5 k should get you a decent car. Get a 1ltr run about, tax will be cheaper and better mpg. A car 1.4ltr or more pays more tax.

Vivalebeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 17:50:15

Actually I might be wrong about the tax now, think it may go on emissions these days.

Rockchick1984 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:24:47

The easiest option for me when I had first passed my driving test was a fuel-and-go type deal on a new Peugeot. Probably wasn't the cheapest way to do it, but I didn't want to be getting unexpected bills, and insurance quotes were very high (I was 22) so I just had one set monthly payment to them which included everything except petrol for 3 years.

Bought the car I've got now, and even though I've now got 5 years no claims discount my insurance is £60 per month, car finance is £140 so that's £200 without paying tax, MOT or servicing.

Definitelysometime Sat 24-Nov-12 23:08:28

I bought a six year old car in v good nick for £2k earlier this year. We've had no problems with it: best of all, it's only £20 a year in tax. Around £450 to insure. It has a 1.4 litre diesel engine so not sure how it qualifies for such cheap tax but I'm delighted! It's very economical to run too. Definitely less than £200 p/m all in for us, but then probably only use £50 on petrol...

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