In addition to insurance, you’ll have to tax, service and fuel your car. How much these cost will depend primarily on the car itself, but also the way you use it.
Car tax is based on how much pollution your type of car releases. Zero-emission cars, including electric models like the Nissan Leaf, are free to tax, while cars with a normal engine will cost around £150 a year. If your car cost more than £40,000 when it was new, you may have to pay additional annual tax — though that’s unlikely to apply to most first-time buyers.
Expect to spend about another £150 on a full service for a small car and around £250 for a larger model. Some manufacturers offer pre-paid servicing packages that make this cheaper. You should have your car serviced after every 12,000 miles of driving, though this can vary — check with the car manufacturer how often it should be.
The amount of fuel you use will depend a lot on how much you drive and the way you drive. The further you travel, the more petrol or diesel your car will consume. How much fuel a car uses is described as ‘fuel economy’ and is measured in miles per gallon, or mpg - which can be confusing, as most liquid fuel in the UK is sold in litres. A gallon of petrol or diesel costs around £6.70 at the moment, so you can calculate the costs based on that.