Running a car as a young driver

Young couple in car

A car is unquestionably one of the most expensive things that you will pay as a young adult. The following is a list of primary costs that are involved in running your own car, as well as some tips on how to lower them as much as possible.

There are some things that you need to obtain as a legal requirement before you start driving your car on the road:

  • Insurance – It is against the law to drive uninsured. For further information, you can review the guide related to car insurance for young drivers.
  • Car Tax/Road Tax – the total amount of car tax that you pay varies depending on several factors, including engine size for older cars, as well as the emissions for newer cars. The lower the emissions and the engine size, the lower you can expect your car tax to be. This tax may be paid for either 6 or 12 months. Even though the option to pay yearly requires a lump sum up front, it is cheaper compared to purchasing the option to pay for six months. As of October 2014, there was no longer need to display the tax disc in the windscreen of your car. However, you still need to have your car taxed. You can calculate your car Tax here.
  • MOT – this means Ministry of Transport. It is an annual test for all cars, which are more than three years old in order to ensure safety. The standard cost that is fixed by the government is £54.85/car. This only means that garages are not allowed to charge more than this amount. However, most of our MOT centres offer discount vouchers, entitling you to an MOT for as little as £21. You can find out more here about MOTs

Other Bigger Expenses

Diesel or Petrol

Tips on reducing costs:

  • Shopping – some supermarkets offer competitive fuel prices, and you can collect reward points that you can use on your shopping.
  • Heavy items – if you don’t need it, don’t leave things that are heavy in the car. Remove the roof racks if you don’t use them. Take note: the heavier the car, the more fuel the car will consume.
  • Careful Driving – By sticking to the speed limit, not only are you a safer driver but you also reduce your fuel consumption.
  • Consumption – always consider fuel consumption when selecting a car. The bigger the engine, the more fuel it will drink.

Breakdown Cover

Most drivers experience at least one breakdown. The cover ranges from having a mechanic check the car at roadside, to having your car picked from any point in Europe where you can use a courtesy car. The higher the level of cover, the more expensive it becomes.


The loss of the car’s value through time is one of the biggest costs that you need to expect. Brand new cars depreciate faster compared to used cars. When purchasing a car, think about its potential worth after a few years’ time.

For further information please contact your local Mr Clutch