£212,904 – the cost of a lifetime’s motoring

The average motorist could buy a property with the money they spend on car care over a lifetime, reveals new research.

Online car repair marketplace, ClickMechanic, claims we spend £212,904 on maintaining our cars over a 63-year driving career.

We’ll also buy a total of 14 cars and spend an estimated 12,600 hours (or 525 days) of our lifetime behind the wheel.

Driving costs start with the average learner driver spending at least £690 to pass a test, and taking around 20-30 hours to do so.

Insurance is another time and money drain with more than 80% of drivers now buying their car insurance online, with most spending approximately an hour comparing prices and purchasing policies. Over time, this could cost as much as 63 hours of your time and £29,000 over your lifetime.

Further figures revealed that whilst modern cars are reliable and owners may only be looking at calling out mechanics approximately twice every three years, this equates to an average of £683 per repair.

In real terms, this could amount to a staggering £28,686. In addition to the cost, the survey found that we spend an additional 84 hours waiting around for our car to be serviced at an average cost of £19,700.

Add to these figures the 84 hours plus £28,560 we spend on road tax, breakdown cover, replacement tyres and parking it is easy to see how the cost in time and money escalates over a lifetime.

Depending on how far you commute on a daily basis, you could be looking to spend at least £101,000 on petrol or diesel alone to fuel your car and as much as 600 hours (or 25 days) at a petrol station throughout the course of your lifetime.

It was also found that the average amount spent on MOTs during those roadworthy years could be around £3,000. MOTs can be even more expensive if you need repairs, but they can also be time consuming. The average driver spends over 60 hours waiting for MOTs to be undertaken.

Cleaning your car uses up precious time and money too. The survey found that even cleaning a car racked up the hours. For all weather washes, that’s approximately 168 hours, if it takes 40 minutes to clean it by hand, or take to the car wash/valet. Washing your car four times a year at average cost of £9 per time adds up to £2,268 over your driving lifetime.

Even the smallest of car-related chores, such as putting air in the tyres, can add up. What may seem like a five-minute job, racks up a surprising total of 63 hours at the tyre pump over the course of a lifetime!

“It’s staggering when you add up how much we invest in buying, owning and maintaining a vehicle over our lifetime, both in terms of time and money spent,” said Andrew Jervis, co-founder of ClickMechanic.

“We all lead busy lives and are stretched for time, so anything that helps us save time as well as money is a bonus and many of us use cost comparison websites and other platforms to try and reduce the time spent comparing quotes and making sure we’re paying a reasonable price.

“We’ve tasked ourselves to bring trust and transparency to the automotive repair industry. Being able to source a mechanic easily or get a quote for a repair online has to go in some way towards that, both in terms of saving time and knowing how much you should be paying for your repair.”


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