£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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Split choices for Monza tyres

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Most drivers have favoured the super-soft tyre in their selections for the upcoming Belgian and Italian Grand Prix weekends.

However Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have made more conservative choices for Spa, opting for more sets of the soft tyres. Rosberg, unlike Hamilton, has taken four sets of the medium rubber. In contrast the Ferrari drivers will have just one set each of the hardest tyres in Belgium.

The super-soft tyre is being even more strongly favoured at Monza, particularly among the Haas drivers, who have chosen nine sets of the most aggressive rubber.

Mercedes go conservative in Belgium tyre selections

Championship leaders Mercedes will have the fewest sets of supersoft tyres available to them of any team at the upcoming 2016 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, with the Silver Arrows having instead opted for what looks like a more conservative selection.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will have just four sets of the red-marked rubber available to them at Spa-Francorchamps, while chief rivals Red Bull and Ferrari have opted to give their drivers six and seven sets of softest compound respectively.

Mercedes are also one of only two teams – the other being Haas – to have differing tyre selections for each of their drivers, with Hamilton having six sets of softs to Rosberg’s five, but the German having one more set of the medium compound rubber.

Ferrari and Red Bull test larger 2017 tyres

Sebastian Buemi testing Pirelli's new-for-2017 tyres in a modified Red Bull RB11 at Mugello, Italy on 3rd August 2016 © Pirelli

Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli continued its testing programme for its new wider, faster 2017 tyres at Mugello on Wednesday, with Red Bull test and reserve driver Sebastien Buemi completing 82 laps of the Italian circuit in a modified RB11.

The two-day Mugello session, which continues on Thursday, comes hot on the heels of Pirelli’s test with Ferrari at Fiorano, during which Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Gutierrez tested wet and intermediate compounds in an adapted SF15-T.

Buemi, who had not driven Formula One machinery for two years, was tasked with running slick tyres, with Pirelli fitting his car, which had been specially set-up to simulate 2017 performance levels, with a variety of compounds and new constructions.

As per the agreed terms of the programme, Red Bull were not given information on what they were testing, and are obliged to share data gathered with the other teams.

Ferrari and Mercedes will take over testing duties for the next stage of the programme, with the former running at Barcelona on September 6-7 and the latter at Paul Ricard on September 6-8.

Tyre choices for German GP

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Pirelli has revealed the tyre combinations each Formula 1 team will take to the German Grand Prix next weekend and has shed some light on 2017 tyre philosophy, when the chassis and tyres will be significantly upgraded.

The Italian company will bring its supersoft, soft and medium tyres to the race at Hockenheim, which returns to the calendar for the first time since 2014.

Mercedes and Ferrari differ slightly in their approach as the German team opts for one set of mediums, four softs and eight supersofts, while the Scuderia has picked one more set of the supersofts over the yellow-striped softs.

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