The cheapest places in the UK to run a car

Any driver knows that the costs of owning a car don’t just end when you drive it out of the showroom, with the running costs quickly stacking up.

From one off annual payments such as Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) and MOT to the big ones such as insurance and fuel costs, drivers spend thousands on keeping their vehicles on the road each year.

But where in the UK are driver’s spending the most? We’ve looked at our own customer data to find out, revealing that while those in bigger cities generally pay more for insurance, a higher annual mileage means that those in rural areas spend far more on fuel (and overall). See the results for your local area below:


Local authority

Average car insurance quote

Average breakdown cover quote

Maximum MOT fee

Average annual petrol cost

Average annual diesel cost

Vehicle Excise
Duty (petrol)

Vehicle Excise
Duty (diesel)

Total cost
(petrol cars)

Total cost
(diesel cars)


Average car insurance & breakdown cover quotes

Car Insurance: These were pulled from Compare the Market’s own customer data from the date period January to April 2019. The data provides an average car insurance quote for each mainland local authority in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland, Isle of Wight, Orkney Island and Isle of Scilly). The breakdown figures are provided by our breakdown comparison provider, Comparison Creator and are national average figure for breakdown across all cover levels.

Maximum MOT fee

The maximum fee chargeable by MOT test stations for cars, according to GOV.UK (note: a new car would not require an MOT for its first three years).

Average annual fuel costs

This was calculated by taking the average annual mileage for each area (according to our own customer data from the date period January to April 2019 ) and multiplying it by the average unleaded petrol and diesel costs (£1.30 and £1.35), as of May 28th 2019.

Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax)

The vehicle tax rate for a new car with CO2 emissions of 111-130g/km, according to GOV.UK. (The average CO2 emissions for a new car according to the SMMT New Car CO2 Report 2018 are 121g/km.)

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Compare the Market guide on Running a car