A study by Privilege Car Insurance has revealed the most expensive places to drive in Britain. While we’re aware property prices vary across Britain, it might come as a shock to discover there’s often a huge discrepancy between where you live and what car ownership is costing you.

Most expensive cities to be a car owner

The most expensive place to own a car is Liverpool, costing motorists an average of £4,009.89 each year for the privilege of driving. Contrast that to Brighton car owners who pay, on average, £2,028.26 per year on their driving costs—around half what Liverpudlians pay.

London drivers have the highest parking costs, paying an average of £246.00 each year—around 80% more than Nottingham drivers. With the most paid in parking, MOT tests, and parking fines, together with an average yearly bill of £22.53 in toll roads and congestion charges, it’s no wonder London is the second most expensive city to own a car.

Car repairs bills are a headache. What worse, though, is what you pay may depend on where you live. Motorists in Southampton pay the largest car repair bills, with an average annual bill of £178.29—a big difference to most Norwich drivers, who pay less than £100 each year to have their vehicles fixed.

Most Expensive Cities to Drive In – Ranked by Average Annual Cost

  1. Liverpool: £4,009.89
  2. London: £3,862.61
  3. Manchester: £3,517.41
  4. Birmingham: £3,424.06
  5. Newcastle: £3,223.09
  6. Edinburgh: £3,194.76
  7. Cardiff: £3,113.19
  8. Leeds: £3,088.30
  9. Southampton: £2,752.60
  10. Glasgow: £2,750.80
  11. Sheffield: £2,710.86
  12. Nottingham: £2,578.99
  13. Bristol: £2,424.95
  14. Plymouth: £2,395.80
  15. Norwich: £2,060.78
  16. Brighton: £2,028.26

Plymouth motorists pay the most in car tax, paying an average of £124.12 per year, compared to the average, yearly car tax bill of £77.46, in Cardiff.

With the risk of accidents greater in built-up areas, living in a city will often result in higher insurance costs. Liverpool drivers pay the most, with an average insurance bill of £2,072.37—double the yearly cost of £1,030.76 for the average UK driver.

Edinburgh drivers pay the most for petrol and diesel, shelling out an average of £997.78 each year—a lot more than Bristolians, who say they spend around £708.93 each year, at the pumps. The huge variation in petrol and diesel prices is something PetrolPrices.com have covered in previous articles.

Manchester made the number one place for the highest percentage of speeding fines in the last year and ranked as the third most expensive city to be a motorist.

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Drivers cost-conscious when choosing car insurance

Along with finance and fuel, car insurance is in the top three most expensive motoring costs. Depending on where you live, it could be the biggest driving expense you face. The Privilege Car Insurance survey found that Liverpool was the most expensive city for car insurance, with drivers paying, on average, a huge £2,072.37 per year—almost 75% more than in Norwich, where drivers pay an average bill of £513.02 each year on car insurance premiums.

Charlotte Fielding, Head of Privilege car insurance said: “We know that motoring can put a real squeeze on household finances, so we wanted to take a closer look at the average costs in order to help drivers see where they might be able to make savings.

Fielding added: “The cost of car insurance was recently at an all-time high and while prices are now falling for the first time in two years, people are still rightly cost-conscious when purchasing their cover. However, it’s important to look at not just the price but the cover and service on offer. Cheap policies with hollow cover or that add to your stress levels when it comes to making a claim don’t represent value for money. It’s worth investing time upfront doing some research before buying car insurance.

Reducing some of those costs

Should you find yourself landed with a parking fine, pay up fast. Sometimes the fine drops by 50% if you pay up within 14 days, instead of leaving it for the usual 28 days to pay. And if someone has issued you an unjustified parking fine? MoneySavingExpert says 56% of motorists who pursued their complaints right through to the official appeals body, were successful with their claims. To reduce parking costs, consider a parking app that checks the price of nearby parking, such as Parkopedia, and see which parking companies offer apps to both tell you when your parking time is almost up and allow you to pay online—great if you’re running late!

If your car repairs need replacement parts, look into buying them yourself, online, instead of letting the garage buy them. As long as you buy the correct parts, you can save hundreds of pounds.

If you want to cut down on the price you pay for petrol or diesel, and haven’t already, download the PetrolPrices.com app and start saving, today.

Are you surprised by the cost differences between cities? Do you live in or near these areas? How does the cost of driving compare where you are? Why do you think prices vary so much across Britain? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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