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
- Liverpool: £4,009.89
- London: £3,862.61
- Manchester: £3,517.41
- Birmingham: £3,424.06
- Newcastle: £3,223.09
- Edinburgh: £3,194.76
- Cardiff: £3,113.19
- Leeds: £3,088.30
- Southampton: £2,752.60
- Glasgow: £2,750.80
- Sheffield: £2,710.86
- Nottingham: £2,578.99
- Bristol: £2,424.95
- Plymouth: £2,395.80
- Norwich: £2,060.78
- 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.
This list seems to be completely weighted on insurance costs. Everyone knows that living in or near a large metropolis will increase all of your living costs compared to living in some leafy or coastal idyll. Consequently this list is pretty pointless, as I cannot see many big city dwellers rushing to live in Brighton to save a couple of £ on running their car
By my calculations, the cost of car insurance in Liverpool is 4 times that in Brighton.
car insurance is a proper ripoff led by insurance MAFIA who collaborate to push up the prices!
Also the increase in insurance by this government, next step more fuel tax for the NHS, why should the motorist foot that bill?
I thought ANNUAL CAR TAX was standard throughout the country?
Depends on what car you have! how many cars that are located in that city overall, determines overall cost! eg 3 litre or more is high tax, 1 litre etc lower tax. Okay?
As usual you confine your search to cities. A couple of weeks ago I bought diesel on Coll (look it up). It cost £1.50 a litre plus a call out charge of £10 since the pumps are only normally manned for 2 hours a day. My 20l of diesel therefore cost £40.
congestion charge in London is £11.50 a day, average london driver, £22.53 charges a year, so the average ‘London driver’ drives less than twice a year? where have these figures come from
Plus rip-off Parking charges and now diesel sucharge
It just cost me £39.20 to park + £19.60 diesel charge and £11.50 congestion charge.
That’s £63.30 just to go to work! And the customer wonders why we charge so much.
Another anomaly in these figures. I think the vast majority of people living in London don’t drive in the congestion charge zone and never pay the charge. Also, many of those who do pay the charge probably don’t live in London.
One of the most despicable costs to motorists is the tax on tax paid on fuel. We pay the price of fuel plus fuel tax and then have VAT added on top so we pay VAT on the tax we pay. My MP is ambivalent so I have written to the Prime Minister – only an acknowledgement so far.
The roads in and around Southampton are atrocious. No wonder the repair bills are the highest. The damage to vehicles is disgusting. Even worse if you are on two wheels
In this country we drive on the left of the road. Now we drive on what is left of the road. I don’t know about Southampton but I bet Hull could give it a run for its money.
The statistics as presented here are utterly meaningless. Impossible to extrapolate any conclusions.
Agree entirely. The outcomes are presented without any methodology or source of information.
I’m not sure this survey tells us very much. Does someone pay less for car repairs because their garage is charging less, or because their car is newer and doesn’t need repairs?
Equally, the price that people pay at the pumps has little to do with annual fuel cost in the case of Edinburgh, which is usually way cheaper than Greater London prices. It must be to do with the number of miles people drive. Edinburgh to Glasgow is about 50 miles, which takes about 60-90 minutes. How many journeys that distance in SE England are that quick? As a result I bet a lot more people drive rather than take the train or bus in Scotland.
Liverpool being famous for it’s law abiding citizens, I wonder if the cost of motoring has anything to do with youngsters offering to look after your vehicle and making sure it’s not stolen or damaged? and most refusing to pay the minders charge!!!!
Liverpool is only tenth on the list for car crime nationally.
LIVERPOOL is much aligned, and is no more a criminal hotspot than any other UK major city. Because of this exaggerated reputation, incidents always make headlines. I served there as a police offover, and always found 99% of the contact I had with the public to be friendly. The true scouser has a heart of gold.
513 is 75% less than£2072 but 2072 is 300% more than 513 (approx)
Do most of these cars run on air and drive 2 miles a week down the road?
I spend way more on my car a year. Because I use it for “business” purposeses.
Something in the region of 16-18k miles a year.
One of the joys of owning a car The many extra costs you do not think about before buying one
I’m not surprised its Liverpool. I couldn’t believe how bad the drivers were there on both occasions that I have visited. Drive much too fast and very impatient.
I am surprised that Brighton is so far down the list. Have you seen the prices they charge in their car parks!
What a load of rubbish.
I live in liverpool and we have 3 cars and a motorhome our average insurance is £300. For the 4 vehicles that is less than £1200.
Don’t know where they got the cost from.
Insurance is just a scam,they charge what they can get away with,people can drive anywhere and park anywhere,A lot of it is just where you park your car,mileage and accident history , but if you have a smash (even through no fault of your own your premium will increase because you are more likely to have some one else run in to you,Yeah right. I will admit though the standard of driving in the UK is awful.
I wonder how much the apparent cost of motoring in Liverpool is due to insurance, perhaps based upon Southern, so-called poor comedians ‘joking’ about ‘Scousers nicking your wheels off your car’. Ignorant insurers taking note and bumping up the price of insurance there. It was always a myth! The fact is London and the South was always worse for that kind of crime!
Good article – except the ‘buy your own parts’ discussion. NOT good practice! Some garages will refuse to fit customer supplied parts – very much on the basis that they haven’t sourced them and therefore cannot warranty their work with unknown budget s**t bits. If they do agree to use ‘your parts’ they have an immediate cop out (justifiably) if the job goes t*tz up. Part of your repair outlet’s profit and very existance relies on buying in the parts at trade and selling to you at a small profit – usually NOT the full retail – but they and their supplier will sort your problem f.o.c. IF for eg a newly fitted cam belt breaks and turns your power unit into a “finely engineered boat anchor”. Additionally they will likely and quite rightly increase your hourly labour rate to protect against this scenario and regain lost margins. Finally dubiously sourced and pattern parts – regularly don’t fit or fail within days. AS A FOOT NOTE I AM NOT & HAVE NEVER OWNED A MOTOR REPAIR OUTLET. Just saying
Not many garages-if any-will agree to fit the parts you bought yourself as they cant guarantee anything on those! Rubbish.
I was paying over £1k in car insurance in Birmingham for third party even with 6 years no claims discount. Moving to the countryside I now pay less than £300 fully comprehensive.
Your maths is appalling, ie” £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.”!!
If the figures are correct(?), then you had a chance to be even more sensational by stating “nearly 400% higher than in Norwich!”
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