Mike Waters' blog: 13 April 2010 - Longer term approach pays off
13 April 2010
Mike Waters is head of market analysis at Arval
Most of us are price sensitive so when individuals or companies are looking for a new vehicle cost is an important factor. The problem is that this often means a blinkered focus on the upfront purchase price, or monthly rental if the vehicle is being leased. While initial outlay is important, it is equally important not to lose sight of the full range of costs incurred during the lifetime of a car.
Figures from Sainsbury's Finance say that it's getting significantly more expensive to run a car with the average cost of motoring now at around £2539. While this average is useful, two cars that cost a similar amount to buy or lease can have dramatically different running costs making the wrong vehicle choice an expensive mistake to make. As a result, here are some key things to consider:
The biggest cost of vehicle ownership comes through depreciation, again a cost that varies widely with some makes and models holding their value better than others. This means that picking the right car at the outset can literally add thousands to its value when you come to sell it on.
The specification on a vehicle is also crucial, especially when buying a car from new. Certain must-haves like air conditioning, alloy wheels and anti-lock braking can make a car much more attractive to buyers. Likewise, there are some colours of vehicle that are a real turn off to the majority of drivers so will drag the vehicle value down.
Fuel is the second biggest cost associated to car ownership, making up over a quarter of costs. With fuel prices showing no signs of falling, drivers are switching to more efficient vehicles with good MPG performance are spending less.
Other areas to consider include service, maintenance and tyre costs, insurance premiums and road fund license, all of which can bump up the annual cost of your vehicle. From a tax perspective the environmental credentials of a vehicle are also important, with lower CO2 emitters subject to less tax.
When selecting a vehicle there are no hard and fast rules and the individual or company must choose the car or van that suits them best. But if you are a price sensitive buyer, which lets face it most of us are, think about how the decisions you make today could impact on the costs that you incur over the coming years.
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