Car running costs 2014/15

The AA's general guide to the cost of running a petrol or diesel car

AA running costs tables have no official status and are not intended to be used as the basis for setting mileage rates for business use of private cars

AA running costs tables have no official status and are not intended to be used as the basis for setting mileage rates for business use of private cars

If you own your own car then you will certainly be aware of the cost of petrol, insurance, road tax and servicing, but do you know how much your car is really costing you to run?

We update the running cost tables once a year, shortly after the budget.

They are a general guide to the different factors that go together to make up the overall cost of running a privately owned petrol or diesel car.

The tables give a guide to how much it is likely to cost the average private user to run a petrol or diesel car, based on buying the car new and replacing it after four years.


A revised version of the 2014 petrol running costs table has been published to correct an error in the calculation of the depreciation figure for petrol cars in the £18-£25,000 band.

Affected figures have been highlighted in the updated version.

(8 July 2014)


AA running costs tables are intended only as a general guide to the costs associated with owning and running a car.

AA running costs tables have no official status and are not intended to be used as the basis for setting mileage rates for business use of private cars.

Approved mileage rates are set by HMRC and reviewed from time to time.

The AA tables are based on the costs of running a four year old car.  Actual running costs will vary by individual depending on car choice, age, type of use and driving style.

Each year we take 60 top-selling models, representative of the UK market, and analyse their costs over this period. Individual circumstances do vary though, for example fuel consumption depends on the type of car and local traffic conditions, while the cost of repairs can be unpredictable. The aim is to show a representative cost that reflects all the important items, so you can see how it all adds up rather than provide a figure that will accurately reflect your own personal circumstances.

AA running costs 2014/15 (pdf)

Petrol cars

AA running costs 2014/15 (pdf)

Diesel cars

What exactly are running costs?

We divide the costs of motoring into two groups: 'Standing Charges' which cover the bills you have to pay whether you use the car or not, and 'Running Costs' which are the actual costs of using the car.

Standing charges

These are the basic costs of keeping the vehicle ready for use on the road. They include annual car tax, insurance, the cost of capital used for the vehicle, the loss of value of the vehicle (depreciation) plus AA Breakdown Cover.

Depreciation, which is affected by mileage is usually the biggest single cost factor, though it's easy to lose sight of it in terms of a day-to-day expense.

See the quick reference guide for more detailed information about the different standing charges and the assumption we make when putting the tables together.

Running costs

The running costs are those that depend directly on using the vehicle. Fuel costs are the big one here but we also include parking and tolls, tyres, servicing and repair costs. On average, every mile you drive adds this amount to the annual bill and every mile saved cuts the cost by this amount.

See the quick reference guide for more detail.

Vehicle groups

Cars are put into groups depending on their price when new. We take the car's list price when it was first registered, plus the main options such as automatic gearbox or air conditioning supplied with the car. This gives a better guide to what it costs to operate a car than the engine size, for example.

Archive of running costs

If you're interested in seeing how car running costs have changed, you can download tables from previous years too. Running costs for petrol and diesel cars published since 1998 are available as pdf documents - select from the list on the right.

When AA running cost tables were first published in 1950, the road fund licence (car tax) was £10 and a litre of petrol cost 3.3p. You need to take care with comparisons though.

  • modern cars are much more economical and a lot safer
  • modern cars produce only one or two percent of the toxic emissions of earlier cars
  • modern cars are quieter, easier to drive, more durable, and much more reliable

(7 July 2014)


Running costs archive

Select fuel & year

Select fuel & year