Car running costs

Your guide to how we calculate car running costs

The figures in our tables will not be exactly the same as your own costs

The figures in our tables will not be exactly the same as your own costs

If you're interested in how we arrive at the figures shown in the tables you can find out here. We use several different sources of information and make a number of assumptions.

Remember that everyone's experience is different. The figures in our tables will not be exactly the same as your own costs but they will give you a good idea of what to take into account and how to go about estimating your own running costs if you want to.

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.

Claiming mileage

How much your employer will give you for using your own car for company business depends on the employer and is a matter for negotiation as circumstances vary. The Inland Revenue operates an Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) system.

Prices in our tables include VAT.


Contact your tax office or visit Advisory fuel rates for company cars, and HM Revenue and Customs - mileage expenses for more information.

Standing charges

The letters correspond to those in the left-hand column of the petrol and diesel running costs tables.

A. Car tax (VED)

The value shown assumes that the car was first registered after March 2001 and is the average for the cars considered in each price group. From 2014 we include the first year 'showroom' tax (introduced in 2010) where applicable.

More about car tax and CO2 emissions.

B. Insurance

The value used is a UK average for a fully comprehensive policy with 60% no-claims discount.

C. Cost of capital

The figures in the table represent the income you lose from having money tied up in the vehicle, which otherwise could be earning interest in a deposit account. This year we used the AA's online saving rate of 2.2% together with the average value for the cars chosen for each cost group.

Any further admin charges for a loan or hire purchase will be on top of this.

D. Depreciation

Cars lose value at different rates depending on their make, age, mileage and condition. We assume that depreciation costs are averaged over four years from purchase, and include typical adjustments for different annual mileages in that period. Cars generally depreciate at a slower rate as they get older.

We use different depreciation rates for annual mileages which differ from the average 10,000 miles/year.

E. Breakdown cover

The figure shown is based on the cost of basic roadside assistance

Running costs

F. Fuel

We use the UK average value from our fuel price report.

The fuel consumption figures we use are typical values for each of the car groups/price bands in the tables.

G. Tyres

We assume the car will use six tyres in a four year period and the values in each category are based on prices from high street retailers for a well known brand.  It is possible to find cheaper brands.  The price includes valve, balance and the disposal charge for the old tyre. They are not main dealer prices – which will be higher.

H. Service and labour costs

The labour costs shown cover normal servicing and parts replacement at a main dealer, taking average UK labour rates. Actual labour rates vary a lot depending on where in the country you are as well as from brand to brand.

I. Replacement parts

The replacement parts included cover those likely to be needed under normal driving conditions, such as brake materials, oils, filters, bulbs and wipers. We also include the cost of one MOT.

J. Parking and tolls

Car parking and toll payments are based on a national average for an urban driver. You might pay more or less depending on how much and where you use your car.

AA running costs 2014/15 (pdf)

Petrol cars

AA running costs 2014/15 (pdf)

Diesel cars

(7 July 2014)


Running costs archive

Select fuel & year

Select fuel & year