Audi A1: Doing the monthly sums

The true cost of the A1

A month in to ownership of the little Audi and I'm already wondering just how much it is costing on average to run. With its small 45-litre fuel tank and bullish 182bhp engine, it's never going to be the most frugal of choices in the line-up but it is nippy, agile and lots of fun. However, if your major concern is running costs then you want to be looking at the 1.6-litre diesel model. What I want to know though is what the true cost of owning the performance focused version of the supermini is.

The biggest outlay is depreciation. This is how much value your car will lose over the period of ownership. You'll only really feel this when you come to sell and some cars perform better than others. A close second at the moment is the price of fuel. Obviously the more frugal the car the less money you'll pay out at the pumps. The claimed economy for our car is 47mpg, although we're getting closer to 34mpg, but that may be my right foot as it is very tempting to squeeze the throttle open on my commute.

The other important costs to consider are insurance - our car is in group 28 out of 50 - showroom tax and registration fee, road tax, loan repayments (we're basing ours on not having a loan) breakdown cover and service and repair costs.

Obviously trying to work this all out yourself isn't the easiest thing to do. Fortunately the Parkers cost of motoring tool does all the complicated calculations for you. Even better it can work out the amount of money you're paying monthly for your car. So here goes...

All based on three years of ownership and on an average 10,000 miles a year the overall monthly costs for this car come to £666.41. Now let's break this down.  Depreciation is the biggest chunk of this at £443.19, with fuel coming in at a hefty £107.61 a month. My insurance on the car came to £72.20, while service and repair costs were £25.14. Finally showroom tax and first registration is £4.72, road tax £6.39 and breakdown cover £11.88.

So it's quite a cost each month, but if you're keen on holding on to your car and don't mind taking a hit on it then it's a cost you can forget about and this drops the monthly money down to £223.22. That makes it easier to cope with, especially when you consider that this is a premium product, it's quick agile and nippy. If you want a classy car then you got to pay for it.

Current mileage: 1,257

Average mpg: 32.9