Save a fortune by comparing costs

  • Focus is more expensive to buy and run than a Golf
  • Find out why a 3-Series is cheaper to run than an Insignia
  • Understand why the price tag of your car isn't the only cost to consider

When it comes to buying a car many people only look at one thing - the price.

Obviously it's an important factor but equally as important are the running costs, especially if you intend to keep the car for more than a few years. You might just be surprised by what you could actually afford to buy simply by taking into account the difference in costs.

To demonstrate how much more certain cars can cost you to own, we've taken into account depreciation and expenses like servicing, fuel and road tax.

The figures are based on three year's ownership and a total of 30,000 miles.

  • Hatchback: Ford Focus vs. Volkswagen Golf

The Focus and Golf are equally competent cars and with both diesel versions averaging 62mpg they make an ideal choice for drivers who have to endure a long commute.

The Golf, however, is £201 less to buy than the Focus, and you'd potentially save £2,186 in running costs during your ownership - not bad, considering you'd be driving what's viewed as a premium German hatchback.

 

 

Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Titanium (110ps) 5d

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDi (105bhp) S 5d

Cost new: £18,631 £18,430
Depreciation: £12,531 £10,860
Showroom tax/Registration: £55 £55
Servicing: £1,130 £554
Road tax: £60 £60
Fuel: £2,842 £2,903
Total costs: £16,618 £14,432
  • Saloon: Vauxhall Insignia vs. BMW 3-Series

You might think that it'd be unfair to compare an expensive BMW to a cheaper Vauxhall - but you might be suprised in how little extra you'd pay over the years to be driving one of the best four-door saloons on the market.

The Insignia starts out £2,675 cheaper than the BMW, but you'd save £1,527 in running costs with the BMW - so effectively you'd be paying an extra £1,148 to drive the 3-Series.

It's worth considering that the longer you owned the BMW, however, the more money you'd potentially stand to save - because besides cheaper running costs the BMW will be much better at holding its value, in the long term, than the Insignia.

 

 

Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi SE Saloon 4dr

BMW 3-Series 318d SE 4dr Saloon

Cost new: £24,005 £26,680
Depreciation: £17,380 £16,455
Showroom tax/Registration: £165 £55
Servicing: £1,265 £1,262
Road tax: £220 £60
Fuel: £3,234 £2,905
Total costs: £22,264 £20,737
  • People carrier: Renault Scenic vs. Peugeot 3008 

While both the Peugeot and Renault are four-star cars, the crossover 3008 is the more desirable and sought-after car, resulting in lower depreciation. This demand also means it'd be easier to sell later on.

The 3008 is £455 cheaper to buy than the Scenic, but you'd also stand to save a meaningful £2,319 in running costs over three years. Vive le difference!

 

 

Renault Scenic 1.4 TCE Dynamique TomTom

Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi Sport 5dr

Cost new: £18,750 £18,295
Depreciation: £12,900 £10,675
Showroom tax/Registration: £305 £210
Servicing: £944 £1,150
Road tax: £360 £310
Fuel: £4,542 £4,387
Total costs: £19,051 £16,732
  • Off-roader: Range Rover vs. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

If you're looking to make a statement then both the Range Rover and GL-Class Mercedes have an equally premium image and commanding presence, along with a specification sheet that's as long as your arm.

Despite the desirability of the Range Rover, smart buyers should look towards the three-pointed star. This is because the Mercedes, besides being a considerable £7,710 less to buy, would also cost you £4,903 less to run - meaning a total potential saving of £12,613.

 

 

Range Rover 4.4 TDV8 Vogue 4d Auto

Mercedes-Benz GL350 CDI Sport Pack 5d Auto

Cost new: £68,945 £61,235
Depreciation: £40,695 £34,860
Showroom tax/Registration: £805 £1,005
Servicing: £2,456 £3,074
Road tax: £850 £870
Fuel: £6,072 £6,166
Total costs: £50,878 £45,975
  • Performance cars: Mitsubishi Evo X vs. Audi A4 S4

You might think that this is an odd comparison but both cars are different takes on the same concept, with them both being fast four-wheel-drive saloons - although obviously the Evo is more of a driver's car.

Despite the premium Audi badge, the A4's not only £514 cheaper to buy, but a staggering £5,550 cheaper to run over the three-year period. It also holds its value marginally better, meaning that if you did come to sell it on, or trade it in, you'd recoup a little more of your money.

 

 

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X FQ-360 4dr

Audi A4 S4 TFSI Quattro 4dr

Cost new: £37,804 £37,290
Depreciation: £22,229 £20,590
Showroom tax/Registration: £1,005 £805
Servicing: £2,975 £1,832
Road tax: £870 £850
Fuel: £8,775 £6,227
Total costs: £35,854 £30,304

Note: The Parkers Cost of Motoring tool is updated constantly so the figures may change according to market conditions.

 

Parker's Top Tip

You can compare both new and used car running costs by using our formats above. If you're maybe  thinking about changing your car then find out what it's worth by getting a Used Car Valuation, and you can research the replacement cars that might interest you in our New Car Reviews section.