And that's before you consider the cost of finance or the purchase price.

Running a car costs the average Briton £162 a month, plus the cost of the vehicle, according to new research.

A study by vehicle maintenance firm Kwik Fit found that the average driver spends just shy of £2,000 a year running their car, with fuel being the biggest single cost at around £800 a year or £67 a month.

Drivers also spend around £190 a year on routine maintenance and servicing, as well as about £160 a year on unexpected repairs or breakdowns. Worryingly, though, eight percent of those surveyed said they saved money by avoiding vehicle maintenance.

Cleaning cars adds about £50 a year to the average driver’s bill, while road tax, parking, insurance and breakdown cover all add to the total.

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And that’s all before we get to the cost of owning the car. According to Kwik Fit, the average car finance deal (for all cars, both new and used) costs £226.12 a month, while those who choose to buy the car outright spend an average of more than £10,500.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: ‘It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new car and not taking all finances into account. The actual car payment is just one aspect of the overall cost. People should remember to take additional costs such as insurance and maintenance into account when budgeting for a vehicle.

‘Maintaining a car is extremely important to ensure you get the best out of it and keep it safe when on the road. Issues with cars aren’t always easy to detect, with many problems developing gradually, which is why it’s important to get your vehicle checked by a professional to avoid problems becoming bigger and more expensive unnecessarily. Drivers should also remember that sticking to the rules of the road will not only be safer, it will avoid any unwanted fines pushing up the overall cost of running a car.’