By Oliver Hall
It is around £500 cheaper to run a brand new car than to keep a used model on the roads, according to a cost-of-motoring index report by the RAC.
The annual cost of running second-hand cars, including new tyres and fuel, is around £2,744 a year, compared with £2,219 for a new vehicle.
Tyres are usually required for most used vehicles between three to six-years-old, which can account for up to 40% of annual maintenance costs, the motoring organisation claims.
Wear and tear on other car parts and the expiration of warranties also help to account for the £525 difference in annual running costs, with used vehicles averaging £787 to maintain, compared with just £366 for new models.
The new car annual running cost figure for 2009 was 5% down on the 2008 average, yet the RAC survey showed that 80% of motorists felt their annual costs had risen.
But the annual costs have been driven lower by a dip in fuel prices, with petrol being 10% cheaper than a year ago and diesel prices falling 14%.
Consumers are also increasingly turning to the internet to source cheaper prices for essentials like car tyres.
etyres, the UKs leading online tyres company, operates a convenient mobile fitting service, which means its overheads are lower than the traditional high street depots and in turn its prices are also up to 40% cheaper than the well known fast-fit chains.