Nissan Primera Lifetime costs


My much-loved old car cost just GBP 10,450 to buy initially, but actually cost over GBP 44000 over its 15 years of use. The clever investors at Bloomberg show that one year of car ownership can actually cost over $200,000. If you are looking for reasons not to buy a car, this may help. If you are reading this because you want to save the planet, then instead of a car, then spend the money on loft-insulation and look at some green transport alternatives.


Scientists don't earn much money because their work is often interesting and therefore popular enough to counteract any rarity value for a Ph.D. Some of us might think that initially purchasing a car is expensive, but in my experience, the maintenance adds 50% to the purchase price, the fuel costs add more than 100%, and the loss of earnings from not having the money invested costs more than anything else. Some people take out loans to make their cars even more expensive, or worse, sell each new car after just three years where the deflation rate induced losses would be even higher because you would have needed 5 new cars over the 15 years. It takes time to buy a car, to take it for MOTs, for servicing, new tyres, body repairs etc. but this time was not costed (car drivers like wasting their lives sat in traffic jams too). I have taken conservative assumptions throughout and not recorded all repairs so this is the minimum cost. My old Nissan Primera was a great British-built car, but now I have bought a foreign-built Dahon Vitesse 7 folding bicycle which was GBP 300 from Evans cycles and, at least in the Summer of 2007, I am carless again.

To be completely truthful, the car actually cost twice as much to buy as stated here because the Provisional IRA managed to swindle the original buyers out of their first paid-for Primera in some kind of disappearing company trick but that is another story and the second car ordered from a local garage arrived later and is the one detailed here.

A consumer organisation called Which did their own calculations and came up with a figure of over five thousand pounds (GBP 5000) per year to own a car. The AA calculates that it can cost over 2 Pounds per mile to run a new car less than 10,000 miles per year.

We need to move to the European fuel economy measure of litres per 100 Km because miles per gallon seems simple but is actually very misleading especially in The USA.


Date Cost Description Mileage
01/07/1992 50 Parts
01/08/1992 57 First Service
01/04/1993 105 Service
01/05/1993 187 Windscreen
01/01/1994 90 Two Tyres
01/04/1994 127 Lamp etc.
01/06/1994 175 24,000 mile service 24000
01/01/1995 60 Tyre and alignment
01/05/1995 264 Service, engine work and MOT 35386
01/10/1995 18 Mirror, brakes
01/01/1996 50 Alarm repairs
01/05/1996 106 B Service
20/05/1996 46 MOT
08/08/1996 120.88 Service 51000
21/08/1996 272 New Clutch
01/04/1997 410 C Service
01/06/1997 50 Immobiliser problem
26/09/1997 779 Tyres, exhaust, brake disks, suspension
01/06/1998 30 MOT
01/06/1998 256 B Service – spark plugs and connecting rod
01/01/1999 140 Alternator
01/06/1999 392 Full Service
01/06/2000 153 Level 2 Service 79000
01/06/2000 12 New Key
01/06/2000 55 Battery
01/09/2000 49 Michelin Tyre 85000
01/05/2001 313 Service 93000
01/05/2002 78 Front Exhaust
01/06/2002 423 MOT and Service 97633
01/06/2002 7 Puncture
01/06/2003 143 MOT and Service 102571
01/06/2004 268 MOT and Service 106844
01/06/2005 195 Service 111314
01/06/2006 348 MOT and Service 117091
01/11/2006 20 Mirror
01/06/2007 0 Sold 123000

Total Maintenance 5848.88

Petrol Cost 11168.4

1992 Car purchased 10450

MPG 35

Cost of a gallon 3.18

Cost of a litre 0.7

Total Road Tax 2317

Insurance 3750

Loss of interest 14189.64

Interest Rate 0.04

Period 15

Grand Total 43973.92

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