Cost of running a 'Seven'

One of the many questions that we are asked at shows is about the costs of running an Austin Seven; insurance, spares, fuel consumption etc.


All of the 'Sevens' were designed in the 1920/30's to return about 40mpg and our models still achieve that.  Supporting most of the Cornwall Austin Seven Club runs and attending 4 or 5 summer shows I have averaged 1400 miles in recent years with my 900cc 'Big Seven'.  The only calculation on fuel consumption was for a run up to Callington on the A30/A38 a couple of years ago, the 165 mile return journey returned 41mpg. 


big 7 forlite

Bearing in mind that many of our Club runs are along twisty lanes and steep hills the extra low gear work may bring this down to 35mpg at the worst; so that will be about 43 gals or 195 litres purchased over the year.

At average price, over the last year, of £1.14 per litre petrol has cost £222.30; the MoT test was £54.85; Comprehensive Insurance, including breakdown cover, £49.35; Spares averaged over a few years £30.00; Engine Oil, changed once a year and topping up - 5 litres, and grease, is approx £15.00; Road Fund Licence for Historic Class cars (first registered before 1 January 1973) is zero rated and so the total cost is about £372.00 or approx 26.6p per mile.



Big 7 advIt is necessary to add on the original cost of 5 new tyres at £85 each with inner tubes £5 each plus p&p £5 each, then they cost £475.  Assuming a 15 year tyre life (bearing in mind Tyre Ageing) at 1400 miles per annum is approx 20,000 miles and that equals 2.3p per mile.

Therefore, for 1400 miles per annum, the total running cost is near £405 or approx 29.0p per mile of which about 14.7p is for petrol.

Of course, there would normally be a figure for depreciation but 'Sevens' hold their value and the cost of restoration enhances the sale value so any figure is insufficient to radically alter the cost.

These costs are very reasonable for a year's enjoyment. 

This article, written by Doug Castle, originally appeared in CA7C Seven Focus in September 2010 p27.