For the past six months or more, we have included a three-year running cost table with each car test report featured in the Irish Country Living motoring page. For many car owners, these figures can look frightening at first glance.

Like so many cost areas on the farm and within running a modern family household, the costs associated with owning a car or 4x4 can be unpalatable to say the least. But that does not mean that we should not examine these costs closely and regularly.