Surprise, surprise, running a BMW M3 isn’t cheap on any level, from buying it to fuelling it and insuring it.

If you don’t like the look of the figures then just about your only option, other than running away and hiding, is to investigate the slightly more frugal seven-speed automatic instead of the six-speed manual. Such a decision, though, rather undermines the point of buying such a car in the first place, even if it does make the M3 a quicker car in a straight line as well.

That said, fuel economy is at least close to the official figures – closer, in fact, than we dared imagine after hard running. In our quick tests the car returned somewhere between 17 and 20mpg. Longer motorway runs see that figure rise to 25mpg. Still, those numbers are nothing to write home about, and also mean that a full tank will yield little over 250 miles.

Inevitably, then, the CO2 emissions are also high, meaning a big hit on the first-year showroom tax if you’re buying new, and punitive VED road tax bills thereafter. Traditionally, this highest tax band has also attracted the greatest increases when fees are put up, so there’s little to no prospect of there being some good news further down the line.

The M3 also sits in the higher regions of the insurance band system, so expect high bills to head your way.

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