Honda S2000: Running costs

The Honda S2000 as many of you will know is my current daily drive and having done just under 50,000 miles over the past couple of years it’s had a far amount of maintenance work as well to keep her in great shape and so that all feeds into this post.


First things first, the dreaded insurance. Under the old 1-20 insurance scheme the Honda S2000 was a group 20 car. Under the new 1-50 scheme it’s 44. So overall, insurance is not cheap. There are loads of insurance threads over at the UK forum of S2KI but overall you are better off going to specialists like Adrian Flux or Chris Knott rather than high street providers. My insurance is for 20,000 miles a year including business miles so my insurance is around £900 / year with 4 years NCB. Even though you can pick an S2000 up for £5000 these days – the insurance still puts quite a few people off.


The S2000 should be fuelled using Super unleaded petrol, not the standard stuff. This of course is more expensive. Some people say that it runs fine with the normal stuff and I have noticed little difference when I have been stuck. Mine’s diet is Tesco Momentum 99 as it’s long term wear of the engine that could be an issue especially when VTECing quite a bit as I do. Currently my S2000 does around 28 mpg which is pretty good considering.


The S2000 is pretty tyre sensitive. You shouldn’t put cheap budget tyres on the car (unless you enjoy unpredictable handling!). There are generally a few tyres people seem to think are  OK (am talking 17″ alloy wheels here). They are Bridgestone RE050 MZs, Falken 452s, Toyo 888s and so on – all the usual suspects. When the tyres become worn, they do need replacement on time. Letting them go to the wear marks or past the wear marks gives less predictable handling overall. Expect to replace the fronts every 10-12,000 miles and the rears every 6,000 miles or so. Expect to pay £100 a corner as a guide.


The lifeblood of any engine is of it’s oil. The S2000 is no different. If you ever see the oil warning light stay on in the cockpit you’re probably too later with this car. My preferred oil is Castrol Edge 5w40. It says it’s for turbo diesels but it seem great for my car. There’s even a picture of it in this post. Oil should be replaced at the very least every 9,000 miles preferably more like every 5,000 miles. Oil change of course is inexpensive and good for the longevity of the car. I normally grab my oil from Halfords believe it or not.

Brake discs and pads

Depending on how you drive you will of course get through some pads and in my case, I have also got through some discs (only one set though). I am to say I’m not sure how often they need changing as it really depends on your driving style and whether you’re going to the track or not. If you do go to the track make sure there’s plenty of meat left before you go. Full set of discs and pads probably around £600.


Every 9,000 miles the Honda S2000 needs a service. These rang from effectively an oil change to something more in depth.  It’s all the usual stuff over time. Spark plugs, filters, fluids (diff, gearbox etc). It should all be in your documentation but the service schedule is also included here for your reference. Only goes up to 99,000 miles though!

The only other item to note with S2000’s is that eventually the TCT will start to tick and need changing (Timing Chain Tensioner) – if this goes it will make a right mess so make sure it’s been done / will be done. The TCT can tick if the wrong oil is in the engine too. I had Mobil 1 in for a while and that made the TCT tick badly, replaced the oil and all was well.

Expect minor services to be £100-£150 and major ones more £200-£300. On the S2000 forums there’s a general dislike of most Honda dealerships as a lot of them don’t know what they’re doing especially with S2000s. Finding a good independent is worth it for slightly lower prices and confidence they know what they are doing. If you’re you’re up north Garage R is good.


The S2000 is a very reliable car, as long as it’s treated well especially as far as oil is concerned. Running one is not expensive and it’s also not what can be described as cheap. Compared to a lot of cars that offer similar performance it is cost effective. Make sure it’s been treated well if you’re buying! Always check out the S2KI forum as well and their great technical FAQ.


About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.