Don’t get me wrong – I’m a HUGE fan of older cars. I have much more respect for someone who’s driving a well looked after, shiny vintage car than someone who just steps onto a forecourt with the help of a finance company…. but unfortunately at some point you may have to say “Au Revoir” to your old faithful wheels.
If you’re anything like me this won’t be a decision that’s taken lightly – in fact…. I have yet to actually “get rid” of any of my old cars! (But I’m lucky to have garage space for storing my past loves)
But when exactly is the right time to say goodbye?
It’s easy to see from the “My First Car” stories on this website that we are a bunch that are inclined to get emotionally attached to our cars. There will come a point where constant repairs become un-economical – but just being old isn’t exactly a good reason to change your car. Generally mileage, condition and how you look after a car are what matters – regular servicing and fixing small problems before they become a big issue.
However, if your car does spend much of it’s time in the garage you may need to weigh up the cost/inconvenience against what a “new” car would cost. Obviously the more of the repairs you can do yourself the longer you can delay the inevitable.
The Bangernomics website is full of helpful tips for keeping your motoring costs as low as possible. James Ruppert runs Bangernomics, and is also a motoring journalist.
“I have people saying to me that their car is four years old or has done 60,000 miles and they feel they should change it. But my stance is that if it’s not giving you any problems, hold on to it. Older cars are so much more reliable than they used to be. And with new cars, you lose so much in depreciation that unless you do a really high mileage or it’s vital that you project a certain image for your work, there’s not really any point.’
But when it is time for a replacement there are plenty of bargains out there! There is nothing wrong with buying a cheap car in need of a tidy up – but make sure it has a valid NCT and you will still need to do a history check and make sure you get someone who knows cars to check it out for you.
And of course don’t forget to shed a few tears when your old friend goes on it’s final journey to the big car park in the sky….
24th June, 2013