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Speakers Corner


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Are you keeping your car for longer?


oresome

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Motorists squeezed by the double dip recession are keeping their cars for longer now than twentyfive years ago. The average age of a car on the road now has crept up to seven and a half years from six and a half years then.

My present car is six years old, but I do a low mileage due to retirement and the cost of leisure motoring, so the car still feels fairly new and I think cars actually last longer bodywork wise than they did.

For most of my working life I had a company car that was replaced every two years with more miles on it than my present car has after six.

I toy with the idea of replacing the present car, but the cost of fuel limits the mileage I do, so it's hard to justify the expense.

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OTT_B

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At 35k+ miles a year, cars don't last long for me - 3 years max usually. I buy used cars for a couple of grand, then run them until I feel an uneconomic repair coming on, or to around 160k miles (which ever happens first!). Then it gets sold and replaced with another £2k car. If you pick and chose the car you buy, and get a bit lucky, it keeps depreciation and maintenance costs to very low levels. That said, the family car is new and replaced every 10-12 months. Contract issues mean that it is mileage limited, so can't be used for excessive distances.

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Aitchbee

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I stopped driving /owning /worrying etc about my car about 8 years ago....I now walk or take the bus...If I won a car in a competition I would immediately 'flog it'...in a car 'boot sale' ;0|

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Pine Man

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I seem to be the odd one out.

For the last twenty years or so I have changed my car for a new one every two years. Even though I am now retired I still do the same and intend to continue doing so.

I know it probably isn't the most cost effective way of motoring but if I, and others, didn't buy new cars where would the used cars be for the posters above me!

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OTT_B

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Pine Man,

"but if I, and others, didn't buy new cars where would the used cars be for the posters above me!"

Very true indeed. On the whole, new vehicle sales volumes are increasing over time in the UK. There are of course 'blips' in the figures, and the types of cars that are sold is changing, but the trend for keeping cars for longer looks set to continue. I suspect this will be supported by an increasing population and generally increasing wealth.

It's interesting that during the recent financial crisis, second hand car prices increased. Presumably caused by demand for second hand cars increasing, and not enough newer cars being sold onto the second hand market (owners keeping the new cars for longer). 

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Condom

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I would suspect that another of the reasons for not changing cars so often is that there is really nothing new out there these days. Not so long ago we had the introduction of air-bags, then also ones for passengers. Disk brakes replaced drums and then we had the associated electronic braking facilities. Computer management of engines quickly followed and so most of us have cars with most of the things we desire or perhaps even need. Before that the Japanese introduced all the extra instruments we now all take for granted.

In the past few years there has really been little new or ground braking and with so many cars now looking the same, why change? 

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oresome

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A few years ago I showed some interest in a car at a dealers showroom.

The salesman brought me the keys for his managers car which was the same model and told me to take it out for a spin.

I joined a queue of traffic as I left the forecourt and crawled along for several miles nose to tail before getting fed up, turning back and doing the same in the opposite direction. I arrived back at the garage an hour later, having rarely exceeded thirty mph or getting out of third gear.

It convinced me then that the dream in the showroom and the reality on the road were completely different things and I walked away, wallet in pocket. 

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Noldi

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I work in the Automotive industry and we are offered some very attractive deals to take a new car from our parent company brands. I haven't taken this offer up for 2 years now but buy a good quality car with full service history, my wife's car we will change this year and we've had it 8 years and paid £4,000 pound for it so it's lost about £500 a year if we throw it away for nothing, some people pay that a month on HP.  

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interzone55

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I used to keep my car for three years, then when it was paid for trade it in against a new car.

My last car I kept for 5 years, and it was no trouble, but when I moved last year I needed something more economical as I had a significantly longer drive to work, so I bought a three year old Diesel Mini. It's rock solid and I can see myself keeping it until it starts to cost big money on repairs.

On the whole, I think modern cars are built better than cars were 20 years ago, so they should last longer, it's just that many people buy their cars on personal contract hire schemes which are only good value if you swap the car at the end of the term... 

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Pine Man

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'In the past few years there has really been little new or ground braking and with so many cars now looking the same, why change?'

Can't agree with that. My present car, which is just under two years old, has a 1.4 litre petrol engine which is turbo and supercharged. This is fairly new technology which makes the car very economical and fast.

As I inferred in my earlier post I, effectively, buy my cars using my heart rather than financial head and get a lot of pleasure out of it.

 

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exdragon

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Hmm, this topic has come at just the right time - my Ford Ka is almost 5, low mileage, owned from new, 17000 on the clock, one careful lady owner... Torn between keeping it as there's nothing wrong with it (yet) or buying new, which will give me another 3 year warranty. I'm tempted by the Skoda Citygo but don't want a test drive yet as I'm off on holiday soon and if I like it, I'll want it!

 

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