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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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Quickbeam

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What do you expect to go wrong with it exdragon?

There should be 80k miles left for the clutch, unless you ride it. It'll be due a cambelt kit on age rather than mileage which will cost about £400ish at a garage, that's much cheaper than buying a new one. You can get several free years of running out of it with at worst, a £1000 service/repair bill somewhere within the next 3/4 years. 

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exdragon

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Quickbeam - sort of fingers crossed that nothing does go wrong! The thing is, at my age, with perhaps a bit of spare cash, it seems a good idea to treat myself. As someone pointed out, when I'm sitting in a care home, I probably won't have the chance! 

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Pine Man

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'at my age, with perhaps a bit of spare cash, it seems a good idea to treat myself'

My philosophy exactly. If you want one buy one. Don't bother trying to justify it;-)

 

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HondaMan

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The problem that I foresee is not the bodywork. By and large most rusting problems have been cured. No, it is that modern cars are extremely complex and expensive to repair when things do go wrong. Modern cars are not aimed at the D-I-Y repairer. Last year my 2001 MX-5 flooded due to a blocked drain hole. The car was worth about £3000 but a new PCU was needed, or so I was told, and would cost £2000!

The same applies to almost any modern car equipped with "all the goodies". When THEY go wrong it can cost more than the car is worth to repair it.

Goodies? Things like on-board computers, electric seats, automatic headlights and wipers, stereo systems, key-less entry, tyre sensors, in in fact all the things manufacturers have encouraged us to have

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morddwyd

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I recently got a recall for some new engine software to be downloaded (possibility of spurious warning lights)

They forecast an hour, it took three - for a software download!

I could have changed the head gasket on my old Ford Pop in that time.

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interzone55

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I nearly bought a second hand Smart Roadster last year, but did some searching on Honest John and one of the things that regularly popped up was a small leak in the engine bay that could short out the Engine Management System.

Each system was unique to the car (AMG programmed or something) so any replacement would need to be specially programmed, would take 24 hours and cost at least £2k, which was a shade more than the car.

it's still on the forecourt of the garage a year later...

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TopCat®

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With due apologies to oresome for going off thread.

Update: Further to my post on September 4, 2012 at 4:40PM, I am delighted to say that my old Honda sailed through its MoT again today, with passes on everything. Our old faithful friend will continue to be our mode of transport for hopefully yet another full year. TC. :)

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al's left peg

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I have never ever bought a brand new car, I cannot justify the loss in depreciation just driving it off the forecourt. An old school friend of mine works high up in a dealership and I have told him I hate buying and selling cars. I always feel shafted after I have bought a car.

I normally buy a car about 4years old and keep it for 3 or 4 years, I currently own a 1.6 petrol Ford Focus and will probably keep it for another couple of years then buy another one, as I think the Focus does everything well and parts / servicing is reasonable.

There is a friend of mine who buys 5 to 6 year old Mercedes C class saloons and thinks it is a good idea because he has a luxury car with average mileage for the same price as a 3 to 4 year old Mondeo. I can see his train of thought but I don't think a Mercedes is for me unless I win the lottery.

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Quickbeam

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If anyone's worried about hugely expensive parts costs associated with engine management control, check out ECU Testing Ltd, I recently got an exchange ABS pump block for a VW for £200. My local VW dealer wanted £1100 for a new ABS pump unit + labour + VAT. The dealers bill would have been nearly £2000!

If you shop around and investigate alternatives, you will save a lot of money compared to dealers that will only fit new parts at extortionate prices.

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Wes.Clox

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I have been lucky, in the last 20 years I have never needed a MOT certificate for any car we owned. We have always renewed before one was needed. This will continue for as long as we can afford to.

For many years the preparation before and the anxious wait while it is tested and the dreaded results were not worth keeping the car. All our cars are serviced bang on time.

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