Things Being “A Bit Tight” Has Changed How Long We Keep Our Cars.
We all know how difficult things have been over the last few years and that’s had an impact on the way we run our cars. The average car today is something like 20% lighter on fuel than your average 7 year old car, but despite that (and probably because of the difficult times), it seems we are hanging on to our old cars even longer than we did before, with the average age of a vehicle on our roads being 7.44 years old and that’s on average a couple of months older than it worked out at this time last year.
So we are keeping our cars longer and in some ways, that’s a good thing, as it means that the cars reduction in value has slowed and it’s certainly not losing as much money each year that a new car would and of course, as you’ve had it a while, chances are, if you took a loan out to buy it, that’s probably paid off, so it all makes good sense, but does it?
Well maybe not, because maintenance costs are going to increase hugely and if you haven’t yet had a big expensive shock, well chances are its coming at some point, because don’t forget, its going to cost pretty much the same to repair a 7 year old car as it is a 12 month old car, but……don’t also forget that most new cars get a 3 year warranty, so outside of regular servicing and putting any tyres on the car that you wear out, pretty much everything else is going to be covered by a warranty and compared to your old car, that could save you “squillions”.
The other big expense, as we all know is fuel and stats say that a modern car is going to be at least 20% more fuel efficient than your cronky old car and deliver much better MPG and we could be talking mega savings here and because your new car is going to be cleaner and greener, chances are that little road tax sticker in the corner of the windshield is going to cost you far less, or maybe even nothing at all.
I guess I’m preaching to the converted here because most of us would have a newer car if we could afford it, but truth is, there have never been such big differences between old cars and new cars as there is today and whilst all the logical cost arguments of the past made sense, a new car has so many other benefits and can really save you money. Just imagine changing your 30mpg car for one that does 60mpg and halving your fuel costs, just imagine getting your road fund tax for free, rather than paying a couple of hundred quid or so. Think of having a warranty that can cover you for 3 years, 7 years or even a lifetime and think of the piece of mind that brings.
So yes, things are tough, of course they are, but choosing to get a more modern car isn’t the choice it was and its not just a case of swapping your old car for more of the same, but opting for a car that’s lighter on fuel and cheaper to run than you ever dreamed of and as reliable as the Radio Times.
Of interest, stats show that there are still around 5.3 million cars on the road that are over 12 years old. They show that in an average cars lifetime, it will have 4 owners, but that there are presently 341 cars on the road that have had over 20 registered keepers (where on earth does that figure come from?).
For the first time, diesel cars outsold petrol cars with diesel just passing the halfway mark with 50.6% market share and that’s resulted in their being less petrol carts on the road than at any time since 1988. A move to greener cars for both economy and ecological reasons has seen the number of cars chucking out less than 100g/km emissions double in just 12 months to over 120,000 “and of course, they get free road fund tax”.
Finally, there are around 31,326,716 “that’s over 30 million” vehicles on our roads. There has been a 9% increase in the number of cars on our roads in the last 10 years, but that’s actually down on the decade before, where the number of cars around grew by a huge 17%