car tuning

23 Jul 2007

Why I will never buy a new car.

New cars depreciate like tickets for a Titanic return voyage a Torquecars member will tell you. Well they lose a lot of their value. If you sell a car in the UK after 3 years of ownership you will have lost around 50% of its list price. The more options to get the more money you will lose when you come to sell the car. So on a 7,000 car this equates to a loss 3500 and on an 80,000 car you are looking at 40,000! SUV's and executive cars are notorious depreciators and can lose up to a staggering 60% of their list price!

If you take the options as separate items from the basic list price they will typically lose around 80% of their value, although some options are now considered essential and a car without them will not find a new owner easily. Other than air conditioning, power steering, ABS, alloy wheels and a good set of sounds, ignore other options like leather or heated seats, sunroof, courtesy lights, arm rest, driver aids like audible parking proximity sensors, metallic or special paint finishes, paddle gear shift on the steering wheel and sat nav. None of these will add much if anything to the resale value of the car.

My other gripe with new cars is the sheer toxicity of them. The new car smell is slowly killing us and we allow these carcinogens to build up in our bodies. When plastics get warm they give off chemicals and leave a tell tale film inside the windows. (A whole subject in itself which I aim to cover shortly!)

New cars also have faults. many new cars have faults or niggles that get fixed under warranty. Buying a car at 3 years old will have been thoroughly troubleshot and still have plenty of reliable life left in it. Then if I sell it at 6 years old I will typically lose just 30% of my outlay.
A 3 year old car with minor chips in the paint and slight scuffs or swirls in the metal reduces my anxiety. If the car was perfect looking when I parked it I would desperately take every measure possible to keep it so and avoid parking near the busy ends of car parks, leaving it on most streets would be a no-no to. A used car does not induce the same level of paranoia and fear of vandalism so you get to lead a less stressful life with fewer worries and concerns.

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