I thought I’d do a post about my car as it’s just had its MOT.
It passed but under the new rules introduced last month, there were some ‘advisory’ notes, one of which was that one of the tyres was balding – seeing as this would need replacing anyway (and for safety), I got a new one for £80.
I got a 50% discount off my actual MOT as I’m on a monthly service plan – in the days when I wasn’t on such a plan, I recall all too well how I used to just put my car services (and repairs) on my credit cards, which didn’t get paid in full back then. Ouch!
Since I no longer have to sit on the slow-moving M60 every day, I find that I really enjoy it when I do get behind the wheel these days. Commuting via public transport (tram) is fine but I do miss being in the privacy and comfort of my own car.
I wrote about all the cars I’ve ever owned here back in 2014, but have nothing to add to that post because I’m still driving the same car, which is now 6 years old.
Six years is usually the length of time I keep my cars before I would buy my next car (a new one), usually because the current one was getting too expensive to fix mechanically.
I realise now that I wasn’t great with getting my cars serviced on time (or went to ‘cheap’ garages which weren’t really ‘cheap’) because, well, I was trying to avoid putting large amounts on my credit card and I didn’t have an emergency fund to cover the costs. Of course, foolishly by not getting the cars serviced when they should have been (or properly), they were undoubtedly deteriorating a lot quicker. Hence the service plan for my current car so I never miss a service and all the affordable payments are spread over the year.
My car is fairly economical, I do under 5000 miles a year in it now, half of what I used to do. Road tax is £30, insurance around £300 (my post code is classed as High Risk). It’s still in a good condition aside from the usual wear and tear, or shall I say ‘was’, since someone recently bashed one wheel arch causing a dent and someone else reversed into it, cracking the front registration plate – both times when my car was parked up. The car park I use next to the tram stop has very tight spaces and I now only park there if I can get in one of the slightly wider places.
Since there’s nothing wrong (that I know of) with the car, I’m not looking to replace it just yet.
In this community, people preach about not buying new cars, not getting cars on finance or not getting cars at all but I don’t rule out the possibility of replacing my current one with a new one. And on finance.
However, if I was getting a new car, even though I would be able to buy outright with cash, I’d probably go for a 0% finance deal – yes, these are available! Pay it off monthly and pay the balloon at the end.
I might consider upgrading to an automatic – have never driven one before but I like the idea of not having to worry about clutch control when I get older, haha! Depends on the cost of the upgrade though.
I’ll even take a look at electric vehicles but only if the prices come down dramatically – not that I would ever get one but a Tesla costs the same as a one-bed apartment in Manchester!
Yes, I know, I know, blah blah blah about depreciation of new cars but I’ve never bought a car as an investment, so I don’t really consider that the price drops as soon as it leaves the forecourt. I don’t include my car as part of my net worth, it’s just something I’ve bought that I use. That happens to cost a lot of money.
The least I’ve spent on a car? £1.6k. The most? £13k (including the finance). It’s not as if I’m getting high end luxury models!
And no – not having a car is not an option, not if I wish to continue to have the quality of life to which I am accustomed and independence.
Still, I might consider getting a used/nearly new car for my next motor, to save a grand or two. Will see what’s on offer when the time comes, what my funds are looking like, where I am with my FIRE goals etc.