Saturday, 17 October 2020

The Cost of Cars.

 

The most I've ever paid for a car was €5,000, and the least was £3.

I would never buy a brand new car, the mark-down once out of the showroom is crazy. I prefer to let others take that loss.

My first car, a white VW Beetle, cost £300, which in around 1968 was possibly quite a lot. I loved that car, and it eventually came with me to France.

The £3 car was fun. I was running an antiques business in London, and we'd heard of a particularly interesting country house sale down in Wiltshire. We went to Stockwell (a rough area of London) and managed to buy a beaten-up Ford Anglia van, with no papers, for THREE QUID. We drove down to Wiltshire, bought a few things at the sale, then later that evening when back in Chelsea, we dumped the car in some quiet back street. I remember that we did rather well on the day's work.

Later in life I bought my wife a blue (ex British Gas) mini van. After a while the gearbox dropped, and I was obliged to hack away at the metal bodywork so that we could get the car into second and fourth gears. I covered over everything with thick carpeting before selling it to some na├»ve lads for £75.

I've owned a crazy dangerously over-powered Rover 3.5 litre SDI, a rather underpowered but pretty Triumph TR7, a VW Golf rust-bucket, a blue 2CV, a few Italian unmentionables, and my present car the glorious 'Compact Royce', which was the one that cost €5,000; and has probably been my best car ever (see photo).

The 'Compact Royce' is quite naturally French, and was once described by the fragrant Jeremy Clarkson (of Top Gear) as being a shopping car for OAP's. Well that's exactly what she is, and she does the job bloody well!

I do hope that my darling 'Compact Royce' will see me out. It has just passed its tyre-kicking road worthiness test, and is good till Oct 2022. 

If the virus passes me by, I shall continue to worship at the altar of Peugeot.

I am NOT a petrol-head.

31 comments:

  1. I buy a new car every four years and it's because of some financing I get to replace a car. I invest a tenth of its price in it. The cars here are very expensive because of the taxes. It's time for me to buy a new car and this is one of my least favorite tasks. I'm buying a Volkswagen Polo for the third time.

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    1. I've had both a VW Golf and a Beetle. The Golf was rubbish, but I loved my Beetle.

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  2. While you were running that antique shop in London you didn't by any chance have a small bear visit in a blue duffle coat and battered straw hat? Cro, are you really Mr. Gruber?

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    1. No, but I did have some wonderful experiences, including Brigitte Bardot, Rudolf Nureyev, Jean Shrimpton and her sister Chrissie, and many others. Paddington must have gone elsewhere!

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  3. We have only had one new car. It’s not worth buying brand new unless cars are your love in life and you want a particular spec and that’s what you like to spend your money on. Most young people now lease their cars and then, trade them in for another new model. XXXX

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    1. We know someone who has an arrangement with Jaguar that he gets one of every new sports cars they make. He's OBSESSED.

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  4. I once had a 1303S Beetle - my garage reckoned it saved my life when someone crashed into me. Twisted the chassis though, so that was the end of that.

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  5. We have in recent decades bought new and kept them for more than 10 years. Except for one which has put Peugeot on my never buy list. I hope never to have anything to do with them or any of their subsidiaries (now including Vauxhall) ever. I like to imagine that if I were to win a top of the range Peugeot in a competition I would invite the media to watch me push it over a cliff. You see, they (actually their subsidiary Talbot) ripped me off rather badly by refusing to honour a warranty. So now I rip them off buy refusing even to consider buying their cars (and telling as many people about is as possible).

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    1. That's a shame, because they're built like tanks, and are very reliable. I love mine.

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  6. I had a 206 a few years ago, brilliant car, I'm like you don't worship any brand, my Hyundai suits me to the ground it's cheap to run and there when I need it.

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    1. The 206 was a very innovative car and won 'Car of the Year' for several years running. Mine is an SW, which we use as a 2 seater with the back seats permanently down.

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  7. I bought my Corsa three and a half years ago - it had 158 miles on the clock and had been Vauxhall's Demo model. Now it has 6,000 miles on the clock and has an MOT up to next April, I have to pay £650 insurance every year because of my age and think I may well stop driving next April - I am sure getting taxis everywhere will still save me money.

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    Replies
    1. That's a lot of money for the insurance. For Lady M and myself I pay about €300.

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  8. Replies
    1. I'm happy with that description... it doesn't get used for much else.

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  9. Oh dear. Dumping a vehicle in a quiet back street. Who had the responsibility of removing it and at what cost I wonder? For me all I want in a car is for it to get me from A to B efficiently and effectively.

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    1. We lived dangerously in the 60's. We also left the keys in the ignition for someone else to enjoy the car. I agree about getting from A to B, but would add without the wretched thing breaking-down.

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  10. I have never been fussy about cars. My first car was an old Volkswagen Kharmann Ghia. Like you, we never buy new. It doesn't make sense. If we lived close to either you or Grassweaver we would be keeping a close eye on you and your cars. Our best cars have come from folks who have decided they are done driving.

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    Replies
    1. I hope to continue for a while longer; I'm a good driver... no points on my licence.

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  11. My first car was £150 Standard Ensign in 1964/5. My antepenultimate car was a 6 month old Honda Accord Estate which, Like Tasker. I kept for 13 years. Almost everything including the exhaust was original and it had done 137,000 miles (9 years of which I was in New Zealand for 6 months of the year). Unlike Tasker back in the day I ran Peugeot 205 vans for business and absolutely loved them. Now I drive a Korean tank and have every expectation of keeping it for 13 years (I'm 2 down already) unless I'm forced to buy an electric vehicle before then.

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    1. I've had several Peugeots including a 206. I like them, they seem to be built to last. I'm hoping the 'Compact Royce' will be my last.

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  12. Hmmmm hope that £3 van was insured

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    1. It had nothing; just a Guinness label on the windscreen as a Tax Cert'.

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  13. How wonderful that you happily drove the van not caring about insurance!

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    1. Different times; no cameras all over the motorways!

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  14. Cars - not a big fan. That said, I want reliability. Currently I have a Subaru Outback and in 5 years I've only done oil changes and rear brakes. By far, it is the most reliable car I have driven.

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    Replies
    1. If I didn't NEED a car, I wouldn't have one. I would hire one for the occasional trip, otherwise I would rely on taxis, trains, or busses. Sadly out here, miles from anywhere, we NEED a car.

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    2. Like you, I am walking distance to nothing. Other than Uber, no public transit.

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  15. Later in life I bought my wife a blue (ex British Gas) mini van.
    You bought?
    At our house we buy our cars together, paid for from our joint bank account, all our accounts are joint including our investments! Husband and I are equal! That's the way it should be!

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    Replies
    1. Clever you. How wonderful to live in a perfect world.

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