Getting car costs down… :(

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  • Getting car costs down… :(
  • trail_rat
    Member

    Airbags are life of car these days.

    Even when they weren’t they were 10 or 15 years dependant on manufacturer …not 3 or 5

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    your hauling them round for all your non long journeys as well

    Those are the ones that are easiest to avoid doing.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
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    It all depends how you view your transport. I’m in the molgrips camp. If you do bigger mileages day in day out (or at least reasonably frequently) then you arguably have a rational case for spending a bit more (and accepting the cost).

    At the moment I often spend 7 hours alone in the car over the course of a weekend (visiting seriously ill relatives). In a rattly old banger that was constantly on the verge of an unexpected mechanical failure that would be loads more stressful and there’s a price worth paying for that (although it’s not £400/month on PCP for me).

    For a big old barge + another car sometimes loaded up with piles of kayaks and bikes (it is the OP with the Volvo and all the kayaking gear isnt it?) that 12k spend doesn’t look horrendous in objective terms. It’s a lot of money in absolute terms but two cars, loan payments and everything down to the fuel for 30000 miles it’s not horrific. The 45p/mile HMRC rate was set to cover costs many years ago. If you’re consistently coming in under that I’d argue you’re not doing too bad – but if your mileage is down you can potentially do better.

    For every person who posts. “I bought a 50p Alfa Romeo and it went to Jupiter and back over twenty years with nothing but a wipe with a damp sponge” there’s someone who had a family holiday screwed up by a banger and the older it is when you buy it the more chance there is of it having been abused in its earlier life.

    trail_rat
    Member

    just to be clear – i wasn’t recommending bangernomics if your doing 40k a year thats rarely going to end well

    i was recommending basic cars.

    fwiw my costs above are based on a 3 year old 6000 mile old car. If thats a banger then I’m doing it wrong.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    The big picture answer is to change your life choices so you don’t need two cars and to cover such huge mileages. Obviously not practical for a lot of people / locations and not helped by a government / state that refuses to properly invest in public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure.

    Cars and the cult of them are insane. The whole status thing. The whole ‘nice place to be’ leather seats and (s)**** dashboards and satnavs. Especially making them from easily corrodable materials and painting them with easily damaged, expensive to repair high gloss paintwork. The insurance industry scams of overpriced bodyshops and replace rather than repair. The whole unsustainable lease economy which encourages people to ‘buy’ cars as trinkets.

    But anyway, at the centre of the whole thing is the way cars have become pretty much anything except for pragmatic transport because, in all honesty, we have nothing better to do with our lives than consume things.

    5lab
    Member

    Bangernomics vauxhall signum

    Bought for £1500 6 years ago
    Now worth £300 so £200 a year

    35mpg x 10,000 miles a year is £1500 a year

    Servicing (I wont bother again)/mot etc £150 a year

    £1850 or 18.5p/mile.

    Shared with my wife. Car allowance just funds bikes

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    just to be clear – i wasn’t recommending bangernomics if your doing 40k a year thats rarely going to end well

    Sorry I think my post above yours might have come across the wrong way/a bit confrontational which wasn’t my intention, more trying to highlight the gap in risk that sometimes gets overlooked. The older car posts on this thread are a lot more balanced than some of the previous ones we’ve had.

    The whole ‘nice place to be’ leather seats and (s)**** dashboards and satnavs.

    To me at least, quiet and refined place to be means less distractions and better concentration (I barely listen to the radio, I don’t do phone calls – I want to be focussed on the road/economy/safety). The fact my half decent 7 year old car has better economy, good secondary safety and lower emissions than the 13 year old it replaced is arguably not a bad thing. You could take most of the in car tech away and I’d be quite happy.

    I’m slowly squeezing my annual mileage down by better use of more sustainable options (and this is arguably one of the best ways to save car cost by extending the working life in years of a vehicle) but as you rightly say there are cost and reliability issues and massive gaps in the network and weekend family rail travel is expensive and subject to horrible amounts of disruption from engineering.

    But anyway, at the centre of the whole thing is the way cars have become pretty much anything except for pragmatic transport because, in all honesty, we have nothing better to do with our lives than consume things.

    Which can be directed at pretty much anything people like to spend money on. Life would be pretty dull if we only bought stuff that fulfilled a specific function and nothing more.

    Servicing (I wont bother again)/mot etc £150 a year

    £150 a year for servicing (at a garage?), MOT, tyres, repairs, etc? On a car that does 10k a year?

    kayla1
    Member

    The big picture answer is to change your life choices so you don’t need two cars and to cover such huge mileages. Obviously not practical for a lot of people / locations and not helped by a government / state that refuses to properly invest in public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure.

    Cars and the cult of them are insane. The whole status thing. The whole ‘nice place to be’ leather seats and (s)**** dashboards and satnavs. Especially making them from easily corrodable materials and painting them with easily damaged, expensive to repair high gloss paintwork. The insurance industry scams of overpriced bodyshops and replace rather than repair. The whole unsustainable lease economy which encourages people to ‘buy’ cars as trinkets.

    But anyway, at the centre of the whole thing is the way cars have become pretty much anything except for pragmatic transport because, in all honesty, we have nothing better to do with our lives than consume things.

    I would like to subscribe to your newsletter 😎

    Cars are tools to do a job, the less there is in them to go wrong the less they end up costing you. As long as it starts and runs ok and can be repaired when it needs it, we’ll be keeping ours (basic 2007 Galaxy) for as long as we can, same as the cooker, washing machine and vacuum cleaner that were all second hand too (vacuum was free from OH’s aunty Jean 20-odd years ago and is still going strong 😆 )

    Drive less, spend less, work less. Ride more 😁

    Which can be directed at pretty much anything people like to spend money on. Life would be pretty dull if we only bought stuff that fulfilled a specific function and nothing more.

    Hmm. It’s pretty hard to argue for making stuff more complex than it needs to be and can’t be fixed easily/cheaply when it (inevitably) fails 😉 Also, getting a bit deep here, we maybe have to look at why people like to spend money on stuff.

    munrobiker
    Member

    I’m fortunate that I bought a newish (2016) car for not a lot of money more than the car it replaced (a 2012, the extra cost was £1500 after I sold the old one), and I own it outright because it was cheap. It’s a 1.0l Skoda Fabia. It’s frugal, cheap to tax and new enough that I’ve not had to get much work done.

    Costs last year were-

    Insurance – £300
    Tax – £20
    MOT – £30
    Service – £150
    Fuel – £700
    Depreciation – Not really sure. It cost me £6k and is probably worth £4.5k now, so £750.

    So, £1950 for the year. For the use I’ve had out of it I’m pretty content with that.

    cokie
    Member

    I’ve just run our figures.
    2 cars from ’16 (big SUV & small runabout)
    Total costs/month:
    Depreciation: £178
    Fuel: £275
    Insurance: £68
    Parking: £46
    Servicing (@Main Dealer): £50
    Parts (rainy day car fund): £70
    MOT: £10
    Tax: £14.50
    Total cost/month: £711
    Total cost/yr: £8532
    Total cost/mile (25,000 miles/yr): £0.34

    The small car is going soon to be replaced by a banger as my mileage is so low now, which should reduce costs a fair bit; no main dealer service, home service, do my own spannering, little/no depreciation. I have played with the idea of an EV, but I don’t think the costs work out.

    Purchase price minus webuyanycar value comes to £1800 per year so far (but not done with it yet)
    Fuel £1400 for an estimated 12000 miles/year
    Insurance £320
    Tax £20
    MOT £55
    Service £30 if I recall correctly
    Front tyres £190 the pair (over 2 years) – £95 / year

    So far £3720 per year.

    Got about £1200 back per year in work expenses for travel.

    To do a job similar to mine in either London or Reading (only two vaguely commutable by public transport) I’d be looking at thousands more for the rail card plus an extra 2 hours a day commuting. And would still need the car for MTB, visiting the parents, supermarket and so on.

    tjagain
    Member

    You do know the answer Matt – Reduce your car usage. My car costs 2019 <£500. One weeks hire plus petrol used plus a couple of big taxi fares. thats it. I rarely spend more than a thousand a year

    He 5lab does not say at a garage. So the 150 device cost is oil and filter, half a set of tyres half a set of brake pads couple of bulbs and wiper blades, ti’s maybe £30 light depending on fully synth or mineral, ting tong Chinese rubber or Europe branded, then ebay or halfrauds for consumables

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I agree tj.

    Today is perfect example of work though – I’m in Kirkaldy this morning and Dunfermline this afternoon, back to Stirling at end of the day. I’ve a rucksack and two big curved boxes of resources and books.

    Public transport is just impossible.

    What I can do is ride to work tomorrow.

    5lab
    Member

    £150 a year for servicing (at a garage?), MOT, tyres, repairs, etc? On a car that does 10k a year?

    as the above comment, oil is about a tenner (I don’t bother with the fancy synthetic crap, just get the right weight), filter is a tenner, I do them myself. 2 tyres is £100 fitted. last year I had to do a wheel bearing, which was £20, the year before I needed new rear pads, £20. Another wheel bearing is noisy again now, but I won’t bother sorting it

    It might be closer to £200 a year over the last 5, but I’ve not had any big bills. I fitted a towbar last year (£60 inc electrics) but I don’t really consider that a running cost.

    If I cared whether the car lasted, I’d do more, but it’s not worth spending £400 on a full timing/all fluids/all filters service on a car worth £300. I cycle to work with the kids on the bike, my wife drives to work but could get the train if the car left her properly stranded (it hasn’t). We’ll probably get something bigger/nicer in 18 months (so only 1 more MOT to go). its really nice that modern cars don’t really rust – doing the same 10 years earlier and it’d have had 5 sill patches by now 🙂

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I don’t bother with the fancy synthetic crap, just get the right weight

    Or, you could get the right spec for your car, if you want it to last longer. Don’t just buy whatever cheap stuff has the right numbers on unless you really know what you are doing.

    Given how important oil is I would be buying Halfords basic fully synth oil that meets the spec, it’s only about £20. Hardly a huge amount extra.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Hmm. It’s pretty hard to argue for making stuff more complex than it needs to be and can’t be fixed easily/cheaply when it (inevitably) fails

    No it’s not. Better stuff is better. However, it’s up to you how you want to prioritise the spending of your own money. I bet most people who own £40k cars would think you were just as stupid for spending more than £500 on a bike.

    You can get cheap easy to fix cars, but if you can afford a better one – and afford to fix it when it fails – then why not? Buying fancy cars is in itself not that much more environmentally damaging; it’s changing them all the time that is.

    So if you want a nice car, buy one – but keep it for 20 years.

    trail_rat
    Member

    The op asked about getting car costs down . Not justifying a “better” one

    tjagain
    Member

    https://www.bakfiets.com/elektrische-bakfiets/cargobike-classic-long-steps

    Doubt actually you could put one on a train so not a serious suggestion really

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    There are a few plain rules for keeping you car-based spend down irrespective of what you drive:

    Don’t buy a new car until the current one is either economically unsustainable or your circumstances mean you have to change. Modern cars last a long time compared to even 20 years ago.
    Don’t use it for short journeys where an alternative (walk/cycle) exists.
    Plan journeys in a circle so that you minimise mileage. preferably going from the furthest point back to home as it keeps cold running to a minimum.
    Drive smoothly and safely. That way you reduce fuel consumption, wear on components and reduce the risk of accidents.
    Keep on top of maintenance schedules and use quality parts. Note that’s not expensive! Just use oil of the right grade and standard, keep an eye on fluid levels, fit decent energy efficient tyres when you need to change etc.

    My current Fabia is just about to tick over 100k and the amount of my friends, family and colleagues who are saying I have to change it before it throws a big bill is astounding. I’ve looked after it as per the list above and in that 100k all I have had to do is routine maintenance. Service every 10k, front tyres every 30k, rears changed at 70k, front discs and pads at 86k, aircon regas and brake fluid every 2 years and that’s it. I haven’t even had to change a bulb! The last service report said the clutch is only 30% worn, rear drums are 50%, battery is like new and there is no rust anywhere. It genuinely looks and feels like a car that’s done 30-40k and will go on for much longer. I’m aiming for 200k, not bad for a cheap run-out model the dealer was basically giving away (cost me new less than 1 year old ones were in the supermarkets) which has the smallest engine they fitted. It does almost all it’s driving with a bike on the towbar and has done 3 trips to Chatel without any issues whatsoever, comfy too. It’s cheap to insure, does 45-50 mpg without fail and just works. I love it.

    solamanda
    Member

    Our two cars (BMW 335D and Honda Civic) cost under £5.5k for 20,000 miles a year all included, so about 35p/25p per mile. We bought them when they were about 8 years old and privately for cash with part personal loan. I now maintain them to a high level partly using garages and DIY for some tasks (eg: brakes/suspension) and I never look at cost of running compared to the value of the 14yr old car, I compare the cost to price of a replacement car, depreciation and hassle/risk of a replacement car. I think it’s better to keep a car you know has been maintained well, even if you get a big bill rather than swap to a newer car. I also think cars from the mid 2000’s were built to a better standard to post recession and the new lease heavy era, where cars seems to get big issues outside the 3 year mark.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Or, you could get the right spec for your car, if you want it to last longer. Don’t just buy whatever cheap stuff has the right numbers on unless you really know what you are doing.

    This argument always comes up. And usually degenerates towards someone sending samples of used engine out for lab analysis so they can tweek their DIY service regime to the optimum.

    Then the car contracts tin worm and we’ll never know if replacing the oil at 1/2 intervals would have prolonged the engines live 2-3x what the chassis was ever going to manage. When was the last time you heard a car with a ruble from the big end bearing?

    I would be inclined to agree though. My local Ford dealer usually has a deal on 3rd party oil of the correct spec (they’ll also have the motorcraft stuff at £40 a bottle). Last time It was £65 for a 5 gallon drum IIRC. Over 2 similar Fords* in our house that’s 2-3 years and kinda a no brainer.

    But if we had two different (bangernomics) cars I’d probably not be fussed about using the exact oil. I’d probably still stick with syntetic oil though. It takes longer to break down. Doubly important if the car is turbocharged as oil going through that bearing is subject to some very harsh conditions. Conversely I genuinely have no idea of the spec of the oil in the MG, its 20W50, and about 2/3 of it was Gulf branded, the rest I think came from the dregs of everything from motorbike to lawnmower engine oils. The manual recommends anything from 5-30 (noisy but noticeably more powerful), to 20-50 (a bit more refined and reassuringly stable/high oil pressure when stuck in traffic fro any length of time!)

    *this point is pertinent as seemingly every ford from the NA Petrol Zetec onward to the latest turbo diesel seems to use the same spec, which is probably unusual.

    5lab
    Member

    Or, you could get the right spec for your car, if you want it to last longer. Don’t just buy whatever cheap stuff has the right numbers on unless you really know what you are doing.

    Given how important oil is I would be buying Halfords basic fully synth oil that meets the spec, it’s only about £20. Hardly a huge amount extra.

    I don’t want the car to last longer. Halfords oil is £33 for the vauxhall spec oil, so over 6 oil changes I’ve saved £100 by running regular oil. That’s 30% of the value of the car. Nothing to do with oil circulation is wrong with the car, however the car is on 165k, the suspension is tired, the seats are tired, its not very economical, its not really big enough for our family, if you do a really long drive (8 hours plus) the airbag lights come on, it drips a little oil and it stinks. Yes, if I wanted the car to last a long time I could replace all the things that are bad, buy why bother?

    Its now done 15k since its last oil change. I’ll top it up as the level drops, but I’ll not change the oil again, I’d rather spend the £20/1 hour in the pub

    I think one of the problems why older cars don’t last as long is that people have no mechanical sympathy and want to spend the least amount possible to keep things running – they will spend huge amounts buying new cars rather than care for the one they have thinking it saves them money.
    No one treats their cars well, frequent oil changes, treating it to quality parts, replacing before completely worn out etc etc.
    People leave things to the last minute and when they are an MOT fail (why don’t people fix the advisories as well as the fails??) ad they inevitable get a huge MOT bill which would have been much less if they had kept on top of things over the previous years.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Seems to me, the only way of getting costs down any significant amount is bangernomics. Or getting taxis and public transport everywhere.

    If I bought something new it’d probably take me like ten years to pay off. By which time I’d own outright a ten year old car.

    If instead I bought say a seven-year old car and paid it off in three years I’d… own outright a ten year old car.

    What do I do then with a ten year old car? Either sell it before the big bills start coming in and buy something newer in which case I’ve not really gained anything, or accept that I’m going to keep it until I’ve run it into the ground in which case I might as well have saved myself twenty grand and just bought a 10yo motor in the first place.

    My previous car was on a two year lease. If instead I’d had the capital to just buy it outright then sell it two years later, the depreciation is comparable to what I’d paid in lease costs. So buying rather than leasing wouldn’t have gained me anything here either.

    The whole ‘nice place to be’

    Cars are tools to do a job

    These arguments are two cheeks of the same arse. If you view a car as “just” a tool to get you from A to B then sure, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like. But you could apply the same logic to many things. A bike is just a tool, how many of you have spent several grand on bikes when a £100 Decathlon special would do the same job? Do you sit at home with bare plaster on the walls or do you have wallpaper, ornaments and artwork up because you want it to be a nice place to be?

    I like driving. Having a ‘nice’ car brings me pleasure. I like having mod cons like Android Auto, a decent sound system and modern safety features. Adaptive cruse control is ace. With a lease vehicle if the engine falls out tomorrow I don’t care, it’s all warrantied up, I have breakdown cover thrown in, it’s near hassle-free motoring. If OTOH I didn’t care about any of these things I’d be driving a Vauxhall Cavalier or something.

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
    Subscriber

    Best way to decrease costs it to learn to fix/service it yourself.

    Pattern parts from EuroCarParts and their DFS-esque sale, a few basic tools, and the odd specialist tool here and there where needed. Why pay a fortune for discs and pads change when you can do it for less yourself?

    And I’d rather be out on the bike than fapping over running costs.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Bangernomics are just not going to work for this main car.
    Interestingly I’ve just chucked other cars into this cost calculator. It doesn’t have a V70 anymore, so I put a V60 in. I also know that depreciation is the big issue, followed by running costs, followed by fuel. I’m not really considering a new car, but it does show how residual Vs maintenance does much around with things.
    Current depreciation is about 10p per mile. ☹️

    https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/costs/car-running-costs/compare-list/18526660,18665092,18611644,18554572

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Keep on top of maintenance schedules and use quality parts.

    This is a key issue with older cars. People wait til something fails on an old car then take it to the local and ask for a cheap fix, so they get cheap parts, which can be shite. The rear shocks on the Passat needed changing and I bought Sachs, I think they were an extra £150/pair or something. I also changed the front, and the ride is miles better than the old ones. The car is comfy and you get that nice supple feeling over rough road and potholes instead of the loud thunk typical to old cars. Consequently I’m much happier to keep driving it around and less inclined to change it.

    Re oil, there is a blanket spec for petrol called API SN where N is incremented every time there’s a new spec. This seems to be the thing for basic petrol engines. The ‘VW/Audi’ oil they do is actually VW Audi long life meeting VW’s own specs 504.00 and 507.00 which AFAIK are specifically for diesel PD engines using long life service – you need it because of the cam actuated injectors. A bog standard Polo won’t need it.

    So you don’t necessarily need the one that bears your manufacturer’s name. But you should use the right spec, IMO. It’s just a waste of everything to let a car slide because you can’t be arsed.

    Cars should be rationed at one every 20 years.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Oh and don’t conflate depreciation and running costs. Makes no sense IMO, they are different types of cost.

    What is your spend?

    My OCD spreadsheet say the current ride (2003 Honda CRV now on 110k miles) has returned 32p/mile, all in, servicing, repairs, insurance, petrol, etc.

    The last one, a 12 year old A4, started falling apart and need a lot of repairs. It ran me 40p/mile up to the point where I got shot.

    Many moons ago, I did the bangernomics type options, that was closed to 25p/mile on a ratty old poverty spec mk4 Escort.

    My take, best way to get car costs down is to buy something that has been past the bulk of depreciation (so is about 6-10 years old), in the nicest condition you can find, has reasonable service history, and maintain it properly and keep it for a long time. like 6 or 7 year ownership period as a minimum (unless it turns out to be a complete snotter).

    Alternatively, the 3 year age point is a fairly good time to buy too, in my experience. The extra purchase cost probably balances out the extra repairs from going in on a 6-10 year old car.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Bangernomics are just not going to work for this main car.

    No reason why it shouldn’t though. My car is 14 years old, and did about 25000miles last year (admittedly it will probably 3000 this year, only if i drive to scotland again). My OHs car is 16 years old and she has a 20 mile commute.

    Both (touch wood) have yet to leave us stranded and generally cost peanuts to run. Hers has been about £400 every other MOT but thats mostly labour (if im not doing anything i can fix my car, to fix hers requires us both to be not doing anything for a morning/day, and a days contingency, not going to happen).

    myti
    Member

    I spend about £2500 a year on my 56 plate trafic for 5000 miles a year. It’s a work van so tax deductible too. Bought for 4.5k 4 years ago. Serviced in a small garage. Drive carefully etc.

    5lab
    Member

    don’t conflate depreciation and running costs. Makes no sense IMO, they are different types of cost.

    they are different types of cost, but it makes lots of sense to conflate them otherwise the best car to run always appears to be either something from the 70s (zero depreciation, high running costs) or something brand new (high depreciation, zero running costs). The total cost of ownership is what matters.

    Reading this I reckon a fair few of you better stock up on older cars before the post 2015ish cars become old as things seem to get a bit more complicated when turbo petrol and fancy derv engines enter play!

    Also seem to be plenty of competent mechanics about when it comes to a service. I can change filters, pads, discs, oil etc but there’s plenty more checked on a proper service that I’d miss.

    When working out if it was worth packing in my 15 year old ST170 for the electric car on lease, taking in to account the likely belt and clutch change over the three years, I reckon the difference in price per month will be between £50/100 all in. TBH for me it’s a price worth paying.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    they are different types of cost, but it makes lots of sense to conflate them

    Arguably they’re the same thing. Depreciation is the market pricing in the remaining lifespan of the components. Once depreciation hits zero you’re at the point where replacing bits becomes more or less an expected factor of ownership.

    It’s higher than running costs because it’s also pricing in the less tangible factors like newness, condition, fashion and snobbery.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Depreciation is the difference between capital expenditure at the time you buy it and the asset value. The rest is operational expenditure in that you have to actually find it from your paycheque each month.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Why are people counting depreciation as a cost?

    Should just be money that leaves your wallet / bank account.

    No need to over-complicate things.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    “money that leaves your wallet / bank account” is less complicated than “cost”?

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