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Frank Hovis

False Frugality And Car Thread

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A friend has an old Landrover as an only car. He refers to it in contrast to the much newer cars that other people drive by painting it as an example of virtuous thrift.

However he has had thousands of work done on it (fixing rather than customising) in the last few years, far more than it has cost me to run my car including its depreciation, and the fuel economy is so awful it is costing him ?£500 more a year in fuel than everybody else.

Yet he still seems to think he is being thrifty and virtuous by driving an old car, the only virtue I can see being one of self-flagellation because of the ride.

It's a cool thing to have as a car, I wouldn't mind one on my drive as a rarely-used second car, what irks (rather than annoys) me is that he continues to trot this out as an example of thrift when it's as much a self-indulgence as running an old Bentley or a massive old Lexus like Mr Pin. Which would both be cheaper.

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Yep. I find it difficult to tell how best to cost a car. If I was very time poor I'd have to pay more for a nearly new car as I probably couldn't afford to have it off the road for much, ie hassle factor. I'm not time poor so I can afford to risk an old car that might need work on it.

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Land rover is a bad example. They require huge amounts of work all the time. However his costs may still be less than the depreciation of a new car. Something reliable that needs virtually no work would be better. The missus has a Fiat Panda, in 10 years all it has needed are front brake pads (a 10 minute job), tires and oil changes plus a new radiator after she had a collision with another mum on the school run (doh!).

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I recently got an 11 year old Honda crv. Some of the cabling in the doors to rear lights and also speakers has perished, which I imagine is pretty unavoidable. And that's it. Standard fluid changes are all it looks like needing. Still took a risk buying it though.

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Takes a bit to realise that newish small cars don't actually depreciate that much. Bought my Peugeot 107 at one year for £6088 from Motorpoint. Two years on small garages still try 12 plates on at £6,500. The only fair comparison would be availablecar.com..Motorpoint only deal in one year old cars....guess it would still be about £5,000 there. so about £1000 in depreciation on a like for like retail replacement.

On top of that you are just looking at tyres and brakes on a newish car and 60 miles to the gallon. Actually 59.81 rolling...you would expect a housepricecrasher to keep the exact rolling stats each time the tank gets full....not bad for an urban cycle.

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Err, you're all forgetting the biggest false frugality - LRs glug petrol/diesel.

Better off with a 3 yo small engine petrol car that does ~40mpg.

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Tell him to enter all his repair bills of the last 3 or 4 years and weekly fuel spend into a spreadsheet, if he's so confident.

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I wasn't restricting it to cars, I recall in the days when I listened to The Archers (the last century!) Marjorie Anthrobus going to buy a pen to start writing to restore the family fortunes and starting by "saving" £200 on a £300 pen reduced to £100. It was done humorously but it's the same point.

I make my own bread but whilst it could save money I (like David Cameron IIRC) use expensive flour as the bread's better so I see it as a luxury rather than thrift.

Ditto homebrewing. I do it because I like drinking beer that I have brewed, not to save money.

I could however present both of these as virtuous and thrifty when they are nothing of the kind.

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Tell him to enter all his repair bills of the last 3 or 4 years and weekly fuel spend into a spreadsheet, if he's so confident.

He's a friend so whilst it irks me I'm not going to call him out for a spreadsheet challenge. Whilst my "flash" motor returns 55mpg his proletarian wagon is going to be sub 25mpg. I have no doubt that mine is cheaper to run.

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He's a friend

Then do it as a humorous challenge!

I imagine that he probably knows it's a money pit, but he obviously loves it and is only fooling himself when he bangs on about the frugality of it all (he doth protest too much methinks).

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Replaced 1.6 52 plate petrol with 57 plate diesel two years ago, net cost around £2700. Saved that in fuel and road tax in the period in between, as well as having newer car with far more residual value.

Bangers can be cheap but only when doing low mileage or when they are efficient.

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Replaced 1.6 52 plate petrol with 57 plate diesel two years ago, net cost around £2700. Saved that in fuel and road tax in the period in between, as well as having newer car with far more residual value.

Bangers can be cheap but only when doing low mileage or when they are efficient.

Yep the mileage thing is important, if you are not covering the miles you might get away with not having repairs and only have a slightly increased fuel bill

But it would have to be a very low mileage. Can't avoid some fixed costs like road licence, which can be zero on newish cars as is the case on a 107.

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I dare say he doesn't commute, say 10-20k p.a. in it. Most people who proclaim buying old cars don't, or it they do won't get sacked if they're repeatedly late for/miss work.

If cost is the main factor then you want the lowest insurance, lowest road tax, most reasonable mpg, decent reliability/cost of repair and depreciate the capital cost over as long a period as possible given your functional demands (i.e. commuting etc)

If cost and/or functionality are irrelevant then ofc people can afford to indulge their passions in any way they want. Many (for reasons baffling to me) do it with cars, or car boot junk, or ebay junk, or some other junk.

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Old cars only work if you can fix them yourself and can get cheap second hand parts. Take the example of the Fiat Punto I purchased a few months ago for £250, so far I have needed to carry out the following repairs.

Rear bumper purchase cost £25 (colour matched second hand) fitted myself garage would have probably charged an hour labour so around £45, total would have been £70.

Front exhaust section cost £30 again fitted myself, had a quote out of interest for £120.

Head gasket went (I knew it had over heated when I bought it) parts came in around £80 including timing belt and oil and filter, again fitted myself. I would estimate the a garage would have taken around 3 to 4 hours so around £250 to £300.

Things I need to do this year maintenance wise, check brakes, change brake fluid and replace if necessary depending on parts at least 2 to 3 hours labour and maybe £50 to £100 in parts so potentially a garage bill of around £200.

Although the purchase price was cheap I could have spent around £750 on maintenance in only one year as opposed to around £200 just in parts which is where I had expected to be.

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In the spreadsheet he'll have a huge figure for the 'joy' of belonging to the club.

I go out with a friend in his land rover and you get to wave at other land rover drivers. It's fun - apart from having to speak louder to get over the sound of the engine!

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A friend has an old Landrover as an only car. He refers to it in contrast to the much newer cars that other people drive by painting it as an example of virtuous thrift.

However he has had thousands of work done on it (fixing rather than customising) in the last few years, far more than it has cost me to run my car including its depreciation, and the fuel economy is so awful it is costing him ?£500 more a year in fuel than everybody else.

Yet he still seems to think he is being thrifty and virtuous by driving an old car, the only virtue I can see being one of self-flagellation because of the ride.

It's a cool thing to have as a car, I wouldn't mind one on my drive as a rarely-used second car, what irks (rather than annoys) me is that he continues to trot this out as an example of thrift when it's as much a self-indulgence as running an old Bentley or a massive old Lexus like Mr Pin. Which would both be cheaper.

Maybe.

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In the spreadsheet he'll have a huge figure for the 'joy' of belonging to the club.

I go out with a friend in his land rover and you get to wave at other land rover drivers. It's fun - apart from having to speak louder to get over the sound of the engine!

My Original Fiat Multipla is just about to turn 100K and I salute other "club members" also.

Wife has just bailed-out to a sensible Kia Ceed.

Going to keep faith as long as I can.

Fiat_Multipla_by_PPLBLISS.jpg

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Maybe.

I save £1200- £1400 pa in fuel compared to my previous 35mpg car, his won't even come close to 35 mpg and will be more like 20mpg but will have a lower mileage hence my £500 estimate.

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In the spreadsheet he'll have a huge figure for the 'joy' of belonging to the club.

I go out with a friend in his land rover and you get to wave at other land rover drivers. It's fun - apart from having to speak louder to get over the sound of the engine!

Well that's the other angle, it's not just about the money be it Morse with his jaguar or Alan Clarke with his vintage sports cars. And also Turned Out Nice Again whose got attached to his Multipla.

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Well that's the other angle, it's not just about the money be it Morse with his jaguar or Alan Clarke with his vintage sports cars. And also Turned Out Nice Again whose got attached to his Multipla.

Neither of whom (I'm excepting Turned out Nice Again) trumpet it as a poor man's option.

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My Original Fiat Multipla is just about to turn 100K and I salute other "club members" also.

Wife has just bailed-out to a sensible Kia Ceed.

Going to keep faith on as long as I can.

Fiat_Multipla_by_PPLBLISS.jpg

Widely used by TV production units.

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Gosh! Don't you have some strange cars! I like strange cars. When they get too diffficult I just get another one.

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Multipla is a good car, as long as you can get over the front end.

While I drive old (ish) cars, and do fairly serious commuting mileage in them, I would be financially far better off getting a dull BMW 320 on PCP and driving that - because cars allow me to indulge my tool fetish, which gets expensive quite quickly. You know you have a problem when the local Alfa garage says "that tool you have, could we borrow it, I thought of getting one but I really couldn't justify it".

if I ignore the tool expenditure, then old cars do give me the opportunity to drive some rather fine machinery for not a lot of money - ragging a 3.2 Alfa V6 to the redline on the way to work is a mighty way to start the day. Yes, it costs £70 a week in petrol, but the train would cost about the same.

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Multipla is a good car, as long as you can get over the front end.

While I drive old (ish) cars, and do fairly serious commuting mileage in them, I would be financially far better off getting a dull BMW 320 on PCP and driving that - because cars allow me to indulge my tool fetish, which gets expensive quite quickly. You know you have a problem when the local Alfa garage says "that tool you have, could we borrow it, I thought of getting one but I really couldn't justify it".

if I ignore the tool expenditure, then old cars do give me the opportunity to drive some rather fine machinery for not a lot of money - ragging a 3.2 Alfa V6 to the redline on the way to work is a mighty way to start the day. Yes, it costs £70 a week in petrol, but the train would cost about the same.

:D

All hobbies are an excuse to buy shiny kit :)

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