Should You Keep Your Old Car?

Written by Karen Bryan

keep old carAfter going round in circles for a few months and a couple of encounters with car salesman who appeared to inhabit a parallel universe,  we’ve finally come to the decision to keep our old car. We were very tempted to replace our Skoda Fabia 1.4TD with a new Skoda, as Skoda currently have a couple of great offers:  Zero VAT  on selected models or 25% off a Fabia 1.4 MPI.

One of the issues causing the dithering was not being sure of whether to buy a petrol or diesel car. The Fabia 1.4 MPI (petrol) was £1,700 cheaper than the Fabia SE 1.6TDI CR 75ps (diesel). However you get around 30% more average miles per gallon from the diesel car and the road tax is £90 a year less. With our low current annual mileage a petrol car makes financial sense.  However, we’re not sure how long we’ll be in our present home and if our mileage may increase. Therefore it makes sense to hold onto our current diesel car, in case our annual mileage does go up.

There’s also the dilemma of what to do with our present car; its trade-in value is £1,200 – £1,500.  We reckon that after another two or three years that will fall to around £500. i.e. a drop in value of around £1,000, whereas a new car will depreciate by at least £2,000 over that period. We also think that if we go to a garage to buy a car with cash without asking for any trade-in, we may be offered a better price. We could try to sell our current car privately, but I don’t want to sell it prior to buying a replacement and be left without a car, or end up with two cars on the driveway, if we can’t sell the old car soon after we buy the replacement.

We also want to stick to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. We have a good local garage but if we need to take a new car to a Skoda dealership to get anything done under the warranty, it’ll be a 120 mile return journey to Edinburgh.

We don’t have to worry about a few scratches or bumps on an older car, so if someone knocks our car in a the supermarket carpark, we’re not going to be bothered the way we’d be with a shiny, new car.

Our current car has been very reliable; we do all work recommended by the garage, so fingers crossed we can get another two or three years hassle free motoring from it.

One thing is for sure, running a car is an expensive proposition. We want to spend as little as possible but still have a decent car on the road. However there’s no point in trying to save money and ending up with an unreliable car.