When I passed my test recently I knew that getting a beat up old car was the best decision. All those little scrapes and bumps I was bound to cause wouldn’t matter because the car had enough of those already. I was happy with £400 for a little 1.1ltr T-reg Peugeot 106. The insurance was pretty cheap, but in the four months since then things have started to add up. The tax was a hefty £150, £20 on new bulbs, £300 for a new handbrake cable & cam belt, £100 to tow it home and fix a snapped clutch cable… add to that the measly 30ish mpg that I get, and £400 seems less and less like a bargain.
I see people driving round in snazzy new cars all the time and just think it’s incredible. I mean, who has £10k+ just hanging around for a new car?! Turns out, not many people do.
Hire purchase and Personal Contract Purchase deals are all the rage and have been credited with the massive rise in new car sales recently. In simple terms you pay a deposit followed by a monthly fee for an agreed period (usually 36 months). At the end of this period you can hand your car back, use the equity you hold in the car as a contribution to a new car, or pay the outstanding balance (several thousand pounds) and keep the car. There are of course some conditions – you’ll need to keep the car in a good condition if you plan on handing it back or trading in, and there’s usually a mileage limit to stick to as well.
I looked at some of the best city cars around and decided that the Seat Mii looked like a pretty good option. Next, I did some sums based on an average annual mileage of 8000, which should be roughly what I’ll hit, plus tax & servicing costs over the next three years – I think I allowed a pretty conservative amount for my little Pug’s MOT’s etc! I haven’t included the final payment for the Mii as I was planning on spending that much on a second hand car anyway in about three years.
T-reg Peugeot 106
64-plate Seat Mii
|Repairs (so far)||£420||–|
|Servicing & Repairs (future)||£900||–|
|Average Monthly Cost||£189||£236|
As you can see, driving around in a brand new Seat Mii is only going to cost me about £50 more a month on average than driving my T-reg 106, and that’s if I can get it through its MOT & any repairs and servicing for £300 a year – considering I’ve spent over £400 in 4 months, that’s unlikely. The Mii will be under warranty and comes with three years free servicing.
It’s not even all about the money. I have a seven year old daughter and having seen a 106 crash test, I don’t feel like she’s really that safe. My car has no air bags and I worry that any impact could really hurt her (or me!). Plus there’s the ease of driving – the 106 has no power steering, a clunky gear box and a pretty cruddy clutch.
So, of course, I’ve gone for it. I will be picking up a delicious Mii by Mango in Nude next week, and I even got to choose my own number plate1 I didn’t take a photo of the beauty, you’ll have to wait until I pick her up next week, but trust me when I say this – she’s a special little car.