Are you keeping your car for longer?

  oresome 16:18 04 Sep 2012

Motorists squeezed by the double dip recession are keeping their cars for longer now than twentyfive years ago. The average age of a car on the road now has crept up to seven and a half years from six and a half years then.

My present car is six years old, but I do a low mileage due to retirement and the cost of leisure motoring, so the car still feels fairly new and I think cars actually last longer bodywork wise than they did.

For most of my working life I had a company car that was replaced every two years with more miles on it than my present car has after six.

I toy with the idea of replacing the present car, but the cost of fuel limits the mileage I do, so it's hard to justify the expense.

  johndrew 16:26 04 Sep 2012

Mine is now twelve years old (I've owned it for eleven) and it is still low mileage (less than 42000) and in good condition. As a result I see little point in changing it as any trade in value would be far less than it is truly worth.

As with you, my mileage is limited as the total covered would indicate.

  TopCat® 16:40 04 Sep 2012

I've been 'bucking the trend' for many years now, and provided my car passes its MoT this week then I shall keep it well into its 22nd year since new.

I did consider a new car during the fairly recent government scrappage scheme, but whilst I can still turn my hand to keeping this one mechanically sound and safe, it will do for us. The car is sound in body and equally so in its mechanicals, so why change?

Getting something newer now would mean that apart from minimal serving - like oil changes and filters - there's not much else I could touch without special computerised equipment. TC.

  Condom 17:13 04 Sep 2012

I've finally decided to get rid of my Saab this month as it is pointless laying it up anymore while I am away. It is a beautiful car with a low mileage and I'm sure I will miss it. My local garage is giving me a good trade in price and I will use it to get another one when I return to the UK sometime next year.

  Quickbeam 17:15 04 Sep 2012

My VW's in the garage this week having a new clutch and 2 gear sycro fitted on 188,000 miles on a '56 plate.

20 years ago I would've done that job myself, but I'm getting past serious jobs on the driveway. Once it's done, I expect to run it another 2 years at least!

I don't expect to change my car until an uneconomic repair is required. At that point, it'll be the scrap yard.

  Quickbeam 17:23 04 Sep 2012

I should add that in the last few years since changing cars on a fairly regular whim went out of the window, it's become a personal challenge to see how long I can keep this one on the road for.

Keeping it running is costing about £1000 a year on average for service and repairs, which has made my reduced income over the last few years actually as it was before as the money saved on regular car changes has enabled me to largely retain my lifestyle as was.

Changing computers and upgrading top flight software on a whim has also been shelved, if it's working, I keep it.

  amonra 18:07 04 Sep 2012

My old Ford Focus has served me well for the last 10 years and has not cost a lot to maintain thanks to a good friendly mechanic. I am occasionally consulted by this friend who has quite a bit of computer technology at his disposal as to why xyz is throwing up an error code of 12345 etc. The more I see of modern cars and their computerised everything the more I am inclined to stick with my old Ford with the minimum of electronics. The amount of un-necessary computerisation is staggering. Most of it in answer to EEC regulations trying to make things "greener". It is also a milch-cow for the garages who charge an arm and a leg to extinguish that flashing yellow light by plugging a diagnostic machine in and pushing the "erase" button. If you have got a good reliable workhorse, stick to it.

  wiz-king 18:35 04 Sep 2012

I am still using a old 'g' reg that has had very little money spent on it other than for regular servicing, biggest bill so far was a 1/2 engine about 5 years ago. If it passes the MOT with minimal cost the I will keep it going, it has all the advantages of an older style vehicle - no central locking or electric windows to go wrong, no sunroof to leak.

  Quickbeam 18:36 04 Sep 2012

You can reset your own fault lights for as little as 20 quid. A lot are just annoying warnings for the dealer to make money from by turning them off for you. If it's one that does need looking at, you can shop around beforehand for a repair price by knowing what the fault is.

  mark2 19:56 04 Sep 2012


I've used various types of fault code readers, including the OBD 2 type in those listings, they're fine if all you want to do is clear the code, however they are only any use for 2000 onward petrol vehicles and 04 onward diesels. they also only give a generic description of the fault, a little like the BSOD we all loved.

I paid in excess of £1500 for one of my diagnostic tools and also in excess of £300 for necessary data discs, it's going to take me a long time to recoup that expenditure just turning a light out @£20 a time which is all we charge for that service, however should you want a full diagnosis then we can provide it, but obviously it takes time to check the relevant components and circuits and time is money.

  Quickbeam 20:36 04 Sep 2012


Yes they are limited compared to the trade diagnostic kit, but with mine it diagnosed a air flow sensor fault recently which I then fixed for only the cost of that sensor. Of course the dealer spares dept tried hard to talk me into having a dealer diagnosis for £60 as they wouldn't accept any electrical returns, but it paid off for me. I changed the sensor in less than 10 minutes and was over £120 in pocket.

My £20 was a good investment.

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