Nearly -new fleet or older "quality"?? - Barry

Folks out there!

Imust have changed my car for nearly-new fleet models 3 times in the time my next door neighbour has kept his K reg Saab 9000 and I can?t help thinking he?s got it right and I haven?t. My motoring strategy is to run reasonably economical hatches or estates for about 3 years and then update from a ?super-site? or similar before the niggly reliability problems creep in.. I reckon that depreciation costs me about £1500 a year doing this ? too much I think.. My question is ?Is there a better way?? My neighbour?s Saab still looks as good as new, hasn?t let him down and he?ll probably walk away from a big shunt if the worst happens.
It hasn?t escaped my notice that used Saabs, even the newer 900 and 9-3 models a few years old seem ridiculously cheap, come with all the kit like air-con etc, have the space I need plus the engineered safety and build quality. So what?s the catch, apart from fewer miles per gallon (which is probably offset by reduced depreciation,if one buys cheap enough to start with?)

Anyone have any views or personal experience of Saabs or a similar approach?


It's the older quality for me. - D J Woollard

Very much depends on you outlook, vehicle needs and importantly how/where you have them maintained.

Find an immaculate private '93 Saab (for example) with history and a nice spec, then get hold of a local specialist with the right attitude and sensible rates. Keep it four years covering about 12,000 miles a year and you will beat the system with a super car at minimal running costs and depreciation.

Buy a rough example, pay main dealer rates or pile on the miles and you may be looking at a never ending financial drain.

We have run cars in this age/quality range for twenty years now with huge enjoyment and minimal cost. Golden rule.....let someone else stand the first 75% depreciation.

Re: It's the older quality for me. - dafydd tomos
I'd agee. See also the latest auction report on high mileage cars at low prices. The worst thing that could happen to these cars is engine failure (very unlikely). A replacement engine should not cost more than a year's depreciation for newer models.
Re: It's the older quality for me. - John Slaughter
We ran a 900 for a while, purchased 18 months old. Didn't keep it that long - another 18 months. Hated the sloppy handling, didn't like the fuel consumption, and as it didn''t have aircon got fed up with being roasted in summer. Few niggling problems too - like rusty doors which were thank heavens coverd by the guarantee! Excellent motorway cruiser though, with comfy seats. Huge depreciation when we sold.

Definitely try before you buy - as you've been used to newish 'fleet' motors you may find, as I did, that the handling is not what you're expecting. They are an aquired taste - some love 'em and some hate 'em. My wife liked it far more than I did.


Re: It's the older quality for me. - Mark

I traded a three year old Carisma, which I'd bought at 18 months and ran for
18 months, for a '92 BMW 518SE in January this year. I prefer the BM is so
much more that I wish I'd done it years ago.

Regards, Mark
Re: It's the older quality for me. - Mike L
I bought an F reg 9000i in '91 then changed it for a K reg 9000 2.0LPT in '98. Doing on average about 10K/year.

Both great cars (though not as cheap then as they are now!).

BUT even using a non main dealer Saab specialist, was lucky to get away with £1,000 pa servicing and maintenance! I can't agree that they are cheap to run.
Re: Nearly -new fleet or older "quality" - Richard Ekers
I bought a 3 year old ex-lease Saab 9000 2 litre ecopower auto with a/c from a main dealer two months ago for 7,500 pounds inc warantee. This equates to approximately 1/3 of the new price. So far it has proved very capable, especially on the A & M roads. Average mpg so far 30.5. I think the price is a steal. An equivalent BMW 5 series would have cost twice as much. But I don't think your depreciation record of 1500 pounds a year is unusual. The last time I bettered that was way back in 1984 when I bought a new Skoda Estelle for 2,500 and gave it away to a relative 6 years later. I think you just have to keep a car longer in order to lower the average depreciation, but of course then repair costs go up. Good luck.
Re: Nearly -new fleet or older "quality" - richard turpin
I bought a P reg 9000 2.0 LPT manual with air, 50,000 miles, for £3000 and sold it a month later for £3500. Should have asked £4000. Nothing wrong with it. Silly prices. Worth double. Reliable, fast, comfortable and even a decent name. Why are they so cheap? Bargain of the moment. Fashion I suppose. Used to be the same with Audi 100s. No more, they are all minicabs on 200,000 miles now. But the "95" is not such a bargain as the 9000.
Re: Nearly -new fleet or older "quality" - Mike
I've had loads of Saabs and can definitely recommend the 9000. I won't bore you with the details (but will do on request!), but I bought a 1987 9000i (non-turbo, no electrical gizmos) in 1993, at 90,000 miles as an ex-lease car. It had had a new clutch and steering rack at 83,000 miles. I am still running it at 190,000 miles. It still has the same rack & clutch. Original shocks still fitted. Over the last eight years I have replaced the water pump, front brake disks, clutch master cylinder, exhaust bits. The last 4 years it has gone through the MOT with a quick pump of the tyres & check the washer fluid. This year it needed a ball joint & drive shaft. It has therefore cost virtually nothing if you add this lot up.

I did stop going to Saab main dealers three years ago, they were asking more for a service than the car was worth! The words "foot" and "shooting" come to mind! I have started taking it to Lex Autocentres, but they are very variable - find a good one! The local main dealer used to quote silly prices for things that quite frankly didn't matter on a car of this age - e.g. £80 to change a 40p bulb behind the econometer!!!

Buy a late 9000 & you won't go wrong. You can even buy privately and get a Saab warranty put on after an inspection at the dealer. Remember the more gizmos the more difficult to fix. I looked under the bonnet of a 2.3 Turbo (200hp) I had & thought, hmm, and shut it again......

Value my car