Do you want the Road Tax system to change? Do you have thoughts on the potential changes to the Road Tax system? | No thanks
Ford Focus - When to change the car - DuncanSuperb

I'm interested to know what others' approach is to deciding when to change the car. There seems to be several approaches to peoples car buying habits:
1. Get a brand new car every 1-3 years
2. Get a nearly new car every 3/5 years (regardless of use and condition of old one)
3. Get a 3-4 year old car every 3-4 years
4. Get a 3-4 year old car and run it into the ground
5. Buy a 6-10 year old car on a whim and a prayer
6. Bangernomics.

We generally fall into category no.3 but we've now had current car for over 5 years and there is a danger that we'll slip to cat 4. At the moment the 8yr old Focus 1.8 estate is running sweetly and continues to give good service. It's just passed the MOT with no remarks, had new brake discs last year, cambelt 2 years ago etc. and basically been well maintained. However, as the children approach teenage years more loadspace and legroom would be an advantage.

What strategy does the BR suggest I take to planning the transition to keep costs minimum and risk low.

Ford Focus - When to change the car - Rattle
Number four is probably the cheapest option. Bangermatics is ok but unless you're really lucky there is too many risks. I've just gone from number 6 to number 1 :) and hope to actually save money.

As used values for small cars is very high in the small car sector buying new makes a lot of sense but only if you keep it for a few years.
Ford Focus - When to change the car - DuncanSuperb

Hey Rattle,

Yes I read (with some surprise i must admit) of your recent new purchase. Good for you. i know you'll keep us posted of Pandy's progress. Will you be changing your id from Rattle to erm Rumble? hopefully not Grumble...

Ford Focus - When to change the car - Viz

My Y reg Focus is about to be changed. It is a 1.8 petrol and i've had it 8 years and covered 150,00 miles. 2 weeks ago it passed the MoT no probs.

I'm going for a new shape Focus upto 18 months old.

Will probably keep it another 5 years or so.

Ford Focus - When to change the car - primeradriver

Cheapest? Buy a Daewoo/Chevrolet at five years old on ebay for £1500 and run into ground.

Seriously uncool and I only ever do it on a second car but it seems to me to be the cheapest way of keeping reasonably respectable wheels.

Buying new only makes sense if buying cheap on sc***page, or you get a deal on an end-of-liner (like those Vectra 1.8s that sold pre-reg for £6K a couple of years back).

In the absence of deals like that -- either a high mileage 3 year old for £3-4000 from a bulk seller or a cheap car like a 20,000 mile 2 year old Colt for four grand, again running into the ground.

Whatever you do, keep the car until it becomes uneconomical to maintain. Yes it'll be a money pit for the last 3 months or so but the amount you save in the interim on depreciation makes up for that five or six times over.

Ford Focus - When to change the car - Avant

Personally I can't see the point of 3 over 4 (and there's not much in it between 5 and 6) - as perhaps you're finding out with the Focus. It's clearly a good one and worth more to you than anything you'd now get for it. So 4 could be a good move rather than a 'danger'.

Maybe keep it until the sooner of: (a) a potential repair costing more than the car is worth, and (b) your needing more room. Then you could buy as new a Mondeo or Octavia estate as you can afford. The more your annual mileage, the nearer to category 2 (rather than 4) you should ideally go.

I'm assuming that your budget doesn't allow category 1 (or you don't want to go there). With some cars, depending on the deal available and how well they hold their value, buying new on a PCP makes more sense than it's sometimes given credit for.

Those categories are great, by the way - they help to focus (sorry) the mind.

Ford Focus - When to change the car - cabrio_98

I like the categories Duncan16 - well thought out.

Over the past 10 years or so Cat 3 has worked for me, although if you are intend to keep a 4 year old car for up to 4 years you need to chose well - e.g. the last model of a series that's been in production for 8 years is going to feel pretty old when you come to trade it in and its value will be correspondingly low (with some notable exceptions).

However I'm also testing Cat 4 with a '98 Golf Cabrio bought 8 years ago that flies through its MOT each year, and now appears to have gained in value due to the sc**ppage scheme!

Ford Focus - When to change the car - SteveLee

Run the Focus until it goes bang - it should give you many years of reliable service. It's a gooden because you haven't had problems so far, so there's no reason (if properly maintained) why it shouldn't continue to do so..

Ford Focus - When to change the car - John F

7. Get a nearly new classic car and run it into the ground [1980TR7, bought 1981]

8.Get 4+ yr old car and riitg [1989 Audi 100 bought 1993, traded in2003 for 1998 Audi A6 2.8 ]

Total cost 4,250 + 4,200 + 8000. That's less than £500 per annum depreciation over 30yrs 'cos I've still got the TR and the A6, which is just run in at 105,000m! I only do around 5000m a year, though. Biggest bill was 18yrs ago - £470 for TR7 full body respray.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car