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Buying A Car – Consider Older Luxury Cars – Even Classics.

Buying a car is a big investment and choosing the right car is essential. We all dream of driving that particular luxury or super car we have seen whizzing past us on the motorway, advertised or reviewed on our favourite motoring program, but unfortunately when we snap out of our dream world and allow reality to kick in we have to buy a car that fits our budget.

2004 Mercedes Benz E ClassThis does not mean that we cannot buy a car which is practical, stylish, well spec'd and fun to drive. Make a list of what you want the car for and what it must have to meet these needs. Then set your budget. Sounds easy doesn't it. Well it is, until we start to look for the car. We shop around the dealers, look on line, talk to friends and check the local press. Then desire grabs us, we start to look above our original budget, we find that must have car but its way outside what we wanted to pay but we tell ourselves that we have to have it and we could always borrow the extra. STOP right there. Back up and review your original specification you laid down in the cold sensible light of day.

I recently helped a friend buy a new to him car (fancy talk for a second hand car). He had been going on about needing a car and was becoming down hearted and frustrated with the process. His problem was he did not know what he needed in a car or which car he could afford (fitted his budget). Over a coffee we came up with the specification and then I asked the big question – what is your budget. How did we spec the car? When beginning the process of buying a car it does help if you know what you want from the car.


The main priority for my friend was it must have ISOFIX as his family is growing and he wants to be able to use the car to transport his new family when he is not using the car for work.

What is ISOFIX and how does it work? ISOFIX (International Standards Organisation FIX) is a new standard for car seat installation that's being adopted by car seat and vehicle manufacturers worldwide. The system operates through ISOFIX points on the back of the child car seat that plug into ISOFIX fittings in the car, creating a solid link between your child's car seat and your car. Most manufacturers now include ISOFIX as standard or offer it at a very reasonable cost as an option. My friend looked on this as a limiting factor as to the age of vehicle he could by. A simple call to several local dealers revealed that for very little money ISOFIX points could be installed in most later model cars. This opened up the selection of cars which he could consider. ISOFIX requirement met or soon to be dealt with we considered the rest of the vehicles must have or meet requirements.

Performance verses Economy

He wanted a car which has reasonable performance but not provided at the sacrifice of fuel economy. He had never considered a diesel car as he viewed these as smelly, slow, noisy and poor performers. I pointed out that newer diesel engine vehicles have much greater performance, quieter engines and better fuel economy than previous diesel engines. Again we opened up the options for his consideration.


He wanted a vehicle with a large boot or luggage space as he drives to the location he will be holidaying at and with the new family he practically has to bring his house with him. This pointed us into larger saloons or MPV's.


2004 Jaguar S Type

Looks were going to be a big problem, this is personal preference and I can only suggest vehicles which fit the other specifications and after several of my suggestions were dismissed as, ugly or I would not be seen dead in that I began to get a sense of what he wanted shape wise. If you like it – buy it. You are the one to drive the car so you must like its shape and styling – who cares what other people think – it's your car.

Maintenance and Parts

It does not hurt to check with dealers or your local garage on this one. There is no point in buying a car if the first time it breaks down or you need routine servicing you will have re-mortgage your house to pay for it. Once you have narrowed the selection of prospective cars down – call the dealer or local garage and ask a few simple questions. How much does a normal service cost? What is the cost of doing the brakes? How much will a timing belt cost me? What are the fast moving parts for these vehicles and do you stock them or how long will it take to get them? You can make up your own list to ask them. These were just a few of the questions we asked.


I found the best thing when I buy a car is - the fun element - will I like the car each time I drive it and does it make me feel good to be driving it. Sure servicing, fuel economy and insurance play a big part in my choice - BUT I have to like driving it - sometimes it's better to wait and buy the one that gives you that feel good factor each time you see it and leaves a big smile on your face when you drive it.

Additional Motoring Costs

Finally what we have to consider is the cost of insurance and road tax. In some countries Insurance companies determine the cost of insurance based on a scale or group rate. Bigger engined vehicles have a higher group number and therefore cost more for insurance. As do vehicles which are badged GTi or Sport. Road tax or Registration Fee is based on emissions and engine size – the bigger the engine – the more emissions it produces the higher the road tax or registration Fee. These are re-occurring costs and must be considered before you buy. There is no point buying your dream car to find you cannot use it because you cannot afford the insurance or road tax.


We left the budget to the end, for the simple reason you do not have to constrain yourself too much when buying a car that will provide you with the majority of the things you want out of a car once you know what you want from the car and are willing to look back in the years a little. The cheapest part of a car is buying it – keeping it on the road in a safe and legal fashion is where you will see the money start to mount up.

Basic specifications considered lets go buy a car!

So to sum up; how we decided the type of car is based on -

•  Safety

•  Performance verses Economy

•  Size

•  Style

•  Maintenance and Parts

•  Fun

•  Additional Motoring Costs

•  Budget

1970 VG Hardtop VIP

Once you know what you want and how much you can spend – the fun part of finding just the right car begins. Obviously age will be affected by your budget, but it is still possible to buy a car you will enjoy and will provide you with reliable motoring and still fit the majority of your requirements. Remember slightly older cars can be purchased very well spec'd for less money than a car which is 4 to 5 years old. So providing you are willing to drive a slightly older car you can find some excellent bargains. Also if insurance and road tax is not going to drain the budget (it has to paid for each year) you can could end up with an older luxury car and be very happy.

For example a 7 year old Jaguar with all the toys and in top condition can be purchased for possibly the same price if not less than a new small model car or considerably less. This is the norm not the exception.

Bigger luxury cars tend to be very expensive when they are new and up to 4 to 5 years old but their value drops rapidly after this. So again if you are willing to accept the residual value for your car will fall from the minute you make your purchase you can buy a car you thought you would only have in your dreams.

So you can see with some planning, consideration and a bit of leg work (or finger work on the net) you could be driving a not that old luxury car.

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© go_charger 16 August 2013

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