Keep Your Old Car [Part 1] It Makes Economic Sense

Posted on April 9, 2011


Purrr – My owners car just hit 300,000km (186k miles).  I think he should keep it for another 100,000km but he often talks about buying a new one – we argued, I won!  This is what I told him….

1 – It’s Humble

You are never going to be happy unless you ovecome the materialist impulse.  Why spend you life working hard to…

Buy things that you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like 

Because your ride is the most public expression of your wealth (or credit rating), what better way to get over the ego urge than to keep driving that clunker ?  Lets be honest – part of you thinks that a new car is going to make you feel superior.  Fail.

2 – Car Debt

Slavery to a car payments extends beyond the obvious high monthly payments to higher insurance premiums and forced servicing from an expensive dealers garage.  You could end up…

Having a job to pay for your car not having a car to get to your job

Also, keep in mind that when you’re shopping for a new car, dealerships are going to make more money from the car loan than from the sale of the car itself !  Over the life of a new car loan, you can pay up to double the sticker price of the car.   Plus, when you buy a new car you are paying directly for a whole bunch of auto industry marketing and advertising and that’s why…

As soon as you drive a new car away from the dealership you loose 10% of it’s value before you have even gone 1 mile.

It’s pretty basic maths.  Car depreciation is huge at first and becomes inconsequential once the car is about 8 years old.

But, “I need a car that is reliable, I can’t afford to keep running my second hand car becuase of maintenance costs”  Wrong!  The money you loose in depreciation on a new car by far outweighs any maintenance costs.  All of this adds up to mean that it just doesn’t make economic sense to buy a new car.

3 – Cars These Days are Ultra Reliable

Cars built back in the early 1980’s and before always used to go rusty, but then they introduced full emersion dipping and nowadays…

a second hand car will last you for ages

Treat your car carefully, you don’t need to brake hard, a good driver should not have to break at all.  But the golden rule for getting the most out of your car is…

don’t accelerate fast – keep the rev counter low

High revs are your enemy – this is a simple principle – your car converts chemical energy into kinetic energy, E(k) = ½Mass x Velocity².   What this means is…

If you do 2x the revs you do 4x times the engine and transmission damage

it really is that simple.  I am talking about engine revs per minute here – you can still get up to the speed limit by using lower revs, it just takes a little longer.   It is also interesting that the desire to accelerate hard is directly proportional to ego – the most ostentatious cars always boast about being able to go from 0 to 100kph in 4 seconds or less.  Whooppeee!

Cont in Part 2 



Posted in: Green, Simple Living