Just had a marvelous dinner with a four folk that all just happen to be into cars. Actually I was easily the least informed on the subject, and that includes the two women in the room.

Luckily these folk are car enthusiasts, and buy great cars at good prices.

So how do you get a great car at a good price? Easy – buy it used, and know what you are buying. If you don’t know how to buy smartly, then find a friend that does – they’ll be only too willing to help.

Cars these days are designed to go over 160,000 kms/100,000 miles, and  the price of a car at 100,000 kms is pretty low. Buy it, drive it for 30,000 kms, sell it online and move to the next vehicle.

My “new” WRX is 100,000 kms old, and still goes like the clappers. Meanwhile my R1200GSA motorcycle (an indefensible new purchase that was 3 times the cost of my car) is still really loosening up – at 7000 kms. These 1200GS’s don’t really get to their best until about 20,000 kms, which is when the R1200GS I had in South Africa really got going.

Which brings me to the point – why do people buy expensive cars on debt? It’s a depreciating asset, generally costs you more money (insurance, gas) the more expensive it is, and is easily substitutable by a cheaper version with just as much functionality, if not more.

Perhaps it is just better to accept that expensive cars are fashion statements, and allocate the costs to the same bucket as your wardrobe. Let’s see – a new designer suit or dress each week, or a new car this year… Which has more impact? Which feels better? Which makes you look better?

Published by Lance Wiggs