The costs of running a car and the joys of cycling

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by johnnyb47, 10 Jun 2019.

  1. johnnyb47

    johnnyb47 Über Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Year's ago i used to love being the owner of a car. It gave me freedom and opportunity's to discover new places. They where simple to work on and where alot more stylish (in my old fashioned view) which gave any self conscious youngster the chance to show his stance in the world. For me it was the Ford Capri. It had the looks and was so easy and cheap to fix. I had the obligatory shelf speakers in the back and an audio line graphic equilizer badly wired into the rubbish radio cassette(it sounded dreadful but looked good lol) I could change the cam belt myself in 30 minutes and not worry about it snapping as the old pinto block was a non interference engine.I would spend many a Sunday morning adjusting the points, timing and tweeking the carburettor to get it running sweet. Sadly youngsters of today will never have that opportunity to be able to self teach them selves simple mechanics as modern car's are simply to complicated to work on.
    20 years on i can honestly say i detest cars now. They are a complicated mass of electronics and inaccessible engine components. I can just about do the basics now, such as oil and brake servicing. Everything thing else is now trusted to the garage which cost an arm and a leg. Many modern cars of today find themselves in the scrap yard well before they should, purely because of the astromical labour costs of stripping the crammed engine bay of its components to get to a relatively cheap failed part which is such a waste.
    Whilst out cycling today the traffic seemed to be very congested with multiple road works going on. It was school home time and I imagined that a large proportion of these cars where on the school run. All these cars where just sitting there, with their engines idling merrily away choking up the atmosphere with toxic gases.
    And to add insult to injury to the motorist, 60% of their hard earned £1 that they pay in fuel goes straight into the pockets of the government. That's not even taking into consideration road fund licence, insurance and the depreciation of the cars.
    Then of course we talking of the interest payments of a car and maintenance of it.
    I can't imagine but this situation must be many many times worse in cities.
    You can see why cycling has really taken off over the last few years. Its as cheap as you want it to be, with no dead end money to pay out, either in taxes or exorbitant maintenance costs.
    No stress about parking or rapid deprecation costs. Its a complete no brainer why cycling has become so popular and will continue to be in the future. Car sales are once again down as people are turning there backs on them because of rising costs of long term ownership, whilst cycling becomes ever more popular.
    I too have a car but nowadays i only ever use it as a last resort. My bike is always my first choice of transport. I really do loath car ownership nowadays.
    Once out of the clogged town roads and into the countryside lanes of Wales today it was a different world. Many cyclists out there enjoying the warm sunshine. Bikes loaded up with camping equipment as there riders where enjoying touring around, to roadies and MTBers having a blast around. It felt like a million miles from the roads i left behind in town.
     
    Stephenite, netman, ren531 and 11 others like this.
  2. Profpointy

    Profpointy Guru

    As an example for just one of your points, a work colleague scrapped a car because a windscreen wiper failed. The part cost wasn't that bad but she was quoted £1500 labour for the job. You had to take half the car to pieces to get to it. Nuts !
     
  3. OP
    OP
    johnnyb47

    johnnyb47 Über Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Good grief. That's shocking,
     
    Saluki likes this.
  4. Smudge

    Smudge Senior Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    I agree..... for many years i loved cars. I have no interest in them now. My current car will likely be my last and i dont know why i keep it, seeing as i only do 1500 miles a year in it.
    But its easy for me to have this attitude against cars, i'm retired. If i were still working, the car would still be a must have.
    When my current car becomes not financially viable to keep, it'll be going and i wont get another one. I could live quite happily just using my motorcycles, ebikes, bicycles and public transport on occasion.
     
    bigjim and johnnyb47 like this.
  5. Milzy

    Milzy Veteran

    My old foreman has a fancy Audi Estate with a W12 cylinder power plant.
    I just think about all the tax he’s paying to the government. He must be getting under 20 miles a gallon. Been there done that years ago but people doing it now with fuel prices on the up must be insane.
     
    skudupnorth and johnnyb47 like this.
  6. Smudge

    Smudge Senior Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    I bought a brand new car back in 2015. Obviously its lost shed loads in depreciation, but its cheap to run being a 1.0L and its also one of the last £20 a year VED jobs (the gov soon realised how much that was costing them and changed the goal posts)
    But being a modern car, its only a matter of time before all sorts of electronic sensors start playing up and i'll have to bend over and let my local Ford dealer shaft me up the tradesmans to fix it.
    I wont put up with that for long...... so then i'll get rid and the whole sorry saga will have cost me around £18K

    Good riddance.
     
    bigjim, skudupnorth and johnnyb47 like this.
  7. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    Location:
    Ireland
    I 100% agree. I used to love cars and love driving, now I generally hate it. I'm fortunate to live in an area which outside of this town is sparsely populated so I can still enjoy a drive along the quiet coastal roads when I feel like it but I hate driving on any of the main routes - too busy, too much aggression from other drivers who tailgate me or overtake in the most stupid and riskiest of places even though I am driving at the speed limit but I guess people don't spend all that money on their enormous Audi to sit behind someone in an ancient 1100cc Peugeot (who will get to the same places as they go to at similar average speed in real world conditions but with a lot less expense).

    I am always getting laughed at by a guy in work as I choose to walk the two miles to work and also because I drive a Peugeot 205. I walk because I find it relaxing and the exercise is good and I save petrol money (and avoid having to cycle a particularly horrible piece of busy high-speed road). I can also predict almost to the nearest second how long it will take me to commute to work each morning as it never changes as I'm not at the mercy of road conditions or potential mechanical failure. The guy who laughs at my Peugeot is working ridiculous overtime to pay for his nice new Golf whilst it sits depreciating in the company car park. It's a fine car no doubt but I'm not prepared to put myself in debt and give up a lot of free time just to own one.

    I have no particular interest in modern day cars. They are so complex with the potential to run up enormous repair bills. My old car is a child's play to maintain myself. I can easily better 50mpg too so it's not bad on petrol. I also enjoy driving my car in a way no modern car I have driven allows me to - they are all too isolated from the road and have too much technology in them. The engineering, roadholding, performance and braking abilities of most new cars is amazing but removes any real enjoyment from the driving process. My unassisted steering allows me to feel the road and the car feels perfectly balanced. I don't need to drive at stupid speeds to enjoy driving, I pay attention, read the road and anticipate rather than rely on a load of driver aids to keep me out of trouble.

    Several other observations about modern cars, they're impossible to see out of, bigger and heavier than they really need to be in most cases and why do so many seem to be set up with stiff, sportscar like suspension? If it is a sports car, that's fine but a family saloon should be set up for comfort. If I ever give a lift to anyone, they always comment on my old school French magic carpet ride quality as i t just floats over bumps.

    I think the 1990s was the sweet spot for car design, as good as it got before they became overly complicated. Unfortunately I live in a land where they keep trying to make it harder to run an older car.
     
  8. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    Location:
    On 3 Wheels
    Ah but bear in mind the 205 was one of the best cars ever built.
     
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  9. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    Location:
    Ireland
    Which is exactly why I intend to keep mine for as long as I possibly can!
     
    Zimbob, johnnyb47 and raleighnut like this.
  10. Smudge

    Smudge Senior Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    I've noticed there are far more young people not interested in cars these days, ok you still get the 'Max Power' young uns and the chavs with their crappy Saxo's with a big bang exhaust.
    But many young people aren't interested in cars like we were back in the 70's & 80's. I guess that's a good thing, although i suspect the cost has much to do with it.
    Mind you, they're not interested in motorcycles either...... and who can blame them, motorcycles now are mostly ridden by grey haired old gits like myself.
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  11. gavroche

    gavroche Getting old but not past it

    Location:
    North Wales
    I also bought my car brand new in 2015. It serves me well and, so far, is very reliable. I pay £0 a year VED and intend to keep it a long time. I drive it with care and don't rush from a to b. It gives me 65 mpg on average. I keep getting e-mails from my dealer offering me all sorts of deals to change it for a newer model. I am not interested. It is fully paid for and that's nice.
     
  12. Profpointy

    Profpointy Guru

    I got a ride in and indeed drove an old pug 205 diesel. Great to drive and went OK but I thought it a bit shabby and threadbare seeming so not built to last - then I saw it had done over a quarter of a million miles, maybe not too shabby after all!
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    johnnyb47

    johnnyb47 Über Member

    Location:
    Wales
    I totally agree the 90s was the sweet spot for cars in term of reliability / ease to work on and general sensibility. Funnily enough a friend of mine at work has a diesel 205. He often gets ribbed about his car but in 10 years of him having it, its never let him down and cost's absolutely to run whilst the guys in their more upmarket vehicles are often complaining about expensive repairs.
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  14. A couple of years ago, I challenged a friend of mine to meet me at Waterloo station in London. I was cycling from Upham ( near Winchester in Hampshire) she was driving from Highgate ( North London ). I got there first. It took me about 4 hours 45 minutes ( about 80 miles ) on a bike, from Upham. It took her 2.5 hours from Highgate ( under 6 miles ). This is one reason I really can’t be bothered with driving much anymore. I reckon if I’d tried the route I took in the car, it could well have taken longer, and it would have been a load more stressful, not to mention the cost in fuel / congestion charge ( as it was a weekday ).
     
    Profpointy likes this.
  15. OP
    OP
    johnnyb47

    johnnyb47 Über Member

    Location:
    Wales
    It's makes me wonder if car manufacturers will ever get back to basics again one day, and produce a car thats not fully loaded with things we take for granted such a Electric windows / air con etc and mechanics that can easily repaired.
    I don't think this will ever happen though sadly
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2019
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