Well, like many lucky fellows, for most of my younger life I owned or had access to new or almost new cars. And I guess that like most of us I would totally avoid an old or high mileage or damaged car, convinced as I was that they should be scrapped or something!
When I was a lad I worked in the UK for Land Rover for 12 years so of course new company cars and pool cars and loan cars were almost always available and these were then changed and sold on every 6 months ish so I never really entered the shady world of more mature cars until I left Land Rover. When I moved to work in Roma (Italy) I rode down on my trusty Honda CBR1000F and boy was that a fun ride, I had a paper map cos GPS and mobile phones were not yet widely available but hey, I made it in 2 days despite losing the map.
Now I buy and run my own vehicles and I have worked (part time) for a few years for a car repair cum car sales guy in this area (Ravello, on the lovely Amalfi Coast) I have updated my ideas on cars cos here I am in the real world of private motorists, far from the company car world. My thoughts follow:
- Cars do not explode or die at 100k kms. Indeed, some old cars go GREAT.
- There is no reason to fear a repaired car PROVIDING that the repairs have been done correctly.
- Fiats are really ok!
- Most cars are ok even those from South Korea, this mainly depends on how the car has been looked after during its life.
- Car maintenance in my book is not just an annual routine, better to work on the Forth Bridge principle: do a little bit every time you drive her.
- Look after your tyres and the tyres will look after you. Keep an eye on the tyre pressures cos they are vital, especially on a motorbike of course cos you only have two small ones!
My fleet is now mature. My Mercedes Vito van I bought new in 2009. She is a 3.0 V6 TDI with 205 horses and auto gearbox and she has only about 150k kms on the clock. I use her only for longer trips, mainly delivering and collecting bikes between Italy and the UK and she LOVES the motorway! Great van. My Audi S4 Avant is 2006 vintage with 210k kms and goes like a pocket rocket, again auto with 350ish horses and all of the Audi comforts like full Recaro leather interior and sunroof. Sure, not really Mr Economy Car but great fun to drive.
Same with my bikes. I used to change them every three years whereas I have recently purchased two older bikes, a 2009 Yamaha FZ1 and a 2013 Honda VFR1200 and both are GREAT rides. I enjoy working on them and restoring them towards their former glory but to be honest both look semi new. Some pics follow.