Noveau Riche

When I tell people of my intention to buy a big SUV, the overwhelming response (besides a blank look) tends to be the question why? Followed quickly by the question how can I afford such an expensive vehicle? I guess the term ‘new car’ tends to make people assume that I am intending to buy a brand new vehicle, as opposed to one that’s merely new to me. I am fully aware that most people of my age would prefer to spend such a large chunk of money on a shopping spree, maybe a holiday or three and then lay down a deposit for a nice little supermini, or if they are feeling flash then possibly a hot hatch or even a sporty coupe.

BMW’s 2 Series can be had for a rather reasonable sum if you look hard enough!

Of course it would be relatively easy for me to temporarily bury my desire for an SUV and do as most people would…I mean relatively decent deals can be had on the likes of the BMW 2 Series or something a bit more mundane like the Nissan Qashqai, so I can see the temptation to go for a brand new vehicle which will not only be more reliable and come with cheaper tax/servicing, but that also gets all the latest technology that I am constantly reading about like Facebook integration and HUD’s. With this in mind I had a little gander around the web to see what is on offer, my search gave up some interesting results:

As pretty as the Audi Q5 is, £479/month is still a lot to pay on top of the £7k deposit!

Firstly it is pretty clear that dealers are only willing to give the best finance deals on vehicles which are either slow sellers or are nearing replacement. The fact we are nearing not only the end of the financial year but also a registration plate change means that for new car buyers it is one of the best times to buy. Annoyingly though, a few of the cars I really like are ones that are ever popular and as such have pretty poor offers on them; both the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 require a sizeable deposit in addition to 35 monthly payments of nearly £500! Mercedes don’t offer a comparable vehicle but surprisingly you can get an ML250 for ‘only’ £579/month with a similar deposit (although with £5k more to pay if you wish to keep the car at the end of the 3 year period).

At £579/month the ML250 is at the cheaper end of the luxury SUV spectrum, but is still a pricey beast

Looking at Land Rover’s offerings and the dainty Evoque still requires £399/month to get behind the wheel, with the less trendy Freelander and Discovery requiring £299 and £499 respectively. Those are not bad figures but all Land Rover’s products command a high final payment, probably done in order to preserve residuals and lower monthly payments/increasing sales, but is something that puts me off as somebody who wouldn’t want to write off £27k after 3 years!

£499/month doesn’t seem a bad figure for the aging Discovery, but it has a high starting and ending payment

Going back to older models/slower sellers and the Audi TT is a car ripe for replacement, so the £299/month for the Black Edition does not seem too awful considering that the comparable (and slow selling) BMW Z4 will cost you £519/month albeit with lower initial and final payments. Mercedes’ C Class is about to be replaced too so the £5k dealer contribution is a nice sweetener, which when combined with a low deposit and payments of £319/month mean that it is not a bad little deal at all.

The outgoing Mercedes C Class can be had for a very reasonable amount…and is also reasonably tempting I guess

But the main reason behind writing this rather muddled post is the fact I found a rather awesome deal on a car that has weaved in and out of my list for a while now and one that has become rather renowned for having good offers in it’s twilight years. That vehicle is of course the Volvo XC90, a vehicle that debuted over 12 years ago and is still going strong with minimal changes. Now Volvo UK are offering a pretty decent offer which for a base ES model means paying a £10k deposit, £219/month for only 24 months, with a £15k final payment. The much more desirable R Design spec is £100 more per month (and £1k more in the first place), but the decently specced SE should fall between price wise. Even more appealingly a dealer in Doncaster is offering XC90’s for £199/month with a mere £8k deposit, and SE versions for only £1k more deposit and the same monthly fee! Those kind of figures are pretty hard to ignore when you think I’d be getting a brand new model specced exactly how I wanted; LED running lights and all!

The XC90 R Design is mighty handsome for a 12 year old car!

However I am a little dubious as to how much a deal like this will actually benefit me; a £9k deposit plus £199/month for 2 years brings my total amount paid to around £14k which is fair enough, but the fact I’d need to scrape around for £15k to have anything to show for it is a bit of a worry! Also I worry about the fact I don’t know what job I’ll be in soon…if I get onto the M&S graduate scheme then it could mean a 60mile commute per day, or it could mean I have to relocate altogether so I’d have other priorities such as rent! Then there is the XC90 itself, a vehicle already 13 years old and as I said has had minimal updates; I mean sure it’s not the worst to drive, the slowest or thirstiest option out there, but is nowhere near the front of the pack either. Also after all that fuss I have made over infotainment systems I would be ending up with a vehicle that has such a poor system it’s probably better without it! But the lure of a new vehicle is strong, and I think any decisions need to be taken after I have heard from the jobs I am waiting to hear back from!

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2 responses to “Noveau Riche

  1. I’ve driven big 4×4’s from the day I passed my driving test. It is a myth that they are expensive as often they’ll have better residuals than normal cars so the amount you actually lose over time is less. They are often not as bad on insurance, fuel costs or tax as the sportier versions of large family saloons. Buy what you want as you’ll have plenty of time to get a boring car later in life once you have kids!

  2. Pingback: Shopping List | readingandwrighting·

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