Cost Of Maintaining Used Cars Skyrocket

Friday, 5. August 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Buy or lease a new or used car and you’re pretty much guaranteed a 3 year period of fairly low cost motoring, subject to the car of course and your annual mileage. But you have a new car that will have on average maybe 2 services, that can be carried out by a non franchised dealer and maybe a couple of tyres. Compare that with the rocketing costs of servicing and maintaining a used car and you often find that the cost of repairs would allow you to lease a brand new car with the latest green technology, creature comforts and of course a minimum these days, 3 year warranty.

I’ve mentioned in posts before about the cost of replacing ECU’s (engine control unit), ABS pumps and of course cam belts that can’t always be covered by secondary warranties.

The latest item to drop into the equation is the Catalytic Converter. These, according to the AA, normally need to be replaced at 50,000 miles and can be very expensive to replace but I’ve uncovered what may be a bit of a scam because these are worth anything up to £300 in scrap value.

There are of course some garages that are totally unaware that there is a specialist scrap value, over and above the standard scrap metal value, for the precious metal that is present in the old unit. Of course some garages are aware and will send off their old cats and receive a healthy sum in return.

So what you should do is either negotiate with the garage beforehand to give you a discount off the new cat being fitted to allow for the scrap value that he will return or ask for the old unit to be left in the boot. In the meantime look up specialist buyers of old cats and get some of your money back.

A word of warning, not all converters are the same so don’t simply ask for the old converter back without checking first as it may be worth a lot less than the £300 that I’ve suggested. Worth knowing though, might save you a few quid! By Graham Hill

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