"My New Year’s resolution is to pay full retail price for, er, nothing"

Auto Express columnist Mike Rutherford is looking forward to a pound-pinching 2015

Money saving, cash, hands, sale, rutherford, opinion

Embarrassing confession time: my bank balance looks sorrier than the sad face of the sulking springer spaniel I got for Christmas. What’s more, my everyday car is three years old – and although I don’t need to buy a new one, I feel I owe myself one. Know the feeling?

Also, the inspiring and precious five-acre Forest of Marcus I’m the proud custodian of is getting the better of my decades-old Land Rover which is reaching the end of its useful life. I need a new 4x4 workhorse.

All this means I’m going into ‘Mike Miser’ mode. My New Year’s resolution is to pay full retail price for, er, nothing. The only products I’ll buy will be those with meaningful discounts or other forms of financial incentives to purchase.

• "2014 was a great year for car fans, but 2015 will be even better"

What’s a meaningful discount? One that saves pounds, not pennies. If, for example, you pay £2.60 instead of £2 for your annual bottle of screenwash, the 60p overspend is hardly a life changer. But paying £20,000 for a new car officially retailing at £26,000 will help change your life.

Alternatively, forget colossal price cuts when buying new cars and opt for deals comprising smaller discounts PLUS free finance, or insurance, or servicing, or fuel... or variations thereof. The likes of Citroen, Peugeot, Kia, SEAT, Skoda, Suzuki and Vauxhall dealers will play ball, I promise.

But buy an everyday car only if it’s predicted to be a slow – around 20 per cent per annum – depreciator and will do at least 50mpg.

Annual VED charges are between zero and pennies per day, so comparatively trivial and not worth losing sleep over. But save thousands – or 10s of thousands over the years – by choosing cars with low (1-10) insurance group ratings.

• "The rental revolution has begun. Consumers may never want to buy a new car again"

Avoid parking in the centre of thieving towns or cities charging up to £4 an hour, and instead park free on the outskirts. Boycott financial ‘crime scenes’ such as the Dartford Crossing, plus liberty-taking, wallet-busting motorway service areas. Never pay more than £100 (VAT included) per hour for workshop labour. And with respect, if you pay full price for MoTs you’re bonkers.

Who says? Mike Miser. Sincerely, he wishes you a prosperous, pound-pinching, profitable New Year.

How will you save money on motoring in 2015? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review
Honda Civic Type R

New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review

We find out if the revised Honda Civic Type R can stay at the top of the hot hatch class
22 Sep 2020