Run Silent, Run Cheap

Here at DriveWrite we do not morally censure. It is not our place to tell you what to do. We have civil servants for that. You do as you please; it’s none of our business. So you go right ahead, buy and run a big expensive car that most of us cannot afford and see if we care. By all means go for a wholly inappropriate set of wheels that you think will take you back to your youth and that sounds like a angry buffalo – but you might be making a mistake. Sorry, just sayin’.

You see, successive inadequate governments – short of new and effective economic ideas – have consistently used motorists like a sort of mobile cash-point, extracting money with legalised menaces and taxes. We tend to blame the fuel companies but the fact is that much of what we pay for our fuel is tax. Insurers and councils have to take their portion of blame too. The end result is, as we’ve said here before, that drivers find themselves buying the cars they need and not the cars they want.

The other issue that afflicts all those who love cars and motoring is our roads. They are overcrowded, arguably over-regulated and about as comfortable to drive on as a Himalayan goat track. In short, all the fun and pleasure has been surgically removed from motoring, leaving only a means of transport. Sure, you can buy a fast car and give your all but the chances are you’ll end up as a temporary part of a motorway bridge support or banged up in chokey with society poking you with a green finger.

Car manufacturers have realised this. It simply can’t be a coincidence that cars are increasingly becoming seen as lifestyle accessories rather driving machines. You can customise to your heart’s content and equip it with all manner of technology and end up with a motor that becomes no different to your smartphone or tablet. A portable toy.

On the plus side, many cars today are excellent value. Given the quality and reliability on offer it is probably fair to say that cars have never been better value. This is especially true of those vehicles that bust under the £10k barrier to offer decent cars for virtually no money at all.Leading the field of course is Dacia. The Sandero, for now, is the cheapest new motor on offer in the UK but that is likely to soon change as other car makers get on board the budget train. There is absolutely nothing special about the Sandero at all but, conversely, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it either. For budget buyers this car is a steal.

The cash strapped motorist has in fact never had it so good. So don’t despair when seductive new models are revealed to the world. Few can afford to run them let alone buy them. All you can afford is one of the budget models or possible a decent used car and there’s nothing wrong with that.

You don’t have to go fast to have a good time. Find an open twisting road and just enjoy the pleasure of driving whatever you’re steering. One colleague has said that he is actively looking for a £500 MX-5. Finding a decent example for that money might be a bit of a stretch but it makes the point.

It’s all about the driving. Expensive cars and supercars are wonderful and they make a wonderful noise. The sound of a budget buy might not stir the blood but why attract attention to yourself? Cheap cars can be fun too – and remember; just like DriveWrite, the government does not sit in moral judgement upon you. They just want the money.Geoff Maxted