So there has been a Budget, and with it a full-scale road fund licence revamp, which doesn’t kick in until 2017.
As usual, it’s a confusing slab of rules and regulations that leaves everyone reeling. The point of the Budget seems to be that if you want to buy or lease a car, do it now or next year. What about used cars, though?
Well, it doesn’t really matter too much, as everything stays the same - until 2017. At that point, previously environmentally friendly cars will become more expensive to tax. Indeed, the prestigious £40k eco-friendly car that you always promised yourself will actually cost an extra £310 a year to own from year two to year six.
No, I can’t fathom that out either, but it could certainly make any £40k car that isn’t particularly environmentally friendly just a bit cheaper to buy.
But that’s in the future, and the used car market is about the here and now. And right now, we should stock up on the cars we love, or at least like. So why not fill your boots with the sort of inappropriate motors that could seem almost illegal in a few years’ time?
Let’s buy a Porsche 911. The 996 is now very affordable and, being from the late 1990s, also avoids some of the road fund licence complications that made them more expensive to own post-2001.
A 1999 Carrera 4S Tiptronic would be a safe enough buy, and you should be able to get a tidy one for around £12,000. If it’s smart enough and you spend enough to keep it sweet, depreciation isn’t going to be an issue. You can also find Carrera 2s and convertibles (manual or auto) for that money. There are plenty to choose from; just take your time and buy the best.
Ferrari 456 GTs have bobbed up in value in the past few years, but they are still affordable with the higher real-world mileages that some of them have. Cars with ‘collector’ mileages are more than £80k, while ‘teenage’ mileages are £60k, but if you can ever bring yourself to buy a 60,000-miler, you can find them for less than £40k.
Just as rare as a Ferrari and guaranteed to make a 911 look common is the Alpina option. It seems incredible that you can still buy them for less than £10k. It’s a shame they look so much like BMWs, but that’s the point, of course. What about a 5 Series-based 2001 B10 V8 for £8995, then? How could you go wrong? Or you can modern up with a 2007 D3 Biturbo. I mean, diesels could be banned eventually, so why not enjoy the ultimate oil-burner while you can?
The thing is that governments and rules change. Who knows what the situation will be like in 2020?