Mileage 'Sensitive' Cars - Should You Drive Them?
"My car is a collectable now I shouldn't put too many miles on it". "The values of these things has gone crazy, I need to keep the miles off" "It's a limited edition car, I don't want to put too many miles on the clock" I hear this a lot.
But what's really the case here? What actually made me write this article in the first place was a phone call from a good friend who has recently taken delivery of a stunning Porsche GT4. I was standing by a coffee machine in my local store and out of the blue the phone rings and Chris is asking me what my take is on not putting too many miles on 'special' cars? I.e. the new GT4.
I believe around 130 GT4's were allocated to the UK in 2015 with even less allocation for 2016. Needless to say this car is a classic example of what I see a lot of people perceiving to be a 'mileage sensitive car'.
Taking a step back for a minute, I was - until recently - one of those people, so I totally get the mind set, but upon the surprise call from my GT4 owning friend while i was mid cappuccino dispensing - it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I didn't evaluate the question as much as I usually would and actually ended up talking from the heart and not immediately from the mind.
My immediate reply went something along the lines of...
"You only live once, you've got an awesome car, which has already appreciated way beyond any reasonable value, i'm pretty sure no matter what mileage you put on the GT4 at worst you're going to break even".
And in that instant it pretty much summed it up - that if anything - special, limited edition cars are the ones to drive. Everyone wants them and they forever will. Ok so more miles might lose you a few £k when it comes to resale - but in all likelihood you'll probably still get more money than you paid for it (amazing) and you will of had the priceless life experience of enjoying a car that most people don't even get to see in their life time!
If anything - normal every day cars are the ones you want to watch out for - they are ten a penny and someone looking to buy a second hand one will have a lot more to choose from when it comes to the used market. The most shocking example of this recently is the relatively new BMW M6 Gran Coupe. This is a weapon of a car, a lot of people would class it as dream to own. But never have I seen a more mileage sensitive car. The M6 Gran Coupe retails at around £90k - Ninety Thousand Pounds sir. A friend of mine purchased one only this month for £46k, 8,000 miles on the clock and less than a year old. WTF?
On the other hand I owned a BMW 1M up until last year - a fantastic little rocket of a car, limited edition, only 450 right hand drive examples hit the UK market. I used that car as my daily driver for 3 years. When I sold the car it had almost 30,000 miles on the clock and I sold it within 4 days of it being on the market for just £2,000 less than I paid for it. This would NOT happen were it not a 'special' (aka "mileage sensitive") car.
Let's do one more example. As I write this in the classifieds there are several Porsche 997 GT3 RS's with over 20,000 miles all averaging £30,000 over list price. That is 5 years of profitable driving. See for your self here. I'm pretty confident Carrera S's of the same age aren't showing the same appreciation right now. Yet people don't think twice to stack the miles on these cars?
So how do we round this up? If you are in the market for or in the fortunate position to own a limited edition car or a vehicle that is perceived to be 'special' - in my experience you don't need to be so precious about keeping the miles of - because you're only preserving the enjoyment for someone else, and I say...balls to that.