It has long intrigued me to know how the costs of owning an older Mercedes compare with the costs of a new one, so I thought I would do a little research.
Personally I don't like the ownership model whereby you pay for the car monthly and then pay a lump sum to own the car at the end of a set period. Each to their own,
but I don't like being in debt and having to find monthly payments - especially as I am a contractor and therefore if I am between clients I can't invoice and
therefore I pay myself less. My preferred ownership model is just that - outright ownership of the car from day one and that is it.
If you want to run a brand new car for whatever reason, that is fine by me: but I really enjoy driving something a bit different - and I am not particularly materialistic (I don't think!).
My friends may disagree... I certainly don't feel the need to have a brand new car to 'keep up with the Joneses next door'.
If anyone looks at my car and thinks 'Oh he can only afford to run an old car'
- They don't know what an older Mercedes costs to run(!) and
- I don't care what they think anyway as they obviously don't appreciate a lovely car when they see one.
In truth, I actually probably couldn't afford to buy a new Mercedes anyway, but since I don't want to the point is moot - and I certainly wouldn't want to drive
something boring that I didn't like even if it were much cheaper than a new Mercedes.
Enough of the justifications etc. and on to the figures. I have not included road tax in these figures and I appreciate that all of the cars that I have used
for comparison will use significantly less fuel than Clara does.
Purchase and running costs of Clara over 26 months:
I wanted to compare like with like as far as possible, but I couldn't find figures for anything other than an E-Class 220 d AMG Line, so I used those. I think that it is safe to say
that anything with a bigger engine is going to cost rather more!
Imagine for a minute (hard, I know) that I wanted to drive a brand new car but was happy with a Ford Mondeo or Focus. This is NEVER going to happen, by the way!
What are the costs of a Personal Contract Plan on one of these?
I have tried to make these as representative as possible by putting down the same deposit as the purchase price of Clara - and I have calculated the costs of the Fords at 15,000 miles per year
(as I have done nearly 30,000 miles in Clara in my 26 month love affair with her).
In order to try to make sense of this data I have summed it up as follows:
From this it can be seen that the total cost of Clara - purchase price, repair and running costs - is less than half of that of even a basic Ford and less than a fifth of that of a Mercedes Coupé. What
I have not been able to do of course is to compare the cost of buying a Focus or a Mondeo for £1625 and running that for 26 months - but that wasn't really the point of this post (and I'm pretty sure
that I shouldn't have wanted to drive either of those to Eastern Germany and back - twice!). The point that I am making is that running an older Mercedes Benz is cheaper than even a new Ford and MUCH
cheaper than a new Merc.
The other bonus of running Clara as opposed to any of the others referred to above is that (hopefully) I have increased her value and that as 300CEs become rarer they will rise in value. This is purely a bonus
and not really the point of the exercise for me, though: I just love driving her and trying to bring her back to her former glory.
Farewell to Thilde