A Class -Costs Over Four Years

hawk20

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A class- Costs over 4 Years
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Those interested in both running a new car and in having pretty low running costs, may be interested in figures derived from my brother’s A160cdi Classic SE 3 door manual. I have converted all costs to today’s prices including fuel.

In 40,000 miles he has had three services done by the MB dealer. The first two cost an average of £230 (the second one included the two year brake fluid change – for around £45). The third one at 36k miles was a bigger one as nearing four years old and cost £360 and included new wiper blades front and rear and new key batteries. The car was washed and valeted, and the dealer provides free collection and delivery or a loan car.

The car has had two MOT tests –the first at three years was free. The second one at four years, with a 25% discount, cost £39.80p. No problems.

My brother did 30k miles on the original set of Michelin tyres. A new set cost £59 each from Micheldever or 0.79 pence per mile. He is still on the original pads and discs and the mechanic says there is still plenty left.

VED today for CO2 emissions of only128 gms/km is £120 p.a. or 1.2 pence per mile (and will drop to £90 in 2012).

Fuel (diesel at today’s price of 101.9p per mile) is a big item despite the govt combined fuel economy figure being 57.6 mpg. In fact my brother has averaged a remarkable figure of just over 60 mpg but at today’s prices that is still 7.73p pence per mile.

So total running costs for 40,000 miles over 4 years at current prices are: -
Tyres:- (4 @ £59) = £236
Services:- (2 @£230 and 1 at £360) = £820
MOT’s:- one free and one at £40
Insurance:- (4yrs @ £260) = £1040
VED: - (4yrs ‘ £120) = £480
Fuel: - (667 gals @ £4.64p/gallon) = £3,091

Allowing for the fact that tyres need changing every 30k miles and that the servicing bills are for 36k miles, so taking pro rata costs per mile, and converting to pence per mile for 10k miles p.a. we get: -

Tyres = 0.79p
Services= 2.28p
And MOTs = 0.1 from new (but 0.4p per year from now on).
Insurance = 2.60
VED = 1.15p
Fuel = 9.55p
Total Running costs = 16.47p per mile.

DEPRECIATION: - New list price is around £15k but DrivetheDeal and some dealers will do it for £13,811. Let’s take £14k. After 4 years and 40,000 miles, my brother has just been offered a bit over £5,000 as a part ex price (Glass’s Guide gives £4950 in excellent condition). So depreciation totals about £9k in four years or £2,250 per annum. The residuals are pretty good by today’s standards, if you buy diesel and stay away from the toy cupboard.

My brother has decided to keep the car another year or two as it has been fault free so far. But, if he did part-ex now, the depreciation at around £2,250 per year would, on his lowish mileage of 10k per annum, be equal to 22.25p per mile –easily the biggest of all costs, as is normal when buying new cars.

Total costs including depreciation work out at 39p pence per mile. Pretty good for anyone buying new and keeping for three years and doing only 10k miles per year. Here are the bits: -

Tyres = 0.79p
Services= 2.28p
And MOTs = 0.1 from new (but 0.4p per year from now on).
Insurance = 2.60
VED = 1.15p
Fuel = 9.55p
TOTAL RUNNING COSTS = 16.47p per mile.
DEPRECIATION = 22.25p per mile
TOTAL COST PER MILE = 39p

(Excluding cost of capital/financing etc.)
 

mastereng

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Hi there - a few questions on your very detailed summary, if I may..

Is the car on variable service intervals (the old Assyst) or the fixed time intervals as per the current Assyst?
To achieve 30K miles from the tyres, did your brother swap front to rear at some point as with FWD the front wears significantly quicker than the rear and if so, at what mileage?
My A Class had its first service "A" in January this year at one year old. The service indicator now says the next service due is "C". Is this correct, and if so, what happened to "B"?

I think your brother's 60 mpg indicates he is a very steady driver as does the lack of replacement brake pads or discs (I have seen on more than one posting that 24K miles is a common point for replacing these items on an A Class). I can only get 60 mpg from my A180 "on a run" not exceeeding 60 mph and with combined city/motorway driving I am in the 45 to 50 range.

thanks in advance
 
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hawk20

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Hi there - a few questions on your very detailed summary, if I may..

Is the car on variable service intervals (the old Assyst) or the fixed time intervals as per the current Assyst?
To achieve 30K miles from the tyres, did your brother swap front to rear at some point as with FWD the front wears significantly quicker than the rear and if so, at what mileage?
My A Class had its first service "A" in January this year at one year old. The service indicator now says the next service due is "C". Is this correct, and if so, what happened to "B"?

I think your brother's 60 mpg indicates he is a very steady driver as does the lack of replacement brake pads or discs (I have seen on more than one posting that 24K miles is a common point for replacing these items on an A Class). I can only get 60 mpg from my A180 "on a run" not exceeeding 60 mph and with combined city/motorway driving I am in the 45 to 50 range.

thanks in advance

Yes. He is on variable service intervals. IIRC the fixed intervals came around summer 2006?

Your 'C service' sign does not matter. Nowadays they let the diagnostics tell them what to do; it prints out an ESS or electronic service sheet. Mine said C for a while and then switched to B.

He did chnage tyres round. Can't remember when. About half way?

He has the A160cdi manual which does amazing mpg. Mt daughter has the A180cdi and on a run they can top 50/52 mpg. But you need to be gentle on acceleration to get that.

My A180cdi auto often managed 45 plus on a run. And 50 once or twice.
 
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hawk20

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Can anyone answer this for me?

Brakes need an oil change at 4 years approx. They say nearest service to that. But brother's car was serviced a few months before the fourth year so it was not done then. My brother only does 9-10k miles per annum and gets up to 15k miles between services on variable ASSYST with Mobil 1. So the car will be not far short of 6 years old before it needs the next service. Can the brake oil go that long?

Does anyone go in just to change the brake oil at 4 years? One of the problems with not having fixed interval servicing on the older cars, I guess.
 

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I believe that this is something that you had to ask for.

My SL had a service at MB SW at 5 years old and they did not offer to change it. 2 years is said to be the normal replacement time
 
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hawk20

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I believe that this is something that you had to ask for.

My SL had a service at MB SW at 5 years old and they did not offer to change it. 2 years is said to be the normal replacement time

Thanks. It was done at 2 years. I just assumed it would be logical to do it at four years as well. Perhaps not.
 

Alex M Grieve

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Thanks. It was done at 2 years. I just assumed it would be logical to do it at four years as well. Perhaps not.

My inference from Malcom's comment is that brake fluid change (and coolant renewal) should be done every 2 years (good practice), but these should be requested (if they are not suggested by the garage), as they are not specified in the service schedule. :confused:
 

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DEPRECIATION: - New list price is around £15k but DrivetheDeal and some dealers will do it for £13,811. Let’s take £14k. After 4 years and 40,000 miles, my brother has just been offered a bit over £5,000 as a part ex price (Glass’s Guide gives £4950 in excellent condition). So depreciation totals about £9k in four years or £2,250 per annum. The residuals are pretty good by today’s standards, if you buy diesel and stay away from the toy cupboard.
After the precision of your other figures, the depreciation calculations are a bit dodgy. It's normal practice to calculate from list price, and taking the p/x price at the other end could artificially inflate the vehicle's value.

My brother has decided to keep the car another year or two as it has been fault free so far. But, if he did part-ex now, the depreciation at around £2,250 per year would, on his lowish mileage of 10k per annum, be equal to 22.25p per mile –easily the biggest of all costs, as is normal when buying new cars.
Keeping the car for another couple of years should hopefully level out the depreciation curve - we tend to keep our cars for 5 years and I have often wondered about this, though. A five year old A Class might have a pretty limited market.

It also occurs to me that against the 3year depreciation figure, if he's happy with such a basic car and is reasonably sure he'll be doing a relatively low mileage, then using personal leasing could well work out cheaper.


Does anyone go in just to change the brake oil at 4 years? One of the problems with not having fixed interval servicing on the older cars, I guess.
Mine was done for the first time with MOT at 3yrs so if your brother uses an MB dealer for MOT's then he could do the same. Some people get very excited about regular brake fluid changes, other people apparently don't change it for the life of the car. I get it changed on all our cars at the specified interval if only from a backside covering point of view.
 
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My inference from Malcom's comment is that brake fluid change (and coolant renewal) should be done every 2 years (good practice), but these should be requested (if they are not suggested by the garage), as they are not specified in the service schedule. :confused:
I'm fairly sure it is listed in the service booklet that the brake fluid should be changed at 2 yr intervals and the dealers definitely remind you!
 
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hawk20

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My inference from Malcom's comment is that brake fluid change (and coolant renewal) should be done every 2 years (good practice), but these should be requested (if they are not suggested by the garage), as they are not specified in the service schedule. :confused:


OK thanks.
 
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hawk20

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I'm fairly sure it is listed in the service booklet that the brake fluid should be changed at 2 yr intervals and the dealers definitely remind you!

Yes but the next nearest service to be reminded at will not occur for another 18 months or so. His last service was before it is needed. His next service 18 months after that. Odd one.
 
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hawk20

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After the precision of your other figures, the depreciation calculations are a bit dodgy. It's normal practice to calculate from list price, and taking the p/x price at the other end could artificially inflate the vehicle's value.


Keeping the car for another couple of years should hopefully level out the depreciation curve - we tend to keep our cars for 5 years and I have often wondered about this, though. A five year old A Class might have a pretty limited market.

It also occurs to me that against the 3year depreciation figure, if he's happy with such a basic car and is reasonably sure he'll be doing a relatively low mileage, then using personal leasing could well work out cheaper.



Mine was done for the first time with MOT at 3yrs so if your brother uses an MB dealer for MOT's then he could do the same. Some people get very excited about regular brake fluid changes, other people apparently don't change it for the life of the car. I get it changed on all our cars at the specified interval if only from a backside covering point of view.

In my view it only makes sense to calculate depreciation from what you actually need to pay for a car. List price nowadays seems to be just the starting point for haggling!

I agree that for some who like to change 3 yearly a PCP can be beneficial if the good deals are around when you are in buying mode. In his case they weren't around but he is considering at the moment as the deals now are pretty good.

But normally he likes to keep his cars for a long period and then owning is often better.

Your idea of getting the brake oil done every two years when the MOT is done makes good sense. Solves the date problem.

BTW older A's get good prices for their age according to Glass's Guide and two dealers we've talked to. Depreciation from now on is quite modest. And I expect the new model A to get better prices as most think it a marked improvement on the earlier model. Good on JD Power and all of those in our family have been fault free.
 
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Alex M Grieve

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I'm fairly sure it is listed in the service booklet that the brake fluid should be changed at 2 yr intervals and the dealers definitely remind you!

Correct BC - it is noted for attention every 2 years as an "additional item" at both a A service and a B service - just thought I would lob my comment in to test responses! :rolleyes:
 

Rory

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I'm fairly sure it is listed in the service booklet that the brake fluid should be changed at 2 yr intervals and the dealers definitely remind you!

That's correct, but with the old variable Assyst the time intervals get messed up.

My car had its first service at about 18mths old, then went 2yrs until its next one. In between times, at 3yrs, it had to be MOT'd so I asked the dealer to do the bf change at the same time - that's really a year late, but the dealer told me it didn't matter. Some cars (Honda for example) are on 3yr change intervals anyway.

Same thing will happen at this years MOT, when the car is 5yrs old, but the car won't be due a service (unless my mileage increases dramatically) until 6mths later.
 

Alex M Grieve

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That's correct, but with the old variable Assyst the time intervals get messed up.
that's really a year late, but the dealer told me it didn't matter. Some cars (Honda for example) are on 3yr change intervals anyway.

Hi Rory.

I think this is a "good to do", rather than an essential and I'm fairly sure a car will not grind to a halt (or worse still, fail to halt) if this has not been done at the 2 year point. With ASSYST, it is on the "additional items" list for each service. If it is time to do it, it should be done, but if not, it won't. So for a high mileage driver there will be more opportunities to apply this test, and for a low mileage driver it will be less of an issue anyway.

So I think the dealer is correct - as evidenced by different manufacturers recommending different frequencies.

The fact you do it at all is probably enough in itself.
 

mastereng

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My A Class is on the fixed period Assyst Plus which means a service every 12 months or 15K miles, whichever comes first. Having just checked the service handbook, it clearly specifies brake fluid should be changed every 2 years. As I guess most of you know, brake fluid is (well always used to be!) hygroscopic so that over a period of time it can absorb water; hence the requirement for periodic change. Most manufacturers recommend a 2 year interval.
 
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