Many years ago – as a cash-strapped student – I set myself the challenge of getting a car for free. You might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about, but trust me, it really is possible…
So how do you drive for free? By buying cars at the end of their modern lives (when they’ve depreciated as much as they’re going to) for very little cash, running and fixing them up for a few years, then selling them for a profit as they began to attain ‘classic’ status.
It was a game that I lost and won in equal measure – though one very special sports car did fund two year’s of college life.
Does it work with new cars?
It’s possible to do a similar thing with new cars too. Pick the right new car, and sell it on before it loses too much value and you should be able to keep your losses to a minimum.
One great new depreciation buster is the Audi A1 supermini – for the first year or two, it’s going to be so highly sought after on the used market that you won’t be left very out of pocket if you buy one and sell it a year later.
If you have more money to invest, you could go for a new Mercedes SLS AMG – it’s the modern equivalent of the legendary 1950s SL 300, and is certain to be a future classic.
Do you drive for free?
I have to admit that I completely lost sight of my own rules when I bought my first ever brand new car a couple of years ago. Even though I secured a hefty discount off the list price, the depreciation it’s suffered has proved eye-watering to say the least. At the ripe old age of three, it’s now worth less than half the amount I paid.
Have you mastered the art of motoring for free? Or have you, like me, also experienced a depreciation duffer? Tell us about your successes and failures on the forecourt below.