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I urge fellow motorists to consider buying older cars, such as my 1996 BMW 328i.

I always read with interest the letters you publish, yet find myself exasperated by the cost of even modest modern motors. It is many years since I purchased a new car (a 1996 Volvo T5 estate) since when I have ferreted around the used car market. My purchases have included Range Rovers, Jensen Healeys and TVRs. I now own a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300TE and a 1996 BMW 328i convertible. I accept a few rattles and repair bills but travel first class rather than economy, with minimal depreciation. 30mpg may not be exceptional, but it seems as if manufacturers' claims are pretty unrealistic so I am happy with what I get. I can only urge fellow motorists to look at the bargains out there, to find a reliable independent garage and to enjoy real motoring on a budget - it is seriously good fun and cheap at the price.

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It's down to the kind of motoring you do. If you are retired with time to spare and your motoring is largely "unessential" then no problem running an older car that occasionally breaks down or needs work. But if every minute counts you can't afford that. Reliability and lack of downtime are paramount. I often think of buying an old car to muck about with. Then I realise I simply don't have the time and remember the horrors of the unreliability of old cars in the past. So they're not for me.
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