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When is a Vel Satis not suitable?

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10:03
November 5, 2013


dboyce

Gourock, Scotland

Member

posts 148

1
0

raymanccc thank you for posting links in another thread to Vel Satis for sale.

 

As I explained in some of my previous one hundred and forty-four posts to the Forum, a Vel Satis is no longer really suitable for me because my circumstances have changed. 

 

When I had the VS, I was in full-time employment as a lecturer, working mostly in one location.  I could get to work without a car if it happened to be off the road for repair, and I had the salary to pay for repairs.

 

Now, I am self-employed, in work that involves driving to clients.  If the car is off the road, I can't work, unless I hire a car.  And my income is nowhere near what it was. And my milage is much greater, necessitating better fuel economy. 

 

I did think about another VS when mine died, as I explained in previous posts, where I described having seen a 3.5 with LPG conversion for sale.   But the nearest LPG filling station to me is some 15 miles away.

 

And in the end, these are cars which, while wonderful, are all a decade old now, and becoming more scarce and less reliable.

 

So I hope you can see that my choice to buy an Avensis was a reasonable one. It was utterly reliable and I had not a moment's anxiety with it - until those final moments!

 

What do others feel regarding whom the VS suits?  It's certainly not the right car for all circumstances.  But when the circumstances are right, it's so good!

11:28
November 5, 2013


lexi

Guest

2
0

   I think with many cars of it's age and quirkyness it may not be the best daily driver.

 It is the same with an older Citreon and or any other classic type.

 I see them as a classic car.  It is horses for courses.  Mine only does 4k per annum. My wife uses Honda's as she sees my car choices as playthings,  where as she needs a reliable tool.

   Did you get another Avensis?

   

20:43
November 5, 2013


dboyce

Gourock, Scotland

Member

posts 148

3
0

That makes sense lexi.  And as time goes on, the VS will more and more become quirky classic cars I guess, rather than daily workhorses. But what style, what comfort!

 

I didn't get another anything, yet!  Whenever the insurance finally pays out, I am getting a VW Passat 1.9 Diesel estate from a local dealer. I would happily have bought another Avensis.

21:23
November 5, 2013


tonyrome

Guest

4
0

dboyce said:

Whenever the insurance finally pays out, I am getting a VW Passat 1.9 Diesel estate from a local dealer.

A Passat? Cry Surely there's something a little more characterful out there you could buy, rather than that? As Clarkson might say, that's a car for those who have given up on life and are waiting to die. Laugh

I don't think the age of the car is the most important thing anymore. There was a time when cars which had reached 60,000 miles were ready for the scrapheap. Today, especially with the higher-priced executive or luxury cars, if they've been properly looked after, there's no reason why they can't be reliable and usable every day well beyond 10 years. The problems are mostly caused by owners skimping on repairs and maintenance.

As for the fuel economy issue, I'm surprised how much this is mentioned as a factor. How much did you pay for the Avensis? How much is the Passat diesel? Deduct £1K from those prices, to cover the cost of buying a Vel Satis, then, with the remaining money, calculate how many litres of fuel you could buy.

As I mentioned elsewhere on the forum, I did the calculations, including the cost of fuel for 12K miles per year, insurance, VED, servicing and depreciation, compared to my previous car and found I could pay for 15 years of running a Vel Satis 3.5 V6 before my costs began to exceed those of what was a very efficient, modern diesel car. And that was based on German diesel prices (20 cents a litre cheaper than petrol) plus on a secondhand car, which had already suffered massive depreciation before I bought it. The calculations, based on the purchase of the same car new would mean 30+ years of running costs for the Vel Satis!

22:12
November 5, 2013


lexi

Guest

5
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 This is true Tony………..purchase cost.  A fishing buddy who was going onto his second C5 new, told me he could not put up with my 31mpg.

   He was getting 56mpg.  In the time I have had the Vel he has lost £8k on his first C5……..then put another £14k to get his new one, all  for that 56mpg.  What he loses in a week with depreciation on that new one will wipe out his gained fuel costs easily…….and more.  He is also retired and has no tax benefit from the car.

   I wouldn't mind some of the cars Clarkson slags………it is all relative really. When was the last time he spannered a car or had to save up for one Laugh

  

17:11
November 7, 2013


dboyce

Gourock, Scotland

Member

posts 148

6
0

Those are interesting points about fuel consumption versus losses through depreciation on a newer car.  I't a most valid point, which I guess some overlook.

Since the point has been made that ten years old needn't be a cut-off point these days, though, how about comparing the VS with another car of similar age.  If you only have the one car, and you need it for work, reliability has got to be taken into account.  How does a 2003 VS compare with a 2003 Avensis in that regard?  I never got to the bottom of – and I don't think anyone here with the same phenomenon definitively did – the "faulty fuel injection" message and going into limp-home mode.

And what about the cost of timing belt replacement on the VS?  A main dealer will want £1200 for that job on a VS.  Even my own local motor engineer, who is very good and doesn't overcharge, had to charge me £550 for that job due to the number of hours it takes.

14:16
November 12, 2013


tonyrome

Guest

7
0

dboyce said:

How does a 2003 VS compare with a 2003 Avensis in that regard?

I don't know about anyone else's car but I've completed over 4,000 miles in two months in my Vel Satis and it runs perfectly. There are no reliability issues whatsover. The 3.5 V6 has a Nissan engine, of course…

A Toyota Avensis may be a good choice, if reliability is more important than anything else but they are incredibly boring, both inside & out and I think life is a bit short to sit amongst all that horrible black plastic. In addition, the cost of running one is not necessarily so low because of other factors, eg. parts costs and insurance are often higher.

As for VW, they rarely perform better than average, when it comes to reliability surverys and, in addition, you get a very poor specification for your money. Better to either buy Japanese/Korean or, if you want a VW group car, a Skoda, which is just as well built, cheaper, better specified and, by all accounts, with more helpful dealers.

And what about the cost of timing belt replacement on the VS?  A main dealer will want £1200 for that job on a VS.  Even my own local motor engineer, who is very good and doesn't overcharge, had to charge me £550 for that job due to the number of hours it takes.

Another reason why the 3.5 V6 petrol should be the model of choice, since it doesn't have a timing belt…

14:34
November 12, 2013


tonyrome

Guest

8
0

Post edited 20:44 – November 13, 2013 by tonyrome


lexi said:

…He was getting 56mpg.  In the time I have had the Vel, he has lost £8k on his first C5…

Precisely. I lost thousands each year in depreciation on my C6 and Laguna Coupe, despite buying them secondhand, to avoid the massive initial hit of depreciation. The Coupe was very reliable but the C6 wasn't and the parts costs were ridiculous. For example, I had a problem with a Xenon headlamp and found that they were unique to that model. The new price was 1500 EUR and, at the time, there was not a single C6 which had been broken for spares…

Compare that to my recent purchase of four 18" Villa d'Este alloys, complete with tyres, four tyre pressure sensors and four rear parking sensors for the Vel Satis, all for the princely sum of £200, including delivery! Fuel economy 15mpg lower? Who cares? Laugh

It's a pity that the Celsiums alloys, from Laguna III and Coupe didn't fit, though, as I think they would have looked excellent. Here's a quick shot of a wheel 'on' the Vel Satis – unfortunately, the PCD was wrong.

Celsium Alloys on Vel Satis

14:01
November 20, 2013


raymanccc

Guest

9
0

Hi dboyce,

The arithmetic in all the posts in this thread seems to support the argument for your owning a well-maintained VS rather than a newer Avensis. And as tonyrome says, who would ever want to sit in an Avensis or the like, if you could travel in a VS?

Your own arguments for not owning a VS do not stand up unless you owned an over- problematic and therefore overly expensive-to-maintain VS – which you may well have done. Mine has been completely reliable so far and has cost me nothing other than fuel to run – long may it stay thus!

You also seem to be in agreement with the sound financial arguments put forward by lexi and tonyrome, yet you seem disinclined to invest in another VS – even though there must be many out there that are in a well-maintained condition – and even if they needed some investment, would still be cheaper than a Passat.

Given that we 3 respondents all run fine Vels that we cherish, wouldn't readily choose any other vehicle and that you will shortly have some cash to spend, for what reason wouldn't you get another Vel Satis?

It would seem disingenuous to continuously laud the virtues of the VS, agree with the financial arguments of tonyrome and lexi, imminently have the cash to spend and still not buy yourself a VS. 

Would you not agree?

 

dboyce said:

raymanccc thank you for posting links in another thread to Vel Satis for sale.

 

As I explained in some of my previous one hundred and forty-four posts to the Forum, a Vel Satis is no longer really suitable for me because my circumstances have changed. 

 

When I had the VS, I was in full-time employment as a lecturer, working mostly in one location.  I could get to work without a car if it happened to be off the road for repair, and I had the salary to pay for repairs.

 

Now, I am self-employed, in work that involves driving to clients.  If the car is off the road, I can't work, unless I hire a car.  And my income is nowhere near what it was. And my milage is much greater, necessitating better fuel economy. 

 

I did think about another VS when mine died, as I explained in previous posts, where I described having seen a 3.5 with LPG conversion for sale.   But the nearest LPG filling station to me is some 15 miles away.

 

And in the end, these are cars which, while wonderful, are all a decade old now, and becoming more scarce and less reliable.

 

So I hope you can see that my choice to buy an Avensis was a reasonable one. It was utterly reliable and I had not a moment's anxiety with it - until those final moments!

 

What do others feel regarding whom the VS suits?  It's certainly not the right car for all circumstances.  But when the circumstances are right, it's so good!

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