Bangernomics good - or am I missing the point? Invest in a Panamera I say.

The train to work costs £18 per day. OK this is a cycling blog, so I should cycle in. Yeah, right; I'm nearly 50 and it is almost 20 miles, including a climb over Crystal Palace. Aint gonna happen. So I decided to try and beat the cost of the train by buying an old banger and running it into the ground. £500 got me a 20 year old car with 120,000 miles up but twelve months MoT. I've added 20,000 to the total over three years, and it has only broken down once. Has it beaten the cost of the train? Well it did prior to petrol being £1.30 a litre. Now 20mpg in winter doesn't seem so clever does it? Excluding any other benefits that a car conveys on me, the train now looks good value.

Now I realise that some of you out there miss the point of bangernomics entirely. Sales reps with their subsidised transport, those for whom image is everything, or employees of car dealerships have absolutely no idea of how much a car actually costs to run. On rare times when they do, they either run next to death part. ex vehicles or something daft like a V10 BMW on the company payroll. Indeed most people have no idea how much a car costs. Add up petrol, servicing, depreciation, road tax, insurance and you'd be surprised. My fuel bill alone is £2,000 per year, and I do less than 6,000 miles. A rep doing 20,000 miles per year would have a shock if they had to pay for everything themselves. They'd soon opt out from their Mondeo and be in an Aygo pdq.

My calculations suggest that fuel is my biggest cost. £2,000 is a fair wedge. So I've been toying with the idea of a fuel efficient car. Diesels I'll not do - lorry fuel that. But - there's always a but - fuel efficiency generally means driving to the car's torque output. Keep the revs down, sips fuel. Unfortunately I have a heavy right foot and a small todger; traffic light grands prix are my forte, so a small car just disappoints me. I used to get less than 30mpg out of our Honda Jazz. Perhaps bangernomics is the wrong way to go? Maybe, just maybe, one should instead look at partially ignoring fuel costs and try and sniff out cars that can be run for, say, a year then sold on at either no loss, or a slight profit? Perhaps a small financial investment, added to learning hard-nosed car salesman tactics, may prove dividends in the long run? Would one, for instance, actually end up better off financially using a slightly used, 1 year old Porsche 911 for a year than some crappy £500 banger off eBay?

I wonder.

Actually I don't. Dear Reader you naturally know that a man who drives a knackered, £500 banger is not suddenly going to pop out and buy a £65k Porsche. I am of course talking rubbish. However, Dear Porsche Press Fleet Department do not let this put you off contacting me for that Panamera, independent, on-line motoring review. [Hint: I'd not say bad things about it, honest....]

By the way my car is ancient. It gets serviced at twice the recommended interval, and in-between I treat it like crap. Yet the engine on it, my trusty Volvo 360, burns no oil. Indeed the oil when I do check it is immaculate and looks new. In comparison we could service the Jazz, a car we bought new, and the oil would look like treacle within a week. The Jazz did the job, but it was boring to drive and had awful electric steering. The engine never sounded right; OK mechanically just not a pleasant noise. Other people who drive the Volvo tend to be gone hours, and the car comes back steaming and ticking. One neighbour claimed he'd gotten lost, but his kids gave the game away by telling me he was driving fast down hills.

So Dear Reader, do not fret; I'm not about to transfer my meagre disposeable income away from lovely mountain bikes and on to shonky cars. Rest assured that where cars are concerned my inherant meanness will remain, and long may it.