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Cars Really Are Good Value

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Cars Really Are Good Value

Geoff Maxted
August 28, 2013

Best Buy
Everybody loves statistics. This must be true because there are so many of them. The government especially love statistics because they allow them to tell us how lucky we all are when the evidence points to the absolute bleeding opposite. So; statistics can be made to mean what you want them to mean. That’s a given.

Accordingly, the Office of National Statistics - which is a place where people who really seriously like lists work - has expressed the view that that the cost of buying a car hasn’t risen by as much as you would expect. What is really annoying is that for once it is true.

Compared to almost everything else, cars are good value. When you consider how much extra a buyer gets for their money compared to cars from twenty years ago, it becomes a pretty fair deal. Technology has helped, as has globalisation (although debatably not in itself a good thing). Drop in a large dollop of very clever marketing and cars remain as popular and desirable as ever.

Of course, these statistics don’t take into account all the ancillary costs involved in running a motor. Drivers have become inured to bending over and touching their toes whilst petrol and insurance companies explore the inner recesses of their wallets. The cost of cars is apparently below the average rise in inflation but the cost of the additional and essential extras are most certainly not.

The guide to inflation is a made-up device called the National shopping basket. It is supposed to be an indicator of the state of the economic nation and contains a cross-section of the things that we buy. Usually it doesn’t bear much relation to what we actually buy (especially when so many in this country are in receipt of food aid) but it is a guide. Things, it says, are slowly improving; so why doesn’t it feel like it? At least you know that the next time you buy fuel or pay your car insurance or buy a service you will know that the horrendous prices that you are paying are not the fault of the car makers. The villains are called economics and statistics.

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