before blog — on owning a DS

The costs of owning a DS:

  • Owning a DS costs you strangers telling you “nice wheels”.
  • Owning a DS means you have to put up with driving elegance.

My DS was the only time I got a girlfriend because of the car I owned.

  • No longer owning a DS costs you memories and wishes and furtive glances at bank loan application forms.
  • No longer owning a DS unavoidably means owning something more boring. It’s the only situation when a CX is boring.

I had a 1974 D–Special for a while, and I now awaiting the reconstruction of a 1961 DS19 before I can again wander the backroads with a car of elegance and beauty.

Actually, to be pragmatic for a while, owning a DS—or many other classics—makes financial sense, provided you look after it properly. A new car will lose a lot of its value in its early years of life, whereas a DS might even appreciate in value. It costs more to maintain, but in general—subject to your mileage and buying a good DS in the first place—the differences between the two favour the DS.

Of course, you need to make a good choice when you buy the classic. A new car has predictable maintenance costs. It’s got a guarantee to cover unexpected problems, and it comes with a nice predictable schedule of services. A classic has no such guarantee, and is, of course, far more likely to have problems. That’s why it’s important that you get a well maintained car; you are less likely to face difficulties. But you will have them, and those costs need to be considered. All the same, those costs should, in normal circumstances, be considerably less that the depreciation on a new car.

If you’re British, remember that company car taxes depend on the original list price of the car, not what was paid for it when it was last bought, so, if you can do it, you get a car on which you hardly pay tax and your accountant gets a car that doesn’t depreciate. You are both happy! If I didn’t drive all those miles, I’d use my DS19 as my company car, pay taxes on the original list price of 961 pounds instead of the current equivalent of about 21 grand (well, a Xantia v6 is the equivalent, it’s just so bloody dull to look at), and always take the long route into work!

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