I Think It Is Time To Move On…


There is nothing worse than having to admit you may have made the wrong choice on something. No one likes to put their hands up and say “I made a mistake, I am sorry” – maybe that is what is wrong with out Country at the moment – we all have too much pride and we will always try and fob off the error to someone else. In this particular situation, however, I can blame no other person than myself. I, James R. Ford, definitely bought the wrong car.

I have owned my S class for little over 8 months now, and as much as I love almost everything about it, I feel it is time to admit I made have made a mistake in purchasing it in the first place. Emotion always plays a huge part in my car purchasing, I have only ever bought one car with my brain and I still regret selling it. (It was a 2009 ex-demonstrator BMW 118d Sport for those who are interested!) I am just not one for sensible buying, if I was to ever write a book on money management it would be titled something along the lines of “Buy Everything Now, You Could Be Dead Tomorrow (Who Needs Financial Security When You Can Have Really Nice Watches)”. When I was younger, single and working from home this didn’t matter as there was always a Plan B. Unfortunately I am now older, very much taken and racking up nearly 20,000 business miles a year. I think it’s time for me to bite the bullet, write up the For Sale advert and move on.

On paper, the Mercedes has been a fairly hassle free car. It was bought with a fresh MOT, fresh tyres and a service but like all these wonderful barges, there is no such thing as a bargain S class. Fuel is around £250-£400 per month, insurance is bearable, but if I actually acted my age and bought something with less than 6 cyliders, I could be saving a huge amount. The biggest gripe for me though is the road tax – £50 a month! Now in the grand scheme of things it isn’t a massive expense, it is half a tank of Super Unleaded fuel, but it’s the principle of it all. My better half has a lovely new Fiat 500 and it costs just £30 per year yet we both drive on the same pot-hole filled roads and we’re stuck behind the same slow tractors and buses… I feel it’s my turn to take advantage of these newer, lower emission cars so I can actually start to plan my future with my what will one day hopefully be “old ball and chain”. Don’t worry too much though, I am definitely not going to give up all my habits and walk into a Hyundai dealer with my wallet open, or even worse, put some hard earned cash down on a Prius. Whatever replaces this majestic cruise liner of a car needs to be special in its own right. Or at least be fun.

Thankfully I already had something in mind. Something I have owned before and very much enjoyed (until it blew up and ruined my bank balance) but fortunately they have come on in leaps and bounds since I had mine. The car in question is, of course, the fantastic Mini Cooper S. Now I know these cars are a bit of a “Marmite” car and no, I’m not going to quite my job to cut hair or sell new houses, but I love them. I’ve loved them since the original R53 was released back in 2002. I was at the British Motor Show when I was 16 poking my nose around them back then and I loved 99% of the time I owned my R53 Cooper S. So with this in mind, my hunt begins for “the one” – the only problem with this is I don’t actually know which one I want yet. I loved my hatch so a lot of me is aiming towards a new Cooper S hatch, but at the same time, I’m a bit of a sucker for a wagon and the lower road tax is very tempting with a nearly new Clubman Cooper SD… I think I’m going to have a look at a few and also look at just how much money I have lost in the S class and go on from there.

It’s time for me to do what I do best, spend hours in my comfy clothes and silly blue glasses looking through Autotrader, PistonHeads and Mini’s approved used site for what could potentially be my next car. In the mean time, if anyone is after a beautiful bright silver Mercedes S class with all the bells and whistles, I may have just what you’re looking for!

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James Ford is a UK-based automotive journalist and enthusiast who has been working with and writing about cars for many years. James recently won the 2019 UK Blog Awards for Automotive Writing. With a focus on luxury, prestige and supercars as well as a keen eye on classics, James reaches tens of thousands of four-wheel fans through his mix of social photography, videos and longer-form journalism. Over the years, James has tested and written about many brands like Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, Tesla, Mercedes Benz to name a few.


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