Guilty as charged

Autocar - - INSIGHT -

Should the govern­ment be al­lowed to med­dle in the au­to­mo­tive arena? They en­cour­aged us to buy ex­pen­sive diesels, then en­sured greater de­pre­ci­a­tion by diss­ing them a few years later.

Now they are about to make us go all-elec­tric. There’s a prob­lem here for the car mak­ers: much of their le­gacy in­vest­ment in tra­di­tional cars will be lost while R&D costs es­ca­late dur­ing the changeover.

The ef­fect for us con­sumers is that elec­tric cars will con­tinue to be ex­pen­sive while the mak­ers re­coup their costs but then, as the tech­nol­ogy ma­tures, prices will fall. So if you are forced to buy in the early years of that tran­si­tion, you could later see new cars cost­ing less than a rea­son­able trade-in price of your old one. Hor­ren­dous de­pre­ci­a­tion looms for early adopters.

There’s a pos­i­tive side, though. Gas-guz­zlers will all be­come clas­sics overnight. Noth­ing like them will be made again. Time to pick your per­fect car for life – spend ex­trav­a­gantly as there will be no de­pre­ci­a­tion. Pa­trick Lit­tle­hales West Sus­sex

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