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Car Needs vs Wants (My CRAZY Experiment)

I love my cars.

Well, that is actually a huge understatement. I am obsessed by anything with wheels. But this is hardly much of a revelation.


Lately, I been spending a little time wondering how much of car ownership is ‘wants’ and how much is ‘needs’. Not just for me, but for all of us. And more importantly, how much do the wants of car ownership cost compared to the needs?

Could we all get by with buying much cheaper cars and save ourselves a bucket of cash?


My ‘wants’ cause me to currently run 4 cars (Audi S6, 1964 Ford Mustang, Westfield FW400, Peugeot 405 estate). However, when I break it down and look solely at my ‘needs’, pretty much any car will suit my lifestyle.

I don’t have kids so I don’t need anything as big as my Audi. I don’t cover huge distances, so it doesn’t have to be overly comfortable. And I don’t ‘need’ to show off in the Mustang or the Westfield (although I REALLY love to!).

In fact, I even suspect a 1992 Nissan Micra would do for my ‘needs’…


For one month, I am going to see whether I can get by with just my ‘needs’ – and more importantly to see what my ‘needs’ actually cost compared to the sky-high expense of my ‘wants’.

Yes, starting tomorrow morning, Ashley Winston will spend 31 DAYS driving a Nissan Micra.

1992 Nissan Micra

I have already bought a 1992 Nissan Micra with dents all over it and no MOT for £110. I managed to put a new MOT on it for £40. And 6 months road tax cost £115. Add that all together and it is still less than an annual service on my Mustang.

I have given my Audi and Peugeot away for a month and will not drive the Mustang or Westfield at all. The one concession is that I will be allowed to drive clients’ cars as and when needed in the course of business (otherwise at the end of the month I may not have a business left!).

I will be regularly updating my progress on Twitter –

I am NOT looking forward to this!

Yours unhappily (too grumpy for my usual comedic sign-off),

Ashley Winston
(Founder & Owner)

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!