Six times around the world.

I’ve always driven a lot for work resulting in high annual mileage.  In the days when company cars were still a perk I didn’t really give much thought to mileage.  When I switched to privately owning cars through a company car allowance that started to change.  I had a couple of Volvo V70’s, one of which got to the moon (239,000 miles) before I sold it on.  Yesterday, the 2008 Ford Focus tdci that I’m currently driving hit 150,000 – that’s six times around the world.

That got me thinking about what is high mileage for a modern car?  It used to be that cars were scrap at 100k.  Sure it’s down to how the car is treated and servicing, but what should the new ‘normal’ be?

Have we got to the point with new vehicles that it might be age rather than mileage that we are more concerned about?  Is it now more likely that failure of the electronic systems will be the end rather than catastrophic engine failure?

From a Tinkerer’s point of view, is it going to become impossible to fix anything if it requires expensive software to code it to the car?  Are we going to see cars having to be scrapped because the touch screen stopped working or there’s an issue with the wiring loom which requires virtually the whole car to be taken apart to fix the issue?

Have we already passed ‘peak’ vehicle?  The point of balance between the technological improvements to drivability and economy, versus the complexity of increased electronical systems.  My feeling is probably yes, and I’d say the peak was somewhere around the late 00’s.  I’d like to look back in 15 years time and be proved wrong, but I took a look under the bonnet of a 2018 Range Rover Sport the other day and it filled me with dread.  No access space around anything.  No dipstick as there’s a warning symbol for that on the fully digital dash.

As a Tinkerer this fills me with dread......

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