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Modern Cars

As many of you know I’m on the lookout for a new car. My existing car, a Volvo, is just too small and too nanny state. It nags me all the time and I’m just fed up with it. Nice car to drive but a nightmare otherwise. I’ve just bought a van for my prepping, transport and stealth camping and that seems fine. No nagging. My new car has to be adaptable because I may want to use it for bugging out but as a minimum it need to tow my trailer, keep 5 of us stowed away as well as a small amount of get home gear.

Looking around at what is available has caused me concern. I see cars that are unable to be serviced or maintained by the ordinary person. Forcing them to go to dealers to have their car serviced just to switch off service lights and fix even the simplest part. When I was a lad a petrol filter was a tube with a metal gauze in it which you cleaned in petrol. Now it is a £45 box with sensors that must be replaced or the engine management system limits performance and makes the car unusable and dangerous. Mine tried to kill me a few months ago because the system decided the brakes needed servicing and limited my performance whilst I was overtaking a line of cars on a busy road.

It’s not totally the manufacturers fault, they have seen a way to increase profits and grabbed it. The government has its heavy hand in there as they do with everything else that is screwed up in this country. They see a chance to squeeze even more money from the public by forcing them to buy newer cars and by making it very expensive to maintain older cars on the road. The MOT is a perfect tool for doing this as instead of being there to make sure vehicles are safe on the road, as it was intended, it is the tool used to force you to replace or repair a perfectly good vehicle because it doesn’t meet their new updated legal standard. Such as the engine management light is on for any reason or you don’t meet the global warming scan emission levels. It is classed as a safety issue. Perfectly good cars are scrapped every day because they failed an MOT. How environmentally friendly is that?

So what does that mean to us. Well, it means that the pool of vehicles that we are interested in is rapidly diminishing. Soon the bottom will fall out of the second hand car market when people realise that buying a standard five year old car means that you will be unlikely to be able to use it for long or even sell it on because wear and tear or parts you don’t really need means you will need to replace, at significant cost, so much it isn’t worth it. Disposable cars, the manufacturers dream is almost here, soon there won’t be a car older than 10 years old and the public will be forced onto buses and trains. The state at work.

We are looking for vehicles that we can maintain after an event and can convert to biofuels such as vegetable oil. Strict emission standards defined to meet our global warming targets make our engines to specific tolerances that can only be used by highly processed fuels. Vegetable oil is not one of those fuels. In many cases biofuels don’t make the grade either but 5% of most modern diesel is biofuels. This causes issues for some modern engines but at 5% it is hardly noticeable. However, after an event when the percentages are much higher on many cars it will be. Just have a look at how many modern cars have warnings about using biofuels in the literature.

Personally I don’t see a vehicle being a necessity after an event. It will be a luxury and a force multiplier in our preps during the early days of an event. It will enable us to bug out, move people and our stores around and help us when we are out scavenging. After a few months it will be of limited use but still a handy tool if we can maintain and fuel it.

Fuel, although it will be an issue, will be one we can easily overcome with vegetables oil and biofuels. We could even convert some of our vehicles to steam. We will need to disable the engine management systems and remove all the useless bits of kit installed in the worship of the global warming scam such as the catalytic convertors and make basic engines again. Ones we can maintain and keep going.

This now gives us two ways to go. Get a car with minimum modifications and keep it maintained and on the road or we get a car with no intention to keep on the road. Just for an event. While you think about the expense it probably won’t even be your most expensive prep.

First however we should get ourselves a vehicle that has the minimum of ‘enhancements’ in it now. This will make it easier to modify and maintain. Modify what you can to ensure it can pass the MOT and get some parts to replace any required after an event. If you are buying some to keep off road then you can SORN it, another stealth tax, or scrap it and remove it from the government radar, after all we won’t be able to use it on the road ever again. You can then remove all the nanny state parts, rebuild it and convert it to be our ideal after an event machine.

For those that don’t have the funds or the room for two vehicles then you will need to find a nice solid vehicle now, make sure it will pass its MOT and keep it that way, until they change the law to make sure it fails, then you can keep it as your off road vehicle, either SORNing or scrapping, and then buy another to replace it.

Looking around though. Most of the cars in the UK are nanny state now, with more and more having ‘enhancements’ put on to meet agreed standards on the environment and health and safety. So it looks like cheap foreign cars may be the way to go. After all most countries not in the West aim away from their own foot.

Personally, I’m still struggling. I have my van and that will be my long term vehicle but stealthy it isn’t and it won’t fit in some places. Ideally, I am looking for a diesel estate with a towbar. Can’t find anything I like though so I will keep looking. You should to.

10 comments to Modern Cars

  • iaaems

    Potentially this is a huge subject and one that I have been pondering for quite a while. But I have to take the family into account and this tends to narrow things down a bit certainly with regard to current times and conditions.
    Concentrating things to an ‘event’ scenario I would go for a 4wd sparkplug carburettor type of thing, locally made preferably – limits choice quite a bit – with plenty of parts available. This would get you most places most of the time and you could bolt on some quirky bits which would allow you to run the beast on a mixture of things other than petrol/gasoline and, of course, you could do it all yourself, given the time and inclination.

  • Northern Raider

    We all need to select the vehicle to suit our lifestyle, family and prepping needs as well as our budget, I think Skeane Dhude should buy a Trabant :)

  • Fred

    Great to see you back in action. May I suggest a large van might be an option? Bags of room, not expensive for something around 2002-4.

    Something before it went all techie and we couldn’t repair our own equipment any more.

  • James

    I run 2 old Land rovers. Parts are plentiful and fairly cheap.
    No electric Windows or engine management systems.
    The old petrol one can still be started with a crank handle.
    Easy to maintain and cheap to insure.

  • Fred

    Let me see now – November 8th + 7 days = November 15th. That’s tomorrow. New post tomorrow? I’ll come back.

  • Northern Raider

    I’m coming to the realisation that if I want to continue to pursue the prepping lifestyle as best I can I really must get another van.

  • iaaems

    Vans are a big attraction and have a lot going for them as multipurpose vehicles. So some of them are none too ‘attractive’, if they fit the bill so what. Ideally my van would be 4wd and not have a computer or catalytic perverter and be generally low tec by todays standards. Limits the choices quite a bit but I am sure there must be something out there.

  • Walter Smith

    What you are looking for is a car or van that is 15 maybe 20 years old with very low mileage or in time warp condition be not so easy to find for a reasonable price

  • eric warren

    I drive an old (13 Yr)BMW E39 (520). It’s rear wheel drive, but easy to drive in snow and ice if you’ve been taught well. It’s fairly easy on petrol and not difficult to service. It can take 5 adults in serious comfort and I’ve moved house in it more than once. it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re not specifically looking for a van, it’s a very practical choice.

  • Ysbryd

    You could also take a look at some of the pre 1972 ex MOD vehicles that are a little less trendy then the landy. There are plenty of different vehicles to choose from. Buy two and scrap one as a donor for parts, the other will be tax exempt.

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