22 MAY 1926, Page 29


THE QUESTION OF EXPENSE Ten expenses incurred by the motorist are very largely in his own hands. Motoring may be very costly, but it may also be cheap. This is the day of the owner-driver, and manufacturers have at last realized that to appeal to him a car must be simple in construction, easy to manipulate and economical to maintain. As a rule, the owner-driver is in a large measure his own mechanic. What he requires is a trustworthy and economical car at a reasonable price, and if he takes a little trouble he can find just what he wants.

Some costs there are which are incurred however little the car be used ; others are governed by the mileage covered. The first are really overhead charges, and these include interest on capital outlay, reckoned at 5 per cent. ; rate of depreciation ; tax at the rate of 21 per horse-power ; insurance, a very necessary item, particularly so far as third party risks are concerned ; driving licence, 5s. per annum ; and garage expenses, if the car be not kept at home. These overhead charges are incurred whether the total mileage for the year be 1,000 -or 100,000 miles. The question of depreciation is important, and in the case of a new car the amount is considerable. The moment a new car has been taken on the road it becomes second- hand. It may be assumed that a new car will give five years of perfect service and will still be worth about 20 per cent. of its original value. The ear-owner should, therefore, be prepared to deduct a certain sum annually from the value of his car, so that when a new one has to be bought, say, at the end of five years, he will not feel the strain so much. In the case- of a good q-uality car the rate of depreciation should be reckoned at 80. per cent. the first year and 124 per cent. each year afterwards ; when one of the cheaper models is bought, the rate the first year should be calculated at 40 per cent. with 10 per cent. for the next four years. It will be seen, therefore, that if a car cost £500; a sum of £150 will have to be written off the first year ; " if the car cost £120, the first year's deduction will be £48. On the other hand, if a good second-hand car be bought, it will be necessary to deduct only 10 per cent. for a moderately high-priced vehicle, or 124 per cent. for a cheaper model. Investing in a second-hand car, therefore, reduces the cost of motoring

very considerably. ' . - -

Running costs depend entirely upon the mileage covered, and they are made up of petrol, oil, grease, tyres, renewals and repairs. The quantity of petrol used depends largely up-on the horse-power of the' car. The tiny " sevens "- will do forty to foitY-five miles to the gallon ; a twelve horse- power should -do twenty-five to thirty miles to the gallon ; while a high-powered .car will not do more than twelve to fourteen miles. Thtui the amount of spirit used varies not only with the distance covered but also with -the power of the engine. Most cars are very light indeed upon oil. A small car will easily run 1,500 miles on a gallon, while the largest cars require only a gallon for 600 to 800 miles. Grease is a small matter, and 5s. to 10s. a year is enough to allow for this item.

Modern tyres are so uniformly good that they can easily cover 10,000 miles. Many of them will give this amount of service on the rear wheels and still be good enough for another five or six thousand miles on the front wheels. Th;s item in the cost is therefore not a heavy one. In the case of a new car or a second-hand car with new tyres fitted, no fresh covers should be required during the first twelve months, although a couple of tubes may have to be purchased. It may be reckoned that if the wheels be ret3rred once a year, under normal conditions, this will comprise the total cost in this connexion. To secure these results, however, it is essential that the tyres be looked after properly.

It is rather difficult to give any exact details regarding the cost of renewals and repairs, because so much depends upon the way in which the car is looked after and upon the frequency with which the necessary adjustments are made. A new car should require no attention in this respect during the first two years, provided the whole engine be overhauled annually ; during the last three years a sum of £5 to £10 should easily cover all that is likely to be needed. If the car be bought second-hand,' what renewals are needed at the time will be added to the purchase price, and an allowance of £5 to £8 per annum should afterwards be quite enough.

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The first edition of the R.A.C. road map showing recom- mended routes into, out of, round and across London, which was recently issued, having been exhausted, a second edition is now in the press. The map is of particular value to motorists who are not intimate with London, as it clearly shows where traffic is heaviest and how it may best be avoided.


• Entries for the Tourist Trophy motor cycle races have

closed with a total of 133. The races consist of three events— the Senior, the Junior and the Lightweight.' The Sidecar and Ultra-Lightweight races hive been dropped from this year's prograninie. The entry ineludes five Italians, a Spaniard, and an Australian, and it is expected that a South African will also be riding. The races take place in the Isle of Man during the week June 14th-18th.


So great are the improvements of recent years in tyres that few motorists ever give a thought to this part of the equipment. But when running with a semi-worn tyre there is always a lurking fear of bursts. Users of Pirelli tyres will in future be_ guaranteed against bursts or blow-outs for twelve months from the date of purchase with a mileage limit of 10,000—a strikingly confident testimony to the quality of the tyre. E. T. -