By Jeffrey the Barak
I am a happy owner of a gasoline engined, Volkswagen Rabbit, (USA Golf Mark V), that I bought new in 2008, and which is in near perfect condition with exceptionally low mileage. It has more value to me in this condition that I could ever resell it for, and it is better in some ways than the 2015 version of the same model.
It was made in Germany and has the 2.5 Liter, 5-cylinder, non-turbo, engine. I am lucky. If I had bought one of these a year later and opted for a diesel engine, I could be in a situation where my resale value plunged following the VW emissions scandal.
I should add here, that this scandalous situation does not surprise me. I have always maintained that the so-called clean diesels make so much stink and black dirt, that something funny must be going on with them. I would never have chosen a diesel anything, period.
But back to the point. My strategy for my ’08 Rabbit is to keep it, and keep it in as nice a condition as I can. After a few more years, depreciation will flatline, and then if the mileage stays ridiculously low, the value may even start to climb as time marches on.
I foresee a higher demand for old cars that do not have the infotainment systems, as more people realize it is safer to have two hands on the wheel and two eyes looking forward at where you are going. All that fiddling around with touch screens and changing your focus from down the road to the middle of the nearby dash is bloody dangerous. And I don’t have one!
And this is what the owners of the naughty diesels should do. Selling them would incur a large loss in value. Keeping them until they are quite old, a minimum of eight years, the longer the better, will yield the best return, all things considered.
But what if your intent was to be green. What if despite your senses telling you that the car made a thick black stink, you believed you were helping the environment by buying the “clean” diesel? To feel better about this, try to reduce your carbon footprint in other ways to make up for your polluting VW. Besides the pollution from the unfortunate TDI engine, the car is still the great design it was when you chose it.
So enjoy it, don’t idle it inside the garage, wipe the soot off the back-end now and again, and plan on keeping it. To sell is to lose.