There’s a word regularly banded about when it comes to cheap cars, and that word is Bangernomics. For the uninitiated, Bangernomics is the pursuit of extracting maximum motoring for as little financial outlay as possible. That’s very good. We’re all for this. In fact, we have been known to have a dabble ourselves, as can be seen with our little Clio.
Bangernomics, in and of itself, doesn’t offend us. It’s fun, bare bones motoring and we’ll always have time for that. What does irk us, however, is the lack of distinction between barrel-bottom motoring, and those of us who simply can’t afford to spend a lot of dosh on a car.
Not 2 Grand wasn’t set up to shout from the pulpit of the Church of Bangernomics. Not 2 Grand was set up to be the voice of reason (good or bad) for those of use for whom can’t simply go out and buy a new car. It was also set up to sing the praises of the cars that are out there for not much money. There is a world of motoring out there that can satisfy every requirement, it can suit the needs of any family, it can be fun, it can be fast and it can be exciting. But more than that, it can be a source of pride and joy for many of us.
This is where we get annoyed. There’s a cheap car (see Bangernomics) and then there is the car you can afford. The two are not mutually exclusive. For years we have only been able to afford X car, but our lack of funds has not quashed our pride or enthusiasm. Take our Proton, or our Rover 800 Vitesse Sport. Combined they owe us about £500. But they’re not bangers to us, they are our pride and they are our joy. And it pains us that the greater public consciousness can’t see that.
What people also forget, is that choice is a factor. Our ability to choose is what makes us human. We know many people that earn good money, that live in nice houses, that are generally doing well in life. Yet these people still have older cars, because they CHOOSE to. That’s important.
But despite their otherwise impressive social standing, they’re judged on a car because it doesn’t have the latest number plate. And that’s absolutely absurd. When in reality, these people are better off for having a car they own, lock stock. But that’s not the basis of our annoyance here.
What we want to show here, and what we want to celebrate is the fact that there is nothing a new car can do that a slightly older car can’t. The market is flooded with cars and that drives prices down by a ludicrous measure. Basically, cheap cars aren’t cheap because they’re rubbish. Cheap cars are cheap because they keep hoodwinking the masses to chop them in for new ones.
Owning a cheap car isn’t a measure of thriftiness, it’s a measure of intelligence.
But yet those of us, and those of you who happily reside in the sub £2,000 market are mocked. “Got another old banger, have you Steve?” No, Dave, you dick. We’ve got car X because we wanted one for a long time, but we were patient, we sought to bide our time and then we nabbed it without a smarmy salesman, without ludicrous APR and without a monthly fee that makes our rent blush. We played it smart, Dave. But do tell us how that faceless, ubiquitous, hum-drum Insignia is that you’re now tied to for five years because Vauxhall had a great deal on.
While you’re doing that, we’ll enjoy the wonderful flexibility that comes from being a proud Not 2 Grander. When we see something else we want, we’ll buy it without fear of bankruptcy or divorce. We’ll enjoy a cross-section of motoring far greater than many other will. We, by being clever with our money, will celebrate motoring’s breadth and depth. That’s what it’s all about.
And where does Bangernomics fit into this? Bangernomics takes our point and drives it home with hard-hitting facts. Old, cheap cars can still be capable, they can still do us a proud service, they can still give us our freedom.
But, buying on a budget is not to buy a banger. Buying on a budget is to have fun, is to broaden our automotive experiences and is to make us love our cars a little bit more. It’s important, we feel, that people know the bloody difference.