Ford scheme celebrates 21st anniversary

Postie Phil saw door opened by Options

We all want to keep our motoring costs as low as possible, but does that close the door on having a new car?

Not according to Andover postman Phil Burton, who is more used than most to seeing doors open.

That definitely happened for him and his family where new car ownership is concerned when he traded in the family banger, using its £1,700 value as the deposit on a Ford Focus back in 2005.

"It was a great move, looking back, because for a fixed price on a Ford Options plan I have been running new cars ever since," explains Phil. A long-time car and motorbike enthusiast, he's impressed with his latest steer, a Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost 125 PS.

"My first PCP introduced me to the concept of buying just the first part of the car's life rather than the whole car and now I tend to move on to a new one every 18 - 21 months," adds Phil.

"I have set my payments at a level that suits, giving me enough equity in my current car to make sure I have the deposit for the next one as soon as Andover Ford ask me if I'd like to change. It works like magic because, since 2005, I have not had to purchase tyres, exhaust, MOTs or pay for repairs so my running costs are virtually a constant.  In the eight years I've made just one small warranty claim.

"If I paid the same amount on a loan for a used car I would be looking at something probably six years old or more with potential repair costs and the need for tyres and batteries.

"What I get is a car I know will be reliable, will start every day when my wife takes our son to school, and a new car turning up regularly before I've had time to think I'd like something fresh to drive. It really works for us."

Tom Croft, group sales manager for Foray Motor Group, says the Options concept is working for a growing number of people. Already familiar in America, it was launched into the English market 21 years ago this Autumn with Edwards Ford and Andover Ford (then Dove's) among the pioneers.

"Owners like Phil Burton get the reassurance of always having a new and reliable car and we know that typically PCP cars are well looked after, making them a ready source of great, nearly new stock," adds Tom.

"We regularly offer him, and customers like him, the chance to change up to a new car because we always have buyers for 18 - 36 month old family models like Fiesta and Focus who like to run a nearly-new car rather than brand new. It's a plan that seems to suit everyone!"

Caption: Phil Burton (right) receives the keys to his Ford Focus from Nick Martell, of Andover Ford.