Which is the better choice when looking to get an MGV8 - a high priced, low mileage example or a well maintained car with a moderate mileage?
Many enthusiasts looking to buy a good MGV8 are attracted by examples in immaculate and original condition and little used with a low mileage and are less attracted by well-maintained cars with moderate to high mileage. But in many ways the justification for the premium for low mileage cars can be doubtful because an MGV8 that has had such low use, sometimes with extended periods in a lay-up, can develop issues that require considerable expense when recommissioning the car, even for modest use. Also once a high priced, low mileage car is used in even a moderate way, for example 3,000 to 5,000 miles pa when the recorded mileage begins to grow, the annual depreciation becomes a significant cost for the owner from an annual loss of value as the mileage grows. This article looks at an RV8 recently seen offered for sale at £49,995 with only 928 miles and considers the possible recommissioning and depreciation costs if driven for pleasure and reviews the benefits that can be had when buying a well maintained Condition 1 Plus car with a higher mileage but at a significantly lower price.

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Posted: 210914
What have we seen in the advert for this RV8 with only 928 miles?
Offered at £49,995
The trader's advert says the RV8 was built in 1995 late in the production run as Woodcote Green 2219 and purchased new by MG Rover Dealer Stephen Palmer of Long Eaton, Nottingham and retained in their own private collection remaining new and unregistered. On the retirement of the dealership the RV8 was sold to its first private custodian Mr Cowell of Helston, Cornwall and registered on the 22nd May 1998 when it was issued with the cherished MGR registration number R1 MGR. In March 2015 the RV8 was sold with just 657 miles on the clock to its second owner Mr Horne of Gillingham, Dorset. Now it is up for sale again with only 928 miles. It comes with a rare Factory colour coded Krafthaus hardtop plus a collection of items including the original owner's book, manuals, a leather MG document wallet, service record booklet, owners handbook, owner's information portfolio, European directory, MG Security Card. In addition there is original RV8 sales brochures, an original RV8 accessories brochure, British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, spare keys, original factory toolkit, jack, brace, wheel chocks, locking wheel nut, emergency flare, original dealer registration plates and an original dealer tax disc holder.
See the trader's advert

Which is the better choice when looking to get an MGV8 - a high priced, low mileage example or a well maintained car with a moderate mileage?
See our earlier article
Looking at the costs of owning an exceptionally low mileage and high priced RV8 if driven for pleasure covering modest annual mileage
In our review we have assumed modest recommissioning of £1,500 might be necessary if the car is to be driven for pleasure by a new owner. The recommissioning could cover checking hydraulic seals and having a new set of tyres. In our analysis we assumed the RV8 might then cover 3,000 miles pa reaching over 30,000 in 10 years. By then an RV8 with 30,000 to 40,000 miles might be seen as a good quality Condition 1 Plus condition car currently valued at around £28,000. Our analysis of a case like this shows the combination of recommissioning costs and the cumulative loss of value as the mileage builds on the car could grow to around £22,000 or around 44% of a purchase price of £49,995.

Looking at the alternative of buying a good quality RV8 seen as a Condition 1 Plus condition car with 30,000 to 40,000 miles and currently valued at around £28,000

If an enthusiast were to purchase a Condition 1 Plus RV8 with a modest mileage which they wanted to enjoy driving, then as a new owner they would have avoided the recommissioning costs likely with a high priced but little used RV8 and also the large depreciation in value over 10 years, possibly amounting to £22,000 or 78% of the purchase price of £28,000. Many enthusiasts might well feel the case for buying a good quality Condition 1 Plus RV8 is clear unless the owner wants to keep an exceptionally costly low mileage RV8 simply as a "display or trophy car".
See our analysis chart and full review