President's Report - August 2005

Greetings All,

The attractiveness of a fuel efficient car is directly proportional to the price of fuel, and with recent sharp increases in the latter, our recently purchased 306 HDI is looking more attractive every day. We haven't done enough driving yet to get a good indication of fuel economy, but I will report that next month, along with some impressions of how it drives.

We had been looking for a 306 HDI for several months, but for various reasons the right vehicle did not materialise. Apart from anything else, there are very few on the market owing to the relatively small number sold new (compared with petrol 306s) and the fact that owners tend to hang onto them (one of my work colleagues even challenged me to make him "an outrageous offer" for his prized HDI).

As I mentioned in last month's column, the 306 increased our family Pug fleet to 5 cars, but since we only have a 4-car garage, one of the 5 has had to go. As it happens, one of our sons has taken over the 405SRI, so the problem has been solved. The 306 represents a few firsts for me - the first diesel I have owned, and the first time I have leased a vehicle. The lease is done as a salary sacrifice, with monthly repayments and running costs coming out of my pre-tax salary.

However, there is a fringe benefits tax to pay, based on the number of kilometres travelled in a year - the more I travel, the lower the FBT payable. Not all finance companies will do a lease on a second-hand vehicle, but the company I dealt with (BMW Group Finance) allows vehicles up to eight years old at the end of the lease. I have opted for a 3 year novated lease (when the car will be 7 years old), at which time I can purchase the car from BMW Group Finance for an agreed residual value (a bit under 50% of the purchase price).

At this month's club meeting (Tuesday 23rd) at the Italo-Australian club, Colin Handley will talk about his recent central Australian trip in a brace of 404s. We will also continue our planning for the 2006 Easter pageant. On Sunday the 28th there will be another Club Plate run to the old gold mining village of Bywong Town.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad