It's official* - the votes are in and the camp is well and truly divided! On the one side we have those who believe that the 182 Trophy is a car to be driven and enjoyed. On the other side, we have those who see the car as something to be cherished and preserved. For these desirable and cherished examples the subject of mileage is usually a topic that regularly crops up in discussion (especially if a potential purchase is involved) and the general consensus seems to be that a lower mileage Trophy is 'going to be better' than a high miler. On the face of it one could assume that that is a fair assumption to make; fewer miles, less wear and tear on the vehicle and a high probability that the overall condition of the vehicle will be better than that of its well-travelled siblings. But is that always the case? And how easy is it to find that elusive low-miler that is in immaculate condition?
Experience, and having one eye on the Trophy market, would suggest that it's not easy to find that low-miler gem at the moment. The desirability of the car continues to grow, as does the number of punters who want to buy their way into ownership, yet the cherished examples are being held onto. Tightly! Amidst the growing fascination with the 182 Trophy, these owners are starting to realise that their cars may just be that little bit more special than they had anticipated. As a result of this, a potential buyer may have to dig deep (in both terms of patience and money) whilst keeping a close eye on the classifieds. Given the current state of play you can pretty much guarantee that a well looked after Trophy isn't going to be up for sale for long. You'd better make sure, dear buyer, that you're in the right place at the right time! But hold on there just one moment... are you doing yourself a disservice by not considering a higher-mileage example? Is the mileage really that important to you as a discerning buyer?
Before I go on I will say now that this article, and the question of mileage, was inspired by a post from member "Ashtons99" on the cliotrophy.co.uk forum. Following a flurry of activity from new members looking to buy a 182 Trophy he made a good point about mileage and whether or not, in fact, it really should be such a big factor when looking to purchase a car. This is what he had to say:
"There are a lot of interesting views around vehicle mileage. I would agree a low mileage older car is nice to own but I'm not convinced it's the foremost factor in vehicle selection. Since I passed my test I've owned well over 100 cars so I feel I'm qualified to comment. I have owned low mileage cars that have been poor and high mileage ones that have been amazing. My wife's aunt has a one-owner 10 year old Fiesta that's done 4,000 miles but it's had more wheel repairs and smart repairs than your average 100k car. She's had the oil changed in it twice and the rear seats are worn out from her dogs. I have owned a number of older cars with mid- to high-mileage (with multiple owners) and they have been absolutely lovely cars because the owners have cared for them mechanically and cosmetically."
Of his Trophy, Ashtons99 goes on to say:
"My Trophy has just tipped 70k, it has had 5 owners but the car is probably the best car cosmetically relative to mileage/age I have owned in many years. I have seen three or four 30k mile 182 Clios since I bought the Trophy and they haven't inspired me at all. All I am saying to any potential owner is don't get hung up on 'looking for a low mileage car, must be sub 30k and low owners' . Broaden your horizons, research the product, know the shortcomings and - as they say - 'buy the seller, too.'"
Of course, it would be naive of me to totally disregard the importance of mileage to a potential buyer. After all, mileage is one of the key parameters that a buyer would specify when searching for a car. But... holding out for that ultra-low miler... is it worth the risk? Will such an example appear on the market? As more and more people realise just how incredibly cool these cars actually are it may be wise to alter your expectations slightly, and to consider those Trophys that may read higher on the odometer. Believe me, there are some great examples out there with 40-60k miles on them. There are superb examples out there with 80-100k on them! Just keep your eyes peeled, they don't usually hang around for long.
Thanks to Ashtons99 for allowing me to quote his forum post for this short article.
(* It's not really official - I made that bit up. And I also realise there are also those owners who sit somewhere on the Trophy spectrum between the two extremes of 'cherished minter' and 'used and abused').