Rover Thoughts: So Far, Bertram’s Doing Okay…


Well, if I’m being completely honest, Bertram the Range Rover Sport L320 doing only okay in terms of reliability and cost. If you want to look at the RoverLog Spreadsheet, you can see that since purchasing Bertram in March of 2018, I’ve spent a $5,500 on it (in round numbers). But that total doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. This is due in part to the amount of elective work I’ve done in the form of upgrades and non-critical repairs that I was aware of at the time I bought Bertram, that did not affect its drivability (ie like when Clarkson, Hammond, and May buy used challenge vehicles that clearly don’t work like they did when showroom new).

If we want to look at repairs that were totally utterly necessary for me to drive it around, then as of this posting, we should only look at Line 4 and Line 8: The door latches and the air conditioning compressor (which failed on what must have been the hottest day of the year thus far here in Los Angeles). If we accept that I elected to fix other items that could have gone unaddressed, then that means the total repair bill on a 13 year old Range Rover Sport with 130,000 miles is roughly $2300. Spread over five months, that comes out to roughly $461 in repairs per month.

$461 per month is about $30 per month more than my financed Ford Focus EV was costing me, however I was also dining out 3-4 nights a week at between $20-$30 per meal while I waited for the damn thing to charge up since I was unable to charge at home. So right now it’s in line with the Focus…however, let’s take a look at a spreadsheet showing what I’m getting or not getting for this current $30 monthly disparity:

As you can see, a 2006 Range Rover Sport offers a lot more than a 2016 Ford Focus Electric…except maybe for gas mileage (or the equivalent cost in an EV, aka eMPG). By the way, I’ll probably add to the smackdown from time to time, just for fun.

I realize I’m manipulating numbers here to make myself feel a little bit better about the overall amount of money I’ve spent on Bertram since I got it. If we’re being objective about the money I’ve spent, it’s more than Kelley Blue Book subjectively rates its average value. But I didn’t get this truck expecting it to go up in value. Anyone who does that with any car that costs less than  $1 million (no I am not kidding), is going on a fool’s errand. No I got this as a comfy workhorse that could service just about any occasion thrown at it and given that I didn’t spend $60,000 on it new, I still think I’m well ahead of the game. In fact, I’m basically one <$400 cruise control repair away from having a vehicle that performs like it did when it was new. In other words, a $60k vehicle for $13,500.

Of course, when I parked him and got out to go type up this post, I noticed that my coolant level sensor had failed. Fortunately, that’s only like a $35 repair.

Okay, make that a $13,535 vehicle…

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