The wait is over. The countdown is finished. The moment has arrived. The #DougCar is here. It’s a 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage with a 6-speed manual transmission, and it’s already leaking water into the interior.
You’d know all about the water leakage if you followed me on Twitter, because I announced the problem last week as a little clue about what my new car might be. (Many of you replied with only one word: “British?”) But you wouldn’t know why I was so nonchalant about water leaking into the interior of a new car that I plan to own and write about for the next year. Well, here’s why: because my Aston Martin isn’t just any Aston Martin. It’s a ten-year-old Aston Martin … with a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
And it gets better. This isn’t some shyster third-party warranty, written by a fly-by-night warranty company that only covers the number seven cylinder and the glovebox. This is an Aston Martin “Assured Premium” certified pre-owned warranty, which provides “comprehensive protection against unexpected repair costs,” covering virtually everything except typical wear items. At least, that’s what it says in the glossy brochure I got when I signed the papers.
And it gets even better. You see, this warranty doesn’t just last for a few months or a few thousand miles. In addition to providing bumper-to-bumper protection – for a nine-year-old handbuilt car, mind you – this warranty offers one year of coverage with no mileage limit. Yes, you read that right: I have a bumper-to-bumper warranty. On a nine-year-old Aston Martin. With no mileage limit.
And it gets even better still, because it turns out that the cost of a used Aston Martin with a certified pre-owned warranty isn’t excessive. It isn’t prohibitive. It isn’t stratospheric. It isn’t $100,000, or $80,000, or even $60,000. I bought this car for $45,500, plus the cost of the warranty, which means my final sale price was well under $50,000. You can buy a used Aston Martin for the price of a BMW 3 Series? Well, I did.
If there was any doubt that 2016 was going to be a fantastic year, I’ve just erased it. Unless you’re an Aston Martin warranty claims administrator.
Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering the same thing I was when I discovered that Aston Martin offers unlimited mileage warranties on nine-year-old vehicles, namely: how the hell is this company not in receivership?
Well, after several minutes of careful thought during a Gilmore Girls commercial break, I believe I’ve discovered the answer: because most Aston Martin owners only drive 3,000 to 5,000 miles per year, regardless of how “unlimited” their warranty is. The result is that “unlimited mileage” really has no bearing on most Aston Martin owners, since they’re limited by their own schedule, or practical concerns, or the weather, or their desire.
But not me.
For the next year, I’m going to daily drive my Aston Martin virtually everywhere I go. Rain or shine, cold or hot, to the grocery store or to the beach … I’m taking the Aston. In other words: I’ve got an unlimited mileage warranty, and now I’m going to find out what “unlimited mileage” really means. Will Aston Martin throw in the towel at some point and beg me to get rid of the car? I’m not sure. But I suspect we’re going to find out.
Of course, there will be some of you who are disappointed by my automotive choice. After all, I received thousands of suggestions (here’s the promised Google Doc that shows them all) and no car got more than 3.2 percent of the vote. That means I was going to be pissing off approximately 97 percent of you regardless of my decision, unless a late-night Craigslist search somehow revealed a Dodge Viper-powered Ariel Atom riding on a Ford Model T chassis with DeLorean doors and Lancia Delta Integrale running gear.
Fortunately, I can provide two comforting facts for those of you who aren’t happy with my car choice. Number one, it appears there’s enough budget left over to do a second round of “What car should I get,” likely sometime next month. And number two, I can take comfort in knowing that if you ever climb underneath my Aston Martin in order sabotage it, it’ll all be covered under warranty.
Speaking of that warranty, I really do suspect it’ll get a lot of use. Because the day after I discovered the water leak, the check engine light went on, requiring a trip to the local Aston Martin dealer.
I’ll have more on that next week, and the week after, and the week after, and the week after, and every subsequent week until Aston Martin arranges to have me smothered with a pillow in my sleep.
Assuming the pillow doesn’t have a water leak.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars, which his mother says is “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.