This week we received, from Skoda Ireland, a very special car to test drive. Skoda has launched a new campaign, the High Mile Club, to find the Skoda with the highest mileage in the country. As part of this campaign they have added a 2002 Skoda Octavia, 1.9TDI, to the press fleet for journalists to test drive. This is no ordinary Octavia however because the mileage on this particular vehicle is over 512,800 miles, and counting.
While I had the car for test drive I was informed by Skoda that they had found an Octavia with even higher mileage. The one they found was in Tipperary and has more than 560,000 miles on the clock. Staggering.
Both the vehicle I tested and the one found in Tipperary were taxis at some stage, and this high figure is surely the reason as to why so many taxis on our streets are Octavias? While following the campaign on Skoda’s Facebook page I have been amazed to see just how many high mileage Octavias are showing up. This shows you how far a car will bring you provided you keep it well and protect you initial investment.
The 2002 Octavia which I was testing worked fine, and it even had a crucifix hanging from the rear-view mirror. Sure the interior is completely dated in comparison to the current Octavia or any other new car for that matter, but I just can’t help being impressed by this vehicle.
There is a bit of smoke evident from the exhaust when you turn over the engine, but other than that it runs well. By this stage the engine is pretty loud and on occasion you may even have to pump up the volume while at traffic lights to drown out the sound. Acceleration in the vehicle I found to be flawless and even the gears were smooth enough.
I am often asked to recommend cars to people and I will admit that very frequently I recommend people to check out Skoda. They have proven over the years that they build a good and reliable car and this 512,800 miles is testament to that.
If you are considering purchasing any high mileage, older or indeed any second hand car, I always recommend you bring a mechanic along to check out the vehicle before you purchase. It may cost you a few Euros but it could potentially save you a lot more than that.