Various - Used car advice 2 - Nickjp
I asked for some advice on used cars a few days ago and got some good comments hoping to get the same again. I was asking for any comments about about 3 cars including this one...
1999 BMW 323i 2.5L Convertible 120,000 miles £1490
The advice I got was basically don't buy it ! Unless you want to be spending a ton on repairs and maintenance. Having got this advice I started thinking about what it is I want from my car and have come to the following conclusion. Maybe I'm vain but I'm basically just interested in the look. I don't drive fast and am not that interested in performance. I also much prefer the look of older cars. Budget wise I don't have a lot .., possibly up to £5k. So I'm asking for any comments/thoughts etc when it comes to an older model saloon car that looks good cruising. To give you a better idea my ideal car would be a 1966 Chrysler imperial (black beauty from green hornet). Given my location and budget I'm very aware that I'm no where near close to be able to getting something like this but wondering if anyone has any ideas. thanks in advance and sorry for the ramble.
Various - Used car advice 2 - SLO76
Feeling flush? Auto Trader:
Various - Used car advice 2 - RobJP

At your price bracket, you NEED (not want, but NEED) reliable. First, second, third ... all the priorities.

So an Alfa fitted with the 1.9 diesel engine would be a terrible move, as you were told the other day.

So would an 18 year old 3 series convertible.

If you want something stylish and opentop, then an MX-5 probably would be a decent bet. They are reliable if well maintained. But it's only 2 seater, obviously. You don't say what you need a car to be able to do (passengers, fuel economy, etc)

Whatever you buy, there are 2 approaches.

1. Buy the best you can. Because if you buy cheap, then you'll be paying for repairs.

2. Buy something so cheap that you're happy to scrap it if something goes wrong.

Various - Used car advice 2 - gordonbennet

Thats fair enough, nothing wrong with liking cars from a slightly previous era, i do too, in fact its a job to name anything i'd buy new now, if i had unlimited funds, like our mod say :-) and decided on new i'd probably grey import something American Japanese or Australian which we don't normally find here.

If you like the Beemer would you consider something like a Honda Accord circa 2004/7, i'm probably (undoubtably) a lot older than you but to me this was the last Accord which i would describe as quietly handsome before they tried to outsteroid Mazda, if you find a well miantained one it should last well.

Not sure if you'd get one in £5k budget, but Lexus is250? just looked, well in budget.

Beemers are ok, Mercs are ok, all good cars but unless you can do at least basic maintenance yourself and only need a garage for more intensive work then these German cars will be expensive to look after make no mistake.

Just to give you an outline, i've got a '96 merc E320 W124 coupe, just gone over 100k, i've had it 14 years 2nd owner, i have the services of one of the best indies for the marque out there, it's cost me around £3000 in intensive maintenance in the last 3 years, it had a wiring loom failure (they really do do that sir) around 12 years ago which took out the ECU as well, if that had been at the merc dealer it would have cost me over £2500, as it was i got away with around £1200, thats obviously plus normal servicing (which my indy does for little more than i could) and i usually replace brakes and batteries and bulbs etc myself as and when needed, so add another £3/4000, then add several visits over the years to my handy little bodyshop to keep on top of things, another £2000 probably, oh and don't forget 3 x rear laminated screens @ around £500 a pop, if those had been at main dealer or at any old indy garage that fits new parts till they eventually find the fault the bills would have probably been three times what they have been.

It was a £50k car in '96 therefore its a £50k car to look after, and thats why people tell you to be wary of older cars like Beemers and Mercs, i've had the funds to look after mine well (its been a labour of love, i'll never see it back), but most cars when they fall into 3rd 4th 5th etc ownership get between none and minimal maintenance, these cars will not stand neglect and they will bit you in the behind if you're the one left holding it when the music stops.

Edited by gordonbennet on 15/03/2017 at 17:09

Various - Used car advice 2 - SLO76
How about a Volvo S60? Cheap big cruisers and all have a bit of poke especially this T5 which is a genuine 150mph bruiser for just over a grand. Fit for 200k if looked after but I'd avoid the diesels at your money. Auto Trader:

Or a Dodge Avenger. Total garbage but mechanically simple enough in petrol form and as no one wants them so the dealer will be desperate to offload it. Certainly looks different. Auto Trader:

Of course I'd sooner point you in the direction of something sensible but I fear you've got to go your own road.

Edited by SLO76 on 15/03/2017 at 17:33

Various - Used car advice 2 - badbusdriver

Clearly we dont know how much money you can set aside for running costs, but on your previous post, the dearest car you were looking at was about £1500. So my assumption was that your budget was small. However, you are now talking about, up to £5k, which is quite a different matter!. And, by the sounds of it, what you want out of a car is not too far away from me. So here are a couple of suggestions.

Chrysler 300c, well within a £5k budget, petrol and diesel available, not sure about reliability concerns, but watch out for road tax costs for anything post Jan '06 (as with any of my other suggestions at that age)

Cadillac STS or CTS

Most big German saloons cost peanuts to buy now, and are available with smaller, slightly more (ahem) efficient 6 cyl engines, as well as a variety of V8's.

My last one is a bit of an oddity, but i a bit of a soft spot for this particular Korean barge. The Hyundai XG30. A bit kitsch for sure, but very well equipped, very reliable, and Porsche had a hand in its development (the gearbox i think, before you get too exited!). Of course, they are like hens teeth now, so finding one would be the biggest hurdle.

Various - Used car advice 2 - RaineMan

If you want a Yank many of the mid-70s - mid-80s cars are not so overvalued as the styling is quieter, dull even. However they have presence and are, simple and reliable. Look at the Series 3 Chevy Caprice but avoid tired ex-police cars.

Edited by RaineMan on 16/03/2017 at 07:12

Various - Used car advice 2 - Nickjp
Once again, thanks for all the comments ! :)
Various - Used car advice 2 - bazza

Just to give you an idea of running costs, friend at work this week:

Few years old BMW coupe, in lovely condition, 4 tyres and a new headlamp came to over £1000. I can think of other ways I would rather spend that!

Various - Used car advice 2 - RobJP

Just to give you an idea of running costs, friend at work this week:

Few years old BMW coupe, in lovely condition, 4 tyres and a new headlamp came to over £1000. I can think of other ways I would rather spend that!

But tyres could have been £65 a piece, £260 for 4 (if running 205/65 R16 runflats), and that's on Pirelli Cinturato P7s, or they could be £170 a piece if running on P Zero RFTs on the biggest 18" wheels - a cost for 4 tyres of £680. If the person hasn't shopped around, then they could well have paid £800 for 4 tyres.

Not really a helpful way of measuring the cost of running a car, is it ?


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