Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - Jools
Have only just joined the site & have been impressed with the sharing of views & knowledge.

I have run older cars with family etc history into the ground and with careful maintenance have had few problems - now I am looking for another \"goodun\" to keep going from say 100k to end of life.

Having spent this weekend looking at stuff (no ex-family cars available !) I was shocked at what I found - I understood 2nd hand cars had dropped in price etc and the mkt was good for cash so hoped £1500 to £2000 would be enough to find a sweet one - looking mainly at Mondeos.

What do I see but a load of rubbish and rip-offs:-

1. 1st one - Before travelling asked if any oil leaks, all worked, no dings etc and got there to find it suffered from all the above when I was told it was fine !

2. Another advertised as 60K FSH but forgot to mention the engine & b\'box from a scrapper & rusty sills etc.

So ... I go to the dealers & find they all want well over A1 book - £500 to £1000 up without any apparent willingness to haggle.

Looks like a lot of legwork is required to find something sweet -also have noticed anything any good appears to go V quickly.

I\'m in the south west - is this the same all over ?
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - BMDUBYA
HI Jools, Just been through the same experience myself, only I was looking to spend £800 tops. Having come rom the North West where there seems an abundance of cheap but reliable bargains to be had, I was shocked by the lack of such good stock in the south west. I did eventually find something that I was looking for, but it seems that you have to know where to look. The best paper I found that had these sorts of cars is called Trade It, fantastic! You dont say where in the SW you are, but this covered Bristol to I think Taunton, but they also have a web site I think the URL is, also I used both Exchange and Mart and Autotrader on the web. Glad my search is all over now:-) Best of luck and let us know what you eventually found.
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - Jools
Always nice to know I'm not the only one....

As I am in the Yeovil area I have been using FreeADs which I think is our equivilent of Tradeit but I'll look at tradeit also and be prepared to travel I guess.

As you can see someone else suggests the North West as a good suorce - so if I get desperate ......


Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - mark
Hello Jules

Might be worth mentioning but every time my brothers who both live in the South West want a new car they come to see me in the N.West. Much more choice and lots of cheapies at small independants. Just this week I have seen 2 N plate Mondeos for £1500 and £1800 respectively and a W plate Mondeo estate for £4999.

Might be worth a trip Im sure some of the N West BRers could suggest some places to look.

as ever

Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - martin
Thought i'd give my euros worth. I lived in Kent and was advised to look around in the NW NE of England region for a bargain S/H car. I used Autotrader and then contacted the seller direct. With a photograph and some pertinent questions you can usually get quite a good picture before you go and have a look. I felt this was well worth it considering I wanted to spend up to £2000. Also an AA check is reccomendable for peace of mind. It is not full prove but you will probably detect if the car has been clocked or not. Buying and selling is so much a game of psychology, you proably know straightaway if the seller is the kind of chap you want to be dealing with.
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - PB
You could try the BCA auctions at Bridgwater. Look for a dealership auction (e.g. Lancaster, Inchcape etc..). You will get a number of cars that are straightforward trade-ins that won't make it to the forecourt and are shipped out to auction. You won't get the pick of the bunch, trade contacts will probably get that, but you should see some solid stuff with reasonable history.
Think P-Reg Japanese mid-size with 60-70k for your budget.
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - Maz
If you're in the South West, Carfinders are very good. They'll find you a car for £50 for half a days work, including checking out it's not a duffer.

They even bargain with the dealer for you IIRC. The number's 01934 863801.
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - glowplug

I found myself in very similar position recently, I visited every dealer I could think of within a reasonable radius looking to spent upto £2500 for a diesel turbo. I was after one of these - Rover 200/400, Xantia, 306, 405, 406, or possibly a Mondy. The 200s seemed very thin on the ground and the one I did show an interest in couldn't be started after trying for 20 minutes and evrything under the hood was corroded. I looked at the auctions during that period, a couple of seemly very good motors went through. But on the day I had determined I would be buy if the right car was there, I picked up the latest edition of our local free-ads (I had kept an eye on these too) and there it was my 405. So in the end I found a 405 GTX TD Estate, full main dealer service history, in A1 condition, <72K, the right type of bills (i.e. no replacement gearboxes, etc) and at just £1050!

I don't know what other forum users will think of that but compared to the 405s with 120K, no service history, loads of dints and a price tag of £1500+, I think I've got a bargin. I've had loads of people at work and friends trying to part me from it!

All I can say is bide your time, the bargins are out there but you've got to be quick!

Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - glowplug
Oops, forgot to mention I'm in the north midlands. I think that most of the dealer stock I looked at was either way over price or was almost junk!

Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - DavidHM
Am I right in saying that your GTX would be one of the later ones (i.e., equivalent to a 406/Mondeo LX) from '94 on? If so, definitely a bargain. If it's one of the pre '92, top of the range ones with the 1.8 TD engine rather than the 1.9, probably not such a hot deal, but passable if it's nice enough.
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - glowplug
Yes it a 1995 model. Strange thing is it has Aircon and FFSR. The engine's sweet as a nut once the cold start coughing's over, must change them plugs!

Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - Jools
Thanks to everybody who offered advice on this one - I have sorted myself an N reg 1.8 Mondeo LX estate with 56k genuine miles FSH & clean & sweet (I even knew the owner via friends of friends !) and it was in the next village (a whole 2 miles away).

As you say patience & persistence - part of my trouble was waiting until the old one had died rather than looking for something when the old one has a new MOT.

Along the way I saw an L reg 405 estate with 140k and rusty doors for £2100 so I reckon you did very well.

Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - Rob the Bus
>>Along the way I saw an L reg 405 estate with 140k and rusty
>>doors for £2100 so I reckon you did very well.

Hi Jools, very glad you\'ve got the car you were after. I think that the Back Room is absolutely invaluable - long may it continue to be so!

I was staggered when you mentioned about the 405. Not much leaves me speechless, but this very nearly did!

I live in Lancashire and only the other day I saw an absolutely mint 405 1.9td GTX estate with only 76k on it in a local dealers for £1995. And I thought that was steep!!!
Buying (@ £2000 secondhand) - DavidHM
With you on that one Rob, but don't forget, if you've only got one of something to sell, you only need one to find one idiot to get shot of it at a vastly inflated price.

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