David Cameron has treated his wife Samantha to a £1,500 Nissan Micra – but it perhaps wasn’t such a sensible purchase, with 90,000 miles on the clock and an MOT advisory for corrosion.
No one’s quite sure why Cameron headed to his local used car dealership to buy Samantha a cheap Micra, but it does look a bit like some pro-EU publicity. The picture of him shaking hands with a friendly car salesman, having done a deal on a humble, British-built Nissan Micra, smacks of a well-planned PR stunt.
So, just in case SamCam is reading this desperate for advice on what to buy to replace her rusting old Micra, we’ve found seven British-built cars David could have bought for £1,500.
Cameron is unlikely to have been driven in a Jaguar XJ40, but it was the car of choice (albeit usually in upmarket Daimler form) for Maggie Thatcher. Although the 2.9-litre engine wasn’t desirable at the time, it’ll be more than adequate for Samantha running the kids around Oxfordshire, and there’s one currently listed on Auto Trader – for just £750. We appreciate the irony in criticising a 12-year-old Nissan Micra for having a bit of surface rust, then recommending a car with built by Jaguar in the 1980s. But this example leaves £750 in the budget for repairs.
A more modern choice, and hopefully suitably trendy for the fashion-conscious Prime Minister’s wife. Created under the watch of MINI’s German owner, BMW, the MINI is nevertheless built in Oxford. A £1,500 budget gets a choice of cars – including a Cooper in bright red with white bonnet stripes and a Union Jack roof. Can you imagine a more suitable car for selling the British image around the world?
If SamCam’s happy to leave the kids at home, surely she’d much rather tour the Cotswolds in a soft-top MGF than an old Micra? The mid-engined roadster is good fun to drive if Cameron feels like going for a weekend hoon. However, we wonder how adept he is at changing head gaskets…
Yes, we are suggesting that David Cameron should have bought a Nissan Bluebird over a Micra. Why? Thousands of taxi drivers can’t be wrong, and it’ll have more room for the kids. We’ve found a 1.6-litre Bluebird LS advertised for £1,295.
If an Austin Metro was good enough for Diana, surely a newer Rover Metro should be more than acceptable for SamCam? Dave’s £1,500 budget gets a very tidy one – in fact, there’s a near-mint 39,000-mile example currently advertised on Auto Trader.
Range Rover P38
We’d like to recommend a Land Rover Defender – it’d be ideal for pootling around the Cotswolds and mixing with the horsey set. But prices have rocketed since production ended earlier this year, so Samantha will have to make do with a Range Rover. You can pick up the less desirable P38 for £1,500 if you’re feeling brave – we wonder if David knows a good auto electrician?
Samantha might not be old enough to drive a Rover 75. Image aside, though, it offers incredible value for money. Many claim it could have been the car to save MG Rover, but by the time it was unveiled at the 1998 Birmingham Motor Show, then launched a year later, the firm’s decline was already well underway. We’d suggest Cameron looks for one of the later Longbridge-built models, ideally with the 2.5-litre KV6 engine.