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Cars you can buy for the £748 price of Christmas

Cars you can buy for the £748 price of Christmas

Cars you can buy for the £748 price of Christmas
The average Brit is expected to spend £748 on presents this Christmas – up from £732 in 2015. With more than three quarters of us shopping online this December, we decided to do some virtual window shopping of our own. But instead of seeking out toys, electronics and socks, we’ve been on Auto Trader and discovered how far £748 goes in the world of cars…

Jaguar XJ – £600

Jaguar XJ – £600

The ‘X300’ shape Jaguar XJ is in a real sweet spot in terms of budget Jaguar buying at the moment. More reliable than both the older XJ40 and newer X308, the ’94 – ’97 XJ is in that ‘not quite a classic’ phase, and that means they’re cheap. A couple of grand will buy a really good one, but an old-man image and fairly high running costs mean there are several about for little more than a monkey (that’s £500 to you and me).

This example we found on Auto Trader claims to be rust-free (but you might want to have a poke around the sills to check) – and even comes with a suitable private plate. The downsides? The bodywork doesn’t sound to be great, with lacquer peel affecting a number of areas, and there’s “a moaning sound from the starter motor” occasionally. But it’s a £600 Jag!

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BMW 7 Series – £700

BMW 7 Series – £700

If you prefer your barges a little more German, how about a BMW 7 Series? Like the Jaguar, high running costs will put most people off, but it even comes with a phone. When an iPhone 7 Plus starts at £719, you’re basically buying a phone and getting a BMW 7 Series for free. Tell that to your family when they discover no presents under the tree this Christmas.

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Toyota MR2 – £800

Toyota MR2 – £800

Let’s step away from barges for a moment and look what £748 gets you in the world of sports cars. At this time of year, no one is buying two-seater convertibles, so the world is your oyster. You could buy a predictable (and very good) Mazda MX-5, but we thought we’d be more ambitious and see if we could find a Mk3 MR2 within our budget. We failed, but this one’s just £800 – and who wouldn’t knock £52 off a convertible in the run-up to Christmas?

Check the oil levels – oil consumption can be an issue – and ask if it’s had a new manifold fitted. The pre-cat in the exhaust manifold has a habit of breaking up, with debris being sucked into the engine. It’s particularly a problem in cars that have been driven hard from cold.

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Mazda RX-8 – £750

Mazda RX-8 – £750

Your kids might hate you now for cancelling Christmas, but in the future they’ll look back and understand your logic in buying a Mazda RX-8 for the price of a few presents. At £750, you don’t need to be Mike Brewer to knock £2 off and get it within budget.

There’s a reason they’re cheap – the rotary engine has an appetite for fuel and oil, and can go wrong if it’s not been maintained. Check that it starts OK while warm, and question the seller on their oil-topping-up habits. Spark plugs are expensive, pushing the cost of a major service to more than £500, but there’s no cambelt that needs changing.

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Perodua Kenari – £750

Perodua Kenari – £750

A PR campaign from Perodua in December 2007 suggested customers should “give the gift of Kenari” that Christmas. It went on to say “Britain’s best value mini-MPV” was available from £5,630, thanks to a £500 cashback deal. Bargain hunters will be pleased to know there’s currently a gold Perodua Kenari automatic on Auto Trader for just £750 for Christmas. You really can give the gift of Kenari this Christmas.

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Suzuki Grand Vitara – £600

Suzuki Grand Vitara – £600

As usual for Christmas, our spending is getting a little bit carried away, with the last three cars being over budget. Let’s rein(deer) it in a bit, with a £600 4×4 that will double up as a convertible when summer arrives. A Suzuki Grand Vitara should make for a trusty workhorse, although an advisory for corrosion on its last MOT means you might want to get it Waxoyled before the rot sets in.

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Volvo 850 – £700

Volvo 850 – £700

Smithy driving his Volvo 850 while singing along to Band Aid is now a traditional Christmas scene for Gavin and Stacey fans. Although his Volvo in the Christmas special is turquoise in colour, Smithy usually drives a maroon Volvo 850, but it was written off in an off-camera crash.

The actual car driven by James Corden sold for more than £2,000 in 2013, making this example we’ve found on Auto Trader look a bit of a bargain. There’s some unsightly lacquer peel on the bonnet, and the wood inside won’t be to everyone’s taste. But it’s a practical load-lugger for those Christmas presents you won’t be buying this year.

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Volvo V40 – £740

Volvo V40 – £740

If you’re not a Gavin and Stacey fan, you might be better buying a newer Volvo V40 for your £748 budget. Many will snub the Dutch-built V40 as “not a real Volvo”, thanks to its platform shared with the Mitsubishi Carisma, but this example looks to be very tidy. Take it for a good test-drive and make sure the automatic gearbox functions correctly.

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Black cab – £795

Black cab – £795

If you’re looking for a career change in the new year, why not invest your £748 Christmas budget (after negotiation) on a black cab? As a TX1, this taxi is powered by a bulletproof 2.7-litre diesel Nissan engine. We wouldn’t worry too much about the 404,000 miles on the clock, although you might want to buy an old Avensis and become an Uber driver instead.

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class – £695

Mercedes-Benz C-Class – £695

Mercs of this era have a reputation for rust, so a £695 C-Class with “no rust issues” certainly grabs our attention. An advisory on its last MOT for “slight corrosion” on the offside sill perhaps suggests an element of creative writing has been used in the ad, but it’s still potentially a bargain. That lovely straight-six engine will soon help you forget about the bodywork, but it might be one to avoid if you cover lots of miles.

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MG ZR – £750

MG ZR – £750

The MG ZR is an underrated hot hatch, with many put off by their reputation for poor build quality. One way to get around the head gasket issue that plagued the K-series petrol engines fitted to the MG ZR is to buy a 2.0-litre diesel. The L-series engine isn’t particularly refined, but it is bulletproof and, as the more powerful 113hp model, it’ll hit 62mph in 9.1 seconds. OK, the 51.5mpg figure is a little more impressive…

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Alfa Romeo 147 – £595

Alfa Romeo 147 – £595

No one has ever regretted buying a cheap Alfa Romeo. Possibly. The seller of this lovely-looking 147 says he’ll take a watch in part-exchange – so chop in your old Casio and it ought to be even more of a bargain. Check through its history: it’ll need a cambelt if it hasn’t been changed in the last three years, but you might be surprised how cheap that can be at a specialist. Budget up to £300.

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Land Rover Freelander – £600

Land Rover Freelander – £600

Old Freelanders have potential to be money-pits, but we think this 2001 V6 looks to be much more than £600-worth. It’s only covered 71,000 miles (probably because the owner couldn’t afford the fuel bills), but it’s going to be more fun to drive than the problematic 1.8 or sluggish 2.0-litre diesel. Transmission issues mean a lot of Freelander 1s have been converted to front wheel-drive by having their prop shaft removed – and the seller of this example admits this to be the case. That’s not a huge concern unless you need the four-wheel-drive ability – and it should even help you save on fuel.

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Fiat Multipla – £600

Fiat Multipla – £600

The original Fiat Multipla was crowned Top Gear’s ‘ugliest car of 1999’ when it was new, and the public’s reaction led to the car manufacturer toning its quirky MPV down when it was facelifted in 2004. But we look back at the Mk1 Multipla now and find it quite endearing. Its three front seats make it a quirky family carrier, and kids will love the bright interior of this example we’ve found.

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Honda HR-V – £750

Honda HR-V – £750

Marketed as the ‘joy machine’ when it was launched in 1999, the HR-V was a lightweight, low-emissions crossover designed to appeal to a young demographic. Today, they’re a reliable and interesting compact SUV and a number of well-used examples are creeping below our budget. The seller of this example at a dealer in Buckinghamshire admits it’s come in as a part-exchange and has a few dings, but it doesn’t look a bad buy for £750.

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Ford Focus – £745

Ford Focus – £745

Let’s be sensible for a moment. If we really were given £748 and told to buy a car we could use every day without costing a fortune to maintain, we’d probably seek out a cared-for Ford Focus. There are loads about, so you can afford to be picky, and parts are cheap. For simplicity’s sake, we’d search for a petrol, and we’ve found this very tidy example from 2003 on Auto Trader. In LX trim it’s not as desirable as a Ghia, but it looks to be in better condition than most. With a very short MOT, we’d try to negotiate a fresh MOT as part of the deal.

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Suzuki Ignis Sport – £595

Suzuki Ignis Sport – £595

Right, back to the fun stuff. The Suzuki Ignis Sport is a plucky little hot hatch – what else offers Japanese reliability combined with Recaro seats and yellow mesh in the headrests for sub-£1,000? They’re few and far between within our £748 budget, but there is an example advertised at a dealership in Leeds. Just don’t expect it to be a minter…

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Rover 75 – £725

Rover 75 – £725

The Rover 75 was actually a pretty good car, it just happened to arrive a bit late to save Rover and was hampered by a half-hearted launch. The engine you don’t want is the 1.8-litre K-series (they’re plagued by head-gasket failure) and automatics are less problematic than the manual gearbox. Naturally, we’ve picked out a lovely 1.8 K-series from the classifieds. While a V6 would be more fun and a diesel generally better in every way, the 1.8 can be bought cheaply and, if you’re careful, won’t necessarily give you any trouble. Watch the temperature needle like a hawk on the test drive and make sure there’s no evidence of oil and coolant mixing to form ‘mayonnaise’.

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BMW 3 Series Compact – £700

BMW 3 Series Compact – £700

The Compact isn’t the most desirable 3 Series, but that means you can pick up a better example than the regular model within our budget. This 2001 example on Auto Trader looks very clean, with just 95,000 miles on the clock, although the seller does say it’s showing an airbag warning light. That’d be an MOT failure, so would need fixing soon.

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Mazda MX-5 – £750

Mazda MX-5 – £750

Have you heard? Mazda MX-5s are going up in price now, especially tidy first-generation models. While this is a Mk1, we wouldn’t describe it as ‘tidy’. It’s been written off in the past, and there are various shades of red going on across different panels. The engines are very reliable, though, so bodywork aside, there isn’t much to worry about. Get on your hands and knees and check underneath for rust.

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Vauxhall Signum – £785

Vauxhall Signum – £785

The Vauxhall Signum is like a Vectra, but much rarer than a Vectra. And that makes it cool. The front bit is the same as the repmobile on which it’s based, but the rear has been extended to provide extra legroom. There’s a near-vertical tailgate, and it was priced above the Vectra when new.

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Renault Laguna – £750

Renault Laguna – £750

Old Renault Lagunas aren’t the choice for anyone who expects their car to start every morning – even the key card can be troublesome. But this example, powered by a lovely 3.0-litre V6, looks promising. It’s covered just 63,000 miles and has full service history including two cambelt changes, says the seller.

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SEAT Leon Cupra – £699

SEAT Leon Cupra – £699

With 180hp, the original SEAT Leon Cupra would hit 62mph in 7.7 seconds. That was hot hatch territory back then, even if it wouldn’t see the direction a hot Leon went today. The original Leon Cupra is relatively unloved, putting it firmly in bargain basement territory. We’re not sure about the aftermarket exhaust fitted to this example (it hints at a boy racer owner), but that’s easy enough to change.

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Lexus IS200 – £595

Lexus IS200 – £595

Yes, we could have found a Lexus IS200 with lower miles for the money, but a 240,000-mile example appeals for the novelty factor. They’re exceptionally reliable, and an MOT history search shows no major issues on the horizon. Wave £500 at the seller and see if you can get it to 300,000 miles without any big bills – we’d be surprised if you can’t.

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Dream cars for the price of new Dacia

Dream cars for the price of a new Dacia

Dream cars for the price of new Dacia

Renault’s budget brand, Dacia, produces some of the cheapest new cars currently sold in the UK. From its no-thrills Sandero supermini, starting at £5,995, to its £9,495 Duster crossover, there’s an affordable Dacia for everyone. But if you’re willing to buy second-hand, you might be surprised at the kind of cars you can pick up for the price of a new Dacia. We’ve hit the classifieds…

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

“Can you buy a Porsche 911 for the price of a new Dacia?” we asked ourselves. Well, yes, sort of. If you’re in the market for an entry-level Dacia, we’re sorry to tell you a used Porsche 911 isn’t within reach. If, however, you’re looking at Dusters, you might be pleased to hear you can indeed afford a used 911 of the 996 variety.

We’ve found this example at a dealer in Derbyshire. It’s not the most desirable spec – with a blue interior and an automatic gearbox. It’s also covered 134,000 miles, but apparently comes with full service history, which should put your mind to rest a little. No, it won’t be as cheap to run as a Dacia, but it’s a Porsche…

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Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster

If you are on a Sandero budget, there’s quite a wide choice of Boxsters available for sub-£6,000. Yes, some will scoff that you couldn’t afford a 911, but there’s a lot to like about the Boxster. Indeed, our budget gets us a 3.2-litre Boxster S, boasting 256hp and a 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds.

We’ve hunted out this tidy-looking example from 2000, with 74,000 miles and a comprehensive service history. Do your research first, though. They’re known to suffer from engine issues which could hit you hard in the pocket.

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Mercedes-Benz CLS 500

Mercedes-Benz CLS 500

A £6,000 budget goes a long way in the world of the bargain barge. You’ll love or hate the way the Mercedes CLS looks, and the 500 has always lived in the shadow of the supercharged CLS 55. But the naturally-aspirated V8 makes for effortless progress, and we think it’s a bit of a used car bargain. OK, you might have put the lease price of a new Dacia aside each month for fuel alone, but it’ll be worth it.

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Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ

If you want to fly the flag for Britain, this Series II Jaguar XJ will make you look like a member of the royal family for less than £5,000. The seller doesn’t mention whether it’s got an MOT, which is a bit of a worry, but it’s a very pretty thing to look at, nonetheless. Under the bonnet is a lovely 5.3-litre V12. Whether it runs is another matter.

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Rolls-Royce Silver Spur

Rolls-Royce Silver Spur

Yes, you can even buy a Rolls-Royce for less than an entry-level Dacia Sandero. This Silver Spur looks rather smart in gunmetal grey, although the owner does admit it has a few minor issues. Its MOT history suggests it’s hardly been used in recent years, which could prove problematic. But it’s a £6,000 Roller, so who cares?

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BMW 7 Series

BMW 7 Series

If you’re after something newer, this 2005 BMW 7 Series is a very tempting buy at £5,994. And, in 750i guise, it’s powered by a 4.8-litre V8 producing 367hp. Combined economy of 24.8mpg could hit the wallet, and it could also produce some painful maintenance bills if you don’t buy carefully. The MOT history of this particular example looks fairly clear, suggesting it’s led an easy life.

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BMW X5

BMW X5

Alternatively, how about one of the first true performance SUVs? The BMW X5 4.8is boasts 352hp, hitting 62mph in 6.5 seconds. That’s still impressive for an SUV today: it was incredible when it was launched in 2002. This 2003 model we’ve found comes with an LPG conversion, which will help make the 18.9mpg more manageable. Make sure it’s been converted properly, with the correct paperwork, and functions as it should.

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Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Right, sensible shoes for a moment. You can buy two Dacia Sanderos for the price of a new Ford Fiesta but, as Britain’s best-selling car, there are plenty of good examples in the classifieds. For less than £6,000, we found this three-year-old Fiesta Zetec at a Ford dealer in Derbyshire. It’s powered by the popular 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine.

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Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai

Now, back to looking at what you can buy for entry-level Duster money. Dacia’s crossover starts at £9,495, undercutting mainstream rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti by more than £7,000. But if you’d prefer something a little trendier, depreciation is your friend. The first-generation Nissan Qashqai was an excellent car, and a budget of £9,500 will pick up one of the last from 2013.

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Vauxhall VX220

Vauxhall VX220

The Lotus Elise is one of the purest sports cars money can buy. However, it is going up in value, meaning good ones are out of our £9,500 budget. But there are a number of affordable Vauxhall VX220s about. They’re very similar to the Lotus, built at the firm’s Hethel factory, but are powered by Vauxhall’s (more reliable and less rev-hungry) 2.2-litre engine. Just check for abuse: many have been used on-track.

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Mitsubishi Shogun

Mitsubishi Shogun

If you’re looking at a Dacia Duster because you’re after practicality, or the SUV lifestyle appeals, consider a Mitsubishi Shogun. They offer excellent reliability, genuine off-roadability and loads of space for the cash, with 2008 long-wheelbase models available within our budget.

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Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

Alternatively, if you want maximum kudos when turning up at a campsite in the woods, look at America’s answer to the Defender: the Jeep Wrangler. There are plenty available for less than £9,500. Just watch out for off-road damage. Most will have been used as Chelsea tractors, however.

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BMW M3 convertible

BMW M3 convertible

Now is a good time to buy a convertible and, with four seats, the BMW M3 is every bit the practical family car the Dacia Duster is. Convinced? Watch out for cracked subframes and make sure it’s been serviced regularly.

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Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb

Right, time for another one of those rare sensible moments. If you want a genuine load-lugger that offers low running costs and excellent value for money, the Skoda Superb is a brilliant buy in estate guise. A budget of £9,500 will get you a three-year-old model with the efficient 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine.

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Range Rover

Range Rover

If the Dacia salesman convinces you to spend close to £17,000 on a top-of-the-range Duster Prestige Dci 4×4, a whole world of options opens up on Auto Trader. If 4×4 is a must, how about this Range Rover with the brilliant TDV8 engine? It’s been given the Overfinch treatment, which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but we like the bodykit and bling alloys.

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Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Defender

If you’re after something a little more hardcore, how about a Land Rover Defender? Production of the iconic Landy finished in 2016, meaning a good example could be a very sound investment. Make sure you take a test-drive before parting with your hard-earned, however: they’re a tad agricultural to drive. We’ve found a tidy-looking 2002 Defender County Station Wagon for £15,995.

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Bentley Turbo R

Bentley Turbo R

If your circumstances don’t dictate that you need a 4×4, well, the world (or at least Auto Trader) is your oyster. How about this 1997 Bentley Turbo R, with just 47,000 miles on the clock? With the help of its turbo, its hand-crafted 6.75-litre V8 engine produces 300hp, meaning it’ll hit 60mph in 6.6 seconds.

As this model is the long-wheelbase version, there’s potential to make extra money as a chauffeur at the weekends. You might need help with the running costs, after all…

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Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai

Or, yeah, if you’re trying to be sensible… how about a nearly-new Qashqai? That £17,000 you could spend on a high-spec Duster buys a 2016 Qashqai 1.5-litre diesel in mid-range N-Tec+ trim. They’re popular, but there’s a reason for that. And, having covered just 13,000 miles, this example should be in as-new condition.

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Toyota GT86

Toyota GT86

If you’re looking for a car that’s fun but also a fairly sensible ownership proposition, the Toyota GT86 is within our £17,000 budget. This 2014 example at a dealership in Twickenham has covered less than 9,000 miles. There’s a catch… it’s an automatic.

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Insanely cheap used luxury cars to buy NOW

Insanely cheap luxury cars for less than £1,500

Insanely cheap used luxury cars to buy NOW

If you’re after all of the flash but are not prepared to splash all of the cash, we might have the answer. Armed with a virtual wad of 1500 notes, we went shopping on Auto Trader to assemble a list of luxury motors you can buy for less than a deposit on a new supermini. At this end of the market, you can’t expect perfection, and a petrol engine is probably safer than diesel, but you might be surprised to discover what’s available. Read on as we guide you through 25 luxobarges you can buy today.

Audi A8: £1,445

In more ways than one, the Audi A8 was a ground-breaking car. Following a decade of development, the innovative Audi Space Frame aluminium construction finally made its debut, while this was the car that propelled Audi into the premium big league. Launched in 1994, this was by far Audi’s most luxurious model to date.

We’d prefer the 4.2-litre V8 to the 3.7-litre V8 offered here, but at this budget beggars can’t be choosers. At some point it looks like it might have been treated to an LPG conversion, but there’s no mention of this in the ad. The MOT history makes for good reading, although some money was spent on the suspension in August.

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Volvo S80: £1,495

To borrow a phrase from a certain brand of chocolate, with this slice of Swedish luxobarge we’re really spoiling you. It’s a 2000 Volvo S80 with the more powerful 170hp 2.4-litre engine with an amazing 55,000 miles on the clock. We checked the MOT history, which appears to back this up.

Be quick: two even more delightful S80s sold in the time it took us to prepare this feature. Because everybody loves a bargain barge, right?

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BMW 7 Series: £1,395

BMW 7 Series: £1,395

There’s a whiff of James Bond about the E38 BMW 7 Series, as a 750iL made a memorable appearance in Tomorrow Never Dies. We can’t promise a 7 Series will never die, but there’s something rather appealing about this 728i.

We’re attracted by the fact that it has had just one previous owner and the full service history, not to mention a list of gadgets that would shame Q. You’ll adore the ride quality and the way it handles, but do your homework before parting with the best part of £1,400.

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class: £1,295

The best car in the world for less than £1,300 – where do we sign? OK, so a 15-year-old S-Class might be showing its age, but at the turn of the millennium this represented the height of luxury and sophistication. Like the 7 Series, the W220 S-Class isn’t without its problems, so you should buy with your eyes open.

A 5.0-litre V8 S500 won’t be cheap to run, but we like the fact that the current owner has owned the car since 2009 and there’s a mere 111,000 miles on the clock. Judging by the photos, this may have been used for wedding duties.

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Alfa Romeo 166: £995

Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? We’re not going to pretend that buying an Alfa Romeo 166 won’t be without risks, but it’s blessed with one of the best interiors of all-time. Besides, at £995, what could possibly go wrong? Actually, don’t answer that.

With a 2.0-litre engine, you’ll have to forgo the brilliance of a V6 engine, but at least it should be cheaper to run. We’re not fans of the black alloys, but the one-former-keeper factor certainly appeals. They don’t make ’em like they used to, etc, etc.

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Chrysler Grand Voyager: £1,495

Chrysler Grand Voyager: £1,495

If you have some brave pills left over from the Alfa Romeo 166, you might be tempted by this all-American people carrier. While many MPVs of this vintage will be showing their age, the Chrysler Grand Voyager manages to retain some class and sophistication.

The ad claims this 2004 car has had one former keeper and has covered 134,000 miles. The MOT history suggests any earlier niggles might have been sorted, although you might want to check what it has been towing. A caravan, perhaps?

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Cadillac BLS: £1,500

The BLS was Cadillac’s entry-level luxobarge for Europe and was based on the Saab 9-3, which itself was based on the Vauxhall Vectra. But wait, before you skip to the next slide, hear us out.

While the 2.8-litre V6 engine would be more appealing, the 1.9-litre turbodiesel could deliver upwards of 45mpg. Meanwhile, the interior is classic American: with a supersize cupholder, plenty of toys and a sea of scratchy plastics. Note the Cadillac analogue clock. Kitsch-tastic.

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Lexus RX300: £1,695

We’ve pushed our self-imposed £1,500 limit a little to bring you this Lexus RX300. At its launch in 2001, the RX300 was ahead of the curve, offering five-seat SUV practicality with little off-road ability. A lifestyle urban cruiser, if you like.

Extend your budget to £2,500 and there’s a surprising number of RX300s available, many of which will have enjoyed a pampered existence. The specification will appeal, but the 16.0mpg urban fuel economy might not.

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Volvo 960: £1,500

Volvo 960: £1,500

According to Volvo, the 960 Estate “was the natural choice for discerning customers who wanted a car offering a unique combination of comfort, safety, ergonomics, space and versatility, a combination much appreciated by drivers and passengers interested in activities like golf, sailing or hunting.” Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

As a 1995 car, this 960 3.0-litre SE was built during the vehicle’s twilight years and with 206,000 miles on the clock it has certainly seen some life. But the interior is in good shape and the list of toys is impressive. Winter is coming – here are your winter wheels.

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Rover 75: £1,495

Production of the Rover 75 ceased in 2005, making this 2004 model one of the last off the line. It’s also a facelift model, complete with the more ‘European’ face, rather the ‘classic’ original.

The 2.5-litre V6 Connoisseur spec is desirable, while the gold paintwork just seems to suit the styling of the Rover 75. “It is not faultless, but represents, I believe a better than average appearance.” Not our words, Lynn, the words of the dealer selling this Rover.

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Hyundai XG30: £995

If you’re looking to stand out in the bowling green car park, look no further than the Hyundai XG30. This car is budget luxury, Korean style. You even get a pair of yellow fog lights.

The MOT history doesn’t make for enjoyable reading – unless you like tales of woe – but at least the most recent ticket is free of blemishes. Not convinced – the 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine might tip the balance. The potential to waft is high with this one.

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Volvo XC70: £1,395

Volvo XC70: £1,395

Jacked-up premium off-road estate cars are the preserve of the well-to-do and country types who are able to resist the lure of a jellymould crossover or SUV. Or, in the case of this Volvo XC70, the police force.

There are a few battle scars, as you might expect, while the lack of leather seats might put some people off. On the plus side, the seats are electric and heated. Another Volvo ready for winter 2016/17.

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Lexus LS400: £1,000

If you’re going to buy a cheap luxobarge, do it right by opting for the classic Lexus LS400. Here is a car with a brilliant 4.0-litre V8 engine and a reputation for excellence that not even the German brands can rival. Sure, it won’t be cheap to run, but then you’re only paying £1,000 for the privilege of owning this slice of Japanese engineering.

It’s an honest description of the car, while the MOT history makes for encouraging reading. Take it for a test drive before we do.

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Honda Legend: £550

Sticking with a Japanese theme, how about this 2001 Honda Legend? Think of this as a Lexus LS400 on a budget. Alternatively, think of it as a plush Accord. Either way, you could strike it lucky with this motor.

With 185,643 miles on the clock and a less than polished MOT history, you shouldn’t approach this Legend with high expectations, but the seller has been honest in the description. The MOT at the end of November might hurt the wallet.

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Toyota Camry: £800

Toyota Camry: £800

Back in 1997, the Camry was Toyota’s flagship model, but it never sold in huge numbers in the UK. All of which means it’s a rare find on the used car market. These cars are well-equipped, smooth and surprisingly luxurious.

The Sport badge is a bit of a red herring, as these cars were designed for cruising the long straight roads of Australia and the US, but don’t let that put you off. This could be a good way to spend £800 on a cheap luxobarge.

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Saab 9-5: £1,500

Further proof that bargain barges are in big demand: a delightful Saab 9-5 we had lined up was sold before we could finish this feature. Be quick if you fancy a luxobarge for silly money.

Speaking of quick: this Saab 9-5 HOT Aero ought to do the trick. It looks in remarkably good condition, and with just 96,500 miles on the clock the engine has barely broken sweat. Brilliant cupholders and Saab’s ‘Night Panel’ simply add to the appeal.

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Ford Scorpio: £1,500

It has a face only a mother could love, but we have a huge amount of respect for the Ford Scorpio. It stems from a period in time when Ford could deliver luxury cars without the need for a fancy trim level and a concierge service.

This particular car looks to be in good shape, is loaded with some nice toys, and has a mere 54,000 miles on the clock. That said, it might be worth checking the MOT history, as it appeared to have 58,826 miles on clock in April 2015. A typo, perhaps?

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Skoda Superb: £1,495

Skoda Superb: £1,495

The Skoda Superb was essentially a stretched Volkswagen Passat and was the choice of taxi operators up and down the land. They are capable of achieving mega-miles, as demonstrated by this 2006 model with 164,000 miles on the clock.

It’s powered by the later 2.0-litre TDI engine and is blessed with the comfort and joy of the full-fat Elegance trim. Is a diesel engine too much of a risk at 164,000 miles? Approach with care.

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Nissan Maxima: £850

What, no leather interior or creamy 3.0-litre V6 engine? Hey, what do you expect for £850? Besides, the National Trust sticker on the windscreen is a sure sign that the current owner is a trustworthy person. Probably.

The advert includes a detailed description of the service history and the MOT history certainly stacks up. Squint hard and it could pass as a Lexus LS400. Squint harder. Harder still…

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Saab 9000 CD: £350

We’ve long said that the Saab 9000 is one of the best used luxobarges you can buy. Saab took a no-expense-spared approach to its development, which is why they’re capable of covering mega-miles. Just £350 for all this class – amazing.

“This car is due to appear on an ITV car programme in October hosted by Paddy McGuinness,” claims the seller. That’ll be Drive of my Life, then…

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Jaguar S-Type: £1,495

Jaguar S-Type: £1,495

There’s something Inspector Morse-like about this Jaguar S-Type, probably thanks to the burgundy (Carnival Red) paint. Before you head off for a swift pint with Lewis, hear us out, because this could be a peach of a car.

For a start it comes with the desirable 3.0-litre V6 engine which has covered a mere 60,000 miles. The S-Type is based on a Ford platform shared with Lincoln LS and Ford Thunderbird, and while it’s not the last word in reliability and quality, its styling is ageing rather nicely. Like a nice bottle of red wine, Lewis.

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Range Rover P38A: £1,200

Buying a Range Rover at this end of the market is fraught with danger, and you’ll be limited to the P38A – arguably the least desirable of this thoroughly British luxury SUV. This particular example is a Japanese import, so you’ll want to explore its history.

The seller points to a problem with the transfer box, which might be a reason to walk away. Alternatively, as the ad states, this could be a good winter project for somebody handy with spanners.

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Daimler 4.0: £1,495

Release your inner Arthur Daley with this 1990 Daimler 4.0, which is essentially an even plusher version of the Jaguar XJ.

The seller claims it drives like new and has no known faults. Is it class or crass? You decide…

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Jaguar XJ: £1,495

Jaguar XJ: £1,495

For the same price you can get this later Jaguar XJ 4.0 Sovereign. Amazingly, the seller claims this 1995 car has had just own owner from new, while covering a mere 100,000 miles.

There appears to be a few battle scars on the exterior and it looks like the offside front wing and driver’s door might have seen some new paint, but we’re totally won over by the interior.

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Peugeot 607: £499

We conclude with a curveball. A very French curveball. Sure, the Peugeot 607 doesn’t have the best reputation, but who can argue with a 62,000-mile luxobarge with lots of toys for under £500?

Better still, the MOT history is almost completely free of advisories, which could point to a careful previous owner. Just make sure everything works.

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Best used cars for less than £1,000

Best used cars for less than £1,000

Best used cars for less than £1,000

What can you buy for £1,000? A half-decent mountain bike, perhaps, or a fancy high-spec iPad Pro. Or an actual car that would, 10 years ago, have cost at least 10 times that price. Yes, just £1,000 can pick you up a sensible, reliable motor that isn’t an unroadworthy shed. We’ve searched the Auto Trader classifieds to find a selection of used cars you can pick up for less than £1,000.

To make the search a little more realistic, we’ve set a few ground rules. Firstly, the maximum mileage we’re interested in is 100,000, and we’re only looking at cars 10-years-old or younger. Yes, that makes our search a little more tricky…

Ford Fusion

Ford Fusion

We’ll start with one of the most undesirable cars currently listed on Auto Trader – but bear with us. The Ford Fusion was basically a jacked-up Fiesta, almost crossovery in design and expected to appeal to a youthful, lifestyle market. In reality, it was loved by the retired – who appreciated its low running costs and easy access. As such, they’re cheap (no one under the age of 70 really wants a Fusion) and have tended to have led easy lives.

We’ve found this example from 2008 with 94,000 miles on the clock. The pictures suggest it’s in good condition – a few stains in the boot and marks on the bumper aside – while the service history sounds promising. An MOT history search online suggests it sailed through its last test.

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Citroen Xsara Picasso

Citroen Xsara Picasso

If it’s good enough for Ronnie Pickering… OK, the original Citroen Xsara Picasso isn’t the most appealing car, but its popularity when new means there a plenty of examples to search through on Auto Trader. It’s great for families, with all models coming with fold-down tables and three individual seats in the rear.

This Picasso we’ve found has covered just 75,000 miles and looks to be in excellent condition.

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Reva G-Wiz

Reva G-Wiz

The Indian-made G-Wiz was marketed for its green credentials when it was launched in 2001, but many bought it for its London congestion charge exemption and free street parking. The downsides include a 45mph top speed, and don’t even think about crashing one. Still, if you live in London, at £999, it could be a very affordable way of getting around the city.

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Fiat Panda

Fiat Panda

The second-generation Fiat Panda is a likeable and practical supermini – perfect as a first car or those who want a runaround with plenty of luggage space. We love the blue interior of this example.

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Chevrolet Matiz

Chevrolet Matiz

A Chevrolet Matiz will never set pulses racing – but it’ll be incredibly cheap to run and, with five doors, it’s ideal for first drivers. More doors, more mates. This Matiz we’ve found being sold by a trader in Derby has an MOT until April and has a satisfyingly low 59,000 miles on the clock.

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Mazda RX-8

Mazda RX-8

Incredibly, you can buy a sporty Mazda RX-8 for £1,000, and it falls within our strict age and mileage criteria. However, you’d be paying more than half the car’s worth every year for road tax, which stands at £515. We’ve recently reviewed one for our Retro Road Test – you’ll want to ask about its oil consumption and make sure it starts OK from cold. Potentially, it could be the most fun you’ll have for a grand. Or it could be a nightmare.

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Vauxhall Astra convertible

Vauxhall Astra convertible

With winter well on its way, now could be a good time to buy a convertible. Seriously, they’re cheap, and a shortage of buyers gives plenty of haggling scope. While an old Astra convertible won’t be the most satisfying car for keen drivers, it will at least have room for all the family.

Check the hood is in good condition and operates correctly – it could cost serious money if it’s problematic. Oh, and ask about the category C write-off marker… with a car of this value, it could have been written off by relatively minor damage, but you’ll want evidence that it’s been repaired properly.

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Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

A Mondeo is always going to be a sensible car for those on a budget. You can get a lot of physical Ford for your money with the Mondeo, as many people searching within this price range favour the low running costs of a Fiesta or Focus. Avoid the problematic diesels – this 2007 1.8 LX looks great for the money.

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Mitsubishi Lancer

Mitsubishi Lancer

The Mitsubishi Lancer is the lesser-known saloon car on which the hot Evo is based. While an Evo is way out of reach, this 1.6-litre Lancer could be a reliable car for sub-£1,000. Check for signs of a hard life – it might have been ragged by a boy racer who couldn’t afford the real deal.

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Peugeot 1007

Peugeot 1007

More yellow! And sliding doors! When the Peugeot 1007 was launched in 2004, it seemed properly futuristic. When the old Top Gear trio got their mums to test it alongside the Honda Jazz and Renault Modus, they complained that the electric doors took too long to close and made access to the rear seats difficult. But still, we definitely would.

This 10-year-old model we found on Auto Trader has covered a sensible 83,000 miles and comes with a brand new MOT. Check the doors work properly – French electrics have a reputation for good reason.

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Chevrolet Lacetti

Chevrolet Lacetti

Our Auto Trader search for a sub-£1,000 car with low miles and less than 10-years-old is chucking up a number of budget cars from South Korean manufacturers. One that’s caught our eye is this: a 2007 Chevrolet Lacetti. We like it for two reasons: Top Gear used one as a reasonably priced car, so at least you’ve got something to brag about down the pub; and it’s so bland no one else will even consider it.

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CityRover

CityRover

The CityRover was a desperate attempt to launch a supermini with zero budget whatsoever, and it’s nothing more than a rebadged Indian-market Tata Indica. Hopefully you’re learning by now, however, if you’re looking at sub-£1,000, it pays to consider motors that everyone else will overlook. It’s awful in most areas but, with just 39,000 miles on the clock, we bet this example has had the archetypal one elderly owner from new.

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Proton Savvy

Proton Savvy

Talking of undesirable motors, there are a number of these about for less than a grand. While the Malaysian-built Savvy would never have won any group tests alongside the Fiesta or Corsa when it was new, its affordable price tag tempted many into Proton dealers. Their popularity with older clientele mean most have been looked after and covered few miles, such as this tidy 2007 example we found on Auto Trader.

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MG ZS

MG ZS

MG Rover went bust in 2005, so most of its cars are too old for our 10-year limit. But a few hung around unregistered – like, presumably, this one. One of the last MG ZS models off the line, there’s a huge enthusiast appeal for this. Even if you’re not an MG Rover apologist, it could potentially be a lot of fun for the money.

The 1.8-litre K-Series engine is known to be problematic, so check the oil for signs of coolant mixture, and we’d be curious about what it’s been lugging with the tow bar – it’s not a natural tow vehicle.

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Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

It’s time to be sensible again. Vauxhall Corsas aren’t exciting, but as the second most popular new car in the UK there are plenty around in the classifieds. Powered by the 1.4-litre engine, this example has avoided the first-time-driver tax (new drivers push prices up of lower-powered models), and looks good for the money. Careful though, the twin-exhaust suggests it could have been owned by a boy racer…

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Ford Ka

Ford Ka

We were hesitant to include the Ford Ka, as first-generation models are almost entirely rotten by now. It’s a shame, because it was a good car when it was new. There are loads available within our budget – look hard, and you might find a solid one. Cling onto it and it could even turn into an investment when all the rest have disappeared.

This 2008 example looks like it could be a good ‘un… there’s no clear rust in the picture (it’s usually the sills and around the petrol cap that go), and an MOT history search shows nothing to worry about.

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Ford Sport Ka

Ford Sport Ka

If you want the ultimate Ka, there are a number of Sport Kas available for less than £1,000. Again, like the regular Ka, they love to rust – so give the sills a good prod and don’t dismiss any bubbling as ‘light surface rust’. We love the red and black seats in this example, but it’s definitely starting to rust in the usual spot around the petrol filler cap.

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Mazda 6

Mazda 6

The Mazda 6 still looks like a relatively modern car, so it’s surprising to see it creeping within our £1,000 budget. An interesting alternative to a Mondeo, the 6 should prove to be reliable – but do look out for rust. We’d want to take a closer look at this example we’ve found on Auto Trader, however it could potentially be a bargain family car. It’s an estate, too, which is a bonus if you’re looking for practicality.

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Skoda Fabia

Skoda Fabia

We rate the original Skoda Fabia highly, and a bargain-basement example could make for an excellent runaround for someone. It shares a platform with the Volkswagen Polo, but lacks its desirable badge – perfect for those of us looking for value for money. This example looks fairly tidy – although we’d be asking the seller to stick a fresh MOT on it.

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Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra

We’ve already looked at an Astra convertible, but if you’re not bothered about soaking up the rays this winter, a sensible hatchback might be more your bag. If you’re happy to buy privately, you’re money will go further – and this automatic from 2006 looks like a steal.

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Ford Focus

Ford Focus

If we’re including the Astra, it’d be rude not to consider a Ford Focus as well. It’s remarkable that you can now pick up a second-generation example within our budget, although do expect it to be a little tired at this price. We’ve found a 1.6-litre LX estate showing 93,000 miles at a trader for £990.

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Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

The ‘K12’ shape Micra is arguably the best Micra ever made – although the firm will be hoping to repeat its success with the latest model, revealed at the recent Paris Motor Show. Find a good one and it’ll be a faithful supermini. This 1.2-litre Initia could be a sound buy.

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Citroen C4

Citroen C4

A 10-year-old Citroen C4 has potential to be more problematic than a Focus of a similar age, but it’s a billion times more interesting. With full services history and a three-month warranty, this example could be promising.

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Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo

We’ll end with a bit of a wild-card. You’ll struggle to find a Polo within our exact requirements for less than £1,000 – blame VW’s brand image for that – but we’ve found this example with 107,000 miles on the clock for less than our budget. It looks a steal… although the short MOT is a little off-putting. Go in with your eyes open and it could be a bargain.

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This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

What do you look for when buying a used car? A full service record, perhaps, and a long MOT. But a Skoda dealer in London will share information such as a nickname given to it by a previous owner, as well as any quirky personality traits and even any special family memories involving the car.

The scheme is being trialled at Willis Motor Company over three months in an attempt to make the used car buying process more fun – and if it’s successful, it could be rolled out across the entire network of Skoda dealers in the UK.

Skoda spoke to around 2,000 British car drivers and found that 40% said their car had helped to create special memories, while almost a fifth considered their car to be ‘part of the family’.

“Since the dawn of the automobile, the used car sales process has largely remained the same,” explains Skoda’s national used car manager, Nick O’Neill. “However, as our research shows, many people feel that some change is needed.

“After buying a house, a car is the most expensive purchase that most of us will ever make. When you look round prospective homes, it can help to add appeal to a property if you see happy photos of the current owner and their family hanging on the wall. You understand that if someone can love it there, you can too. We’re applying a similar logic to the used car sales experience.”

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

The manufacturer’s research reveals that a quarter of the British public think the used car industry needs a modern new approach. Just 6% of those surveyed described it as ‘fun’, and only 5% thought it was ‘innovative’.

The proprietor of Willis Motor Company, Dennis Willis, said: “We’ve been selling used cars for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen first-hand the way that the relationship between owners and their cars has changed. People don’t just own a car now – they love it, it becomes part of them and their life. No one has done anything like this in the industry to reflect that shift: Skoda is breaking new ground.”

The car dealer will include snippets about the car’s history on its website, in the showroom and on Auto Trader adverts.

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car’s name and personality traits

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

What do you look for when buying a used car? A full service record, perhaps, and a long MOT. But a Skoda dealer in London will share information such as a nickname given to it by a previous owner, as well as any quirky personality traits and even any special family memories involving the car.

The scheme is being trialled at Willis Motor Company over three months in an attempt to make the used car buying process more fun – and if it’s successful, it could be rolled out across the entire network of Skoda dealers in the UK.

Skoda spoke to around 2,000 British car drivers and found that 40% said their car had helped to create special memories, while almost a fifth considered their car to be ‘part of the family’.

“Since the dawn of the automobile, the used car sales process has largely remained the same,” explains Skoda’s national used car manager, Nick O’Neill. “However, as our research shows, many people feel that some change is needed.

“After buying a house, a car is the most expensive purchase that most of us will ever make. When you look round prospective homes, it can help to add appeal to a property if you see happy photos of the current owner and their family hanging on the wall. You understand that if someone can love it there, you can too. We’re applying a similar logic to the used car sales experience.”

This Skoda dealer will tell you your car's name and personality traits

The manufacturer’s research reveals that a quarter of the British public think the used car industry needs a modern new approach. Just 6% of those surveyed described it as ‘fun’, and only 5% thought it was ‘innovative’.

The proprietor of Willis Motor Company, Dennis Willis, said: “We’ve been selling used cars for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen first-hand the way that the relationship between owners and their cars has changed. People don’t just own a car now – they love it, it becomes part of them and their life. No one has done anything like this in the industry to reflect that shift: Skoda is breaking new ground.”

The car dealer will include snippets about the car’s history on its website, in the showroom and on Auto Trader adverts.

Used car dealer

Used car dealers ‘less trustworthy than bankers and estate agents’

Used car dealerUsed car dealers are considered the least trusted major industry in Britain with just 7% of consumers claiming to trust them.

The eye-watering statistic has been revealed in the latest Auto Trader Market Report, which shows that car dealers are ranked lowest for trust – behind banks, estate agents and insurance companies.

Indeed, the finance industry alone is considered 11% more trustworthy than a used car dealer, despite a decade of scandals such as rates rigging and the global financial crisis.

And although overall trust in UK businesses has been rising recently, trust in the automotive industry has fallen 6% in the last year and 10% since 2014 – “no doubt partly attributable to the emissions crisis of 2015,” says Auto Trader.

However, in more positive news, the trust issue is reversed when those who have bought a used car in the past six months are questioned: just 7% said they did NOT trust the used car dealer they bought their motor from – showing, says Auto Trader operations director Nathan Coe, that it’s an issue of perception rather than reality.

“Despite most consumers having positive experiences at the dealership when purchasing a car, the industry still suffers with a lack of trustworthiness which resonates strongly with consumers.

“Changing these perceptions will be a challenge but the reward could be substantial for the industry.”

It could even, he said, lead to people changing their car more often.

Used car dealer

Used car dealers 'less trustworthy than bankers and estate agents'

Used car dealerUsed car dealers are considered the least trusted major industry in Britain with just 7% of consumers claiming to trust them.

The eye-watering statistic has been revealed in the latest Auto Trader Market Report, which shows that car dealers are ranked lowest for trust – behind banks, estate agents and insurance companies.

Indeed, the finance industry alone is considered 11% more trustworthy than a used car dealer, despite a decade of scandals such as rates rigging and the global financial crisis.

And although overall trust in UK businesses has been rising recently, trust in the automotive industry has fallen 6% in the last year and 10% since 2014 – “no doubt partly attributable to the emissions crisis of 2015,” says Auto Trader.

However, in more positive news, the trust issue is reversed when those who have bought a used car in the past six months are questioned: just 7% said they did NOT trust the used car dealer they bought their motor from – showing, says Auto Trader operations director Nathan Coe, that it’s an issue of perception rather than reality.

“Despite most consumers having positive experiences at the dealership when purchasing a car, the industry still suffers with a lack of trustworthiness which resonates strongly with consumers.

“Changing these perceptions will be a challenge but the reward could be substantial for the industry.”

It could even, he said, lead to people changing their car more often.

Britain's choice used cars 2016

Revealed: Britain’s favourite used cars and colours in 2016

Britain's choice used cars 2016Four times as many used cars as new are sold in Britain each year: it’s the most active sector in Britain, particularly that for nearly new cars aged between one and three years.

But at the half way point in 2016, which are the used cars Brits are buying most of – and which are our favourite colours in such a tumultuous 2016? Read on to find out…

10: Peugeot 208 (16,561 sales)

02_Peugeot_208

The Peugeot 208 replaced the dreary 207 in 2012 and has been something of a hit. It’s selling well new, and these models are now filtering through to the secondhand market. Expect it to rise up the ranks as more cars come back from Peugeot’s increasingly popular ‘Just Add Fuel’ private rental initiative.

9: Nissan Juke (17,572 sales)

03_Nissan_Juke

Time was that the only Nissan you’d find on a favourite best-sellers list was the Micra. How times change: today, the Juke is Nissan’s hot small car. The British-built crossover isn’t the most practical of machines but used car buyers don’t seem to care: proof that great styling sells.

8: Volkswagen Polo (18,663 sales)

04_Volkswagen_Polo

In contrast to the Juke, Volkswagen’s Polo is the more sedate and stately small car choice; it seems over 1,000 used car buyers prefer this approach to the far-out Juke in 2016.

7: Fiat 500 (18,757 sales)

05_Fiat_500

The Fiat 500 continues to be a best-seller for the Italian brand and all these new cars are now freely available in the secondhand market. Proof that used car buyers love retro looks and are not put off by the custom creations Fiat’s huge choice of 500 options allows…

6: Nissan Qashqai (23,286 sales)

06_Nissan_Qashqai

The Qashqai is a classic modern Nissan, a genuine turnaround car that helped make the company cool again in Europe. On the secondhand market, it commands strong prices and is much in demand, success that’s only set to continue as more examples of the excellent current-shape second generation car hit the used market.

5: Volkswagen Golf (25,339 sales)

07_Volkswagen_Golf

The ever-dependable Volkswagen Golf has been under the cosh slightly because of fallout from the dieselgate emissions scandal: this may have cost it a few secondhand sales from buyers unwilling to buy something that may need to go back to the dealer, but VW probably isn’t too worried: over 25,000 people still have secondhand faith.

4: Vauxhall Astra (27,162 sales)

08_Vauxhall_Astra

The Astra was, years ago, a best-seller in the UK. Those days are long behind it but it’s still a popular new car which means there’s lots of choice on the secondhand car market.

3: Vauxhall Corsa (37,724 sales)

09_Vauxhall_Corsa

Saying that, more than 10,500 used car buyers would rather have a Vauxhall Corsa than an Astra. Such is Britain’s love of the supermini, something ably demonstrated by Ford, too…

2: Ford Focus (40,871 sales)

10_Ford_Focus

The Ford Focus has been around since 1998 and is a staple in the best-sellers chart. As such, nearly 41,000 examples changed hands during the first half of 2016. Good, but still well behind another car from the blue oval…

1: Ford Fiesta (58,967 sales)

11_Ford_Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling new car by an enormous margin: it follows that it is our favourite secondhand car too – by an even more enormous margin. Ford’s dominance of the new car market with the Fiesta means we’ve many more years of it leading the used market. Which, given how well it drives, is no bad thing…

Britain’s favourite used car colours

Car makers will sell vehicles in a broad range of colours that becomes ever more infinite the more you spend. The days of just offering a handful of colours are gone, with brands making dozens of colours available even on mainstream cars.

But despite such choice, we still have our favourites: here’s how the used car market, ahem, ‘shades’ up.

10: Gold

13_Golf

Fresh from triumphant Rio Olympics success, Britain is on a gold medal high. Is that what’s encouraged so many to choose a gold car in 2016?

9: Yellow

14_Yellow

Yellow is a wonderfully divisive colour: some love it, others hate it but no one can miss it. Custard-coloured cars make 9th in the UK’s favourite used car colour ranks.

8: Beige

15_Beige

Now this is a surprise: beige? The colour of your grandpa’s Morris Ital? Ah, but beige is actually back in fashion, made freshly chic by models such as the Fiat 500. The Morris Ital could yet become cool. Maybe.

7: Green

16_Green

If you’re a British motor racing fan, green will have a place in your heart – and, with the rise of storied sporting brands such as Bentley and Jaguar, it seems it now actually is a lucky colour for some.

6: White

17_White

White is in vogue for those who are green: if you’re the maker of something purportedly pure and earthly, you’ll paint it in white. Seems many in the showrooms are keen to bask in the green glow of white.

5: Red

18_Red

Red was big in the 80s but has tumbled down the used car charts since then. Today, it’s only the fifth most favoured colour of secondhand buyers. Car colours are all about fashion and fashions certainly change.

4: Grey

19_Grey

Grey doesn’t sound the most exciting of colours but when it’s given some fancy metallic flecks and applied to an Audi or a BMW, suddenly it becomes a bit of a must-have. The choice of sensible, besuited company corporate ladder-climbers everywhere.

3: Blue

20_Blue

Another one-time favourite of British buyers that’s falling down the ranks, blue cars are still a podium-placed favourite of secondhand car customers. The fact it covers such a huge spectrum, from baby blue to blazer blue, undoubtedly helps.

2: Black

21_Black

Black goes with everything: what’s true for clothes is also true for cars. People used to shy away from picking black because it was a pain to clean. Surely the rise in popularity of hand car washes hasn’t encouraged more to tick the option box?

1: Silver

22_Silver

No prizes for guessing which is Britain’s favourite used car colour. Silver looks decent on almost any car, so it’s a safe choice that brings about the best in most designs. Is it any wonder most forward-looking car concepts are finished in silver, the car designers’ choice hue?

SMMT used car sales 2016

2016 used car sales hit record high

SMMT used car sales 2016Britain’s used car sector grew 7.9% in the first half of 2016 as a record-breaking 4.18 million secondhand motors were bought and sold.

This was the first time the used car market broke the four million barrier.

And the most bought and sold used car? It’s probably going to be a silver Ford Fiesta supermini aged between one and three years old, located in Greater London.

“The growth in the used car market has reflected the record demand for new cars in recent years,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

However, he did warn that future growth “will depend on stable consumer and business confidence”.

12-year record broken

A total of 4,181,042 used car transactions beat the previous high back in 2004. April was the biggest single month for used car sales, buoyed by the March registration plate change: more than three quarters of a million secondhand cars were sold in this month alone.

The most-sold secondhand motor was a supermini: 1 in 3 used cars is one, with the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa topping the popularity list. Small family cars such as the Ford Focus were next up: together, these two sectors account for over 6 in 10 used car transactions.

Silver was Britain’s favourite secondhand colour, followed by black and blue.

But although cars are lasting longer than ever, with the average age of a British motor rising all the time, the most popular used car remains one aged between one and three years old. All hail the nearly new bargain-hunting British used car buyer!