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The anti PCP £500 Bargain bangers advice thread

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I love me a bargain motor, its central to the money saving aspect of Financial Independence. I have had all sorts of cars over the last 25 years, some have been a dream, otheres disasterous moneypits. I thought it might be handy to have a thread where we can share collected wisdom of bangernomics for those that can see through the PCP/loan on a fast depreciating asset.

There are probably other resources out there - like honestjohn.co.uk - that we can link to whilst also presenting each other with current ads/experiences.

For me there have been some firm rules to live by;

1. Dont ever compromise on safety, or reliability (the latter is easier said than done unless youre a proper mechanic, im not..), without question, its a false economy

2. Don't buy anything unregistered unless its just a donor for parts, in my case, these are the moneypits

3. Don't be afraid to haggle, older cars will always have some faults, always highlight them to the seller before agreeing a price. Take cash with you - sellers want a quick sale but..

4. Dont be afraid to walk away, try to remove emotion - just cause its the right colour/model etc doesnt mean you can overlook its bad points

5. Do your research. Know what the guide value is before you view, read about the pros & cons of certain models for example VW have been (rightly) dragged through the mud for their emissions scancal but thats not of much importance when deciding which one you should consider - personally id be much more wary of buying a used VAG with an DSG auto box as hey are so much trouble.

6. Try to make it a fun and enjoyable process and learn as much as you can, both before and after buying and lastly

7. Dont be sad if you end up with a lemon, at 500 quid these are disposable objects and rest assured your neighbours new Audi 4x4 probably loses 500 a month just parked in the drive :)


For the record i'm onoy into chrome bumpers so my best buys have been old Beetles, a '62 (bought in 03) and a 76 (bought in 2015) and a 1970 VW Variant, all were on the road for no more than 600 quid each. Admittedly these are weekend cars, i wouldnt recommend putting your 17yo in one. They are appreciating in value faster than the cost of maintaining them.

Worst buy? Merc 190e bought in the dark dirt cheap but i soon learnt the hard way the phrase "theres nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes!"

Happy motoring all :)

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If you don't mind rattles and squeaks, ime the motor that will give you the most miles per quid is an ex private hire car. Round here, a car cannot get a private hire plate after it's 8th birthday, so not that old.  While a private hire car, they get an annual test that is stricter than a regular mot and little things, like a small tear in the seat fabric, have to be repaired.  

Similar for maintenance. Have your car fettled by the place that most of the private hire owner drivers patronise.


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  • 295 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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