Buying a very cheap car
'Old Bangers' and 'Run Around' Cars
The scenario usually is that you've either downshifted or changed your career and the money is tight. You need a car (or it would certainly help), but can't afford what you're used to.
Maybe that's the call for buying, what I call, 'A Disposable Car'.
With depreciation, a brand new car will lose in excess of a £1,000 per year, most of that as soon as you've driven it out the Showroom!
I've purchased two cars in the last five years, both with brand new MOT's, reasonably low mileage, clean and reliable; a Nissan Micra (10 years old) cost me £200 and the other, a Fiat Cinquecento (8 years old) for £375!
I brought the Nissan off a chap I know and was aware of the full service history. This car took me to Southampton and back (300 miles) on a dozen occasions and to North Wales twice (700 miles).
I brought the cheap Fiat Cinquento at the local Car Auction. With the brand new MOT and only 69,000 miles on the clock, this seemed a snip, but I had to have a new Radiator at £80 though. Even so, I was glad because I thought it was the Head Gasket. I would have cried!
They say that a car starts to increase it's Carbon Footprint when it's 13 years old (source BBC), so you shouldn't feel that you're being 'anti-eco' for a start if you're looking at something 10 years old.
Also, go for the bigger brands like Ford, where second hand car spare parts are easily obtainable from ebay and elsewhere.
I've known a few people who go by the same principle as me with cars, you either buy a brand new one every two years or buy a £200 one and see it out
Best not to call it a 'Cheap Car', say it's 'A car I brought cheaply'. Much better for status purposes !!
Some tips from my experiences at Auctions
Watch the other buyers. They know what's what. If they're not interested in bidding, there's a reason.
Be at the Car when they start it up for showing.
Usually it's engine is running for some time so see if there's any sign of overheating.
The most expensive part of a car is the Petrol Tank!