One hundred pounds. What will that get you these days? A tank of diesel for your large SUV, most (but not all) of a one-way anytime train fare from London to Cardiff or, if the papers are to be believed, the fine for outstaying your welcome in a McDonald’s car park.
Or were you prepared to pay as much on a weekly basis and stump up a deposit of varying size, £100 is all you need to park a fine new car outside your house, ideally suited to whatever your heart desires or head requires your daily driver to be. Think about that: think how easy it is to blow that amount on a Saturday night once you’ve had a few drinks, dinner and a taxi home. And you won’t even wake up with a hangover.
The truth is, the way we buy cars has been changing for some time now. Today, fewer and fewer people subscribe to the old model of walking in to a showroom and buying a car outright with either their own or the bank’s money. Instead, they choose to pay a deposit and a weekly sum and then, after a fixed period of time, give the car back and choose another. These personal contract purchases (PCPs) are popular because the sums involved are low relative to a hire purchase agreement, because you’re not buying the car bit by bit. They’re also flexible, so at the end of the deal you have the choice of returning the car, trading it in or buying it outright for a pre-agreed price.
But what to get? This guide to just some of the cars that can be yours for £100 per week will give you an idea or two. Bear in mind, though, that these are just some of literally thousands of deals. For instance, almost all those offering PCPs will provide a sliding scale balancing the initial deposit against repayments. So if you’re cash rich but income poor, you might fancy paying a lot up front to minimise the repayments and, naturally, it works the other way too.