We asked for your tales of shrewd car buying - when you’ve chosen used over new and got a faster, more engaging or more luxurious motor for less cash. Here’s a snapshot of what you said
6 October 2015

We asked you for tales of success in the classifieds and you responded in earnest. Here are some of your bangernomics wise buys.

1 - Audi A7 3.0 TDI 272 S Line (2015)

Buying nearly new was a strategy that paid off for Roger Hanson, as he explains: “I was due to change my Jaguar XF and wanted a four-seater with an element of exclusivity and performance but wished to avoid smaller prestige manufacturers, such as Maserati and Porsche, where dealerships are scarce and maintenance costs are at a premium. 

“I purchased an eight-month-old Audi A7 3.0 TDI 272 S line with 3600 miles on the clock for £36,750, a saving of more than £16,000 against the list price. It’s a pleasure to drive: fast, practical and economical. Bang for buck indeed.”

2 - Alfa Romeo SZ (1992)

Stuart Underwood from Weston-super-Mare used Autocar for buying inspiration in 2004. “I was sorely tempted after reading the excellent road test result of the oh-so-sensible Volkswagen Golf 2.0 GTD, although I thought its as-tested price of over £24k a bit steep,” he says.

“Later that week, I spotted an ad for a car I had lusted over for years, the Alfa Romeo SZ, and it was £5k cheaper than the Golf, so in a fit of insanity I bought it.

“Eleven years later, the Alfa is now worth considerably more than I paid and every time I look at it I still can’t believe it’s mine. For an easy life, buy new. To realise your dreams, buy used.”

3 - Subaru Legacy 3.0 Spec B (2007)

Nigel Johns says: “I bought my automatic version in 2009 for £13,500. The original retail price was over £30k. The car has been totally reliable and the performance is outstanding. It brings a smile to my face each time I drive it.

“This car seems to have been very much overlooked by British car buyers, although it is very popular elsewhere in the world.

“The fuel economy isn’t great if the performance is used but, taken steadily, it can return more than 31mpg on 99-octane petrol.”

4 - Porsche 911 (2008)

Nick Tiley from Cambridge faced a decision when the time came to move on from his much-loved five-cylinder Ford Focus ST. “You might think that the obvious choice was a Volkswagen Golf R.

But the cash outlay on a new one also covered a 2008 ‘997’ Carrera Gen 2 with reasonable mileage. I’m sure that over three or four years, my cost of ownership will work out significantly lower than the Golf and the smiles per mile will be higher. It’s a very special car.”

5 - Jaguar XFR (2010)

“I have recently bought a 2010 Jaguar XFR,” says Martin Willoughby from Cardiff. “Five litres, 503bhp - what a beast! It has one previous owner, 45k miles, a full Jaguar service history and all paperwork and receipts. When new, it cost more than £65k, including extras. The original owner has taken a £43k hit.”

Martin rates his car as “awesome” and says “everything works as it should”. It’s rapid but “on a recent cruise up to north Wales, it returned just under 30mpg”.

6 - Mercedes-Benz CLK 200k (2008)

Mercedes-Benz enthusiast Gerard Reilly budgeted for a three-year-old Volkswagen Golf diesel but instead fulfilled his dream of putting a three-pointed star on his drive.

“I managed to locate a 2008 CLK 200K with one owner and only 43,000 miles on the clock from a main dealer in the south-east of Ireland,” he says.

“The car is Tanzanite blue with tan leather and the previous owner ticked a good number of boxes on the options list, including an electric sunroof, heated seats, lumbar support, electric memory seats and an electric steering column.

“I paid €16,000 [£11,500] for it, around one-third of its cost new. I think that I have got an SL or CL specification in a more modest CLK. The car drives superbly and has been much admired.”

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6 October 2015
What an amazing alternative to a Golf. Good work, that man.

6 October 2015
I was thinking that too! I wonder how reliable the SZ is and if you could use it as a daily driver? Isnt it LHD? Its the opposite of what someone in the autocar comments section said they did... sold an appreciating 911 RS for a Boxster. Why would anyone do that?

11 October 2015
Only the guy who bought the SZ should be in this story. He did something genuinely out of the ordinary. The others are just standard used car alternatives. Had the bloke selling the Focus ignored a Golf R to go and find himself a pristine Ur-quattro, that would have been a worthy entry. Had the guy chosen to ditch his Golf diesel plan for a Mercedes 190 2.5-16 Cosworth, yeah then tell us about it. I was half expecting there to be a number 7 in which a buyer changed his mind from buying a new Vauxhall Agila and got a second-hand Toyota iQ for the same money. Use of the term bangernomics in the opening paragraph was always going to be off the mark, given that it was a selection of choices made in preference to brand new cars. But the summary under the headline heralded the article as being examples of inventive used-car decisions, yet only one of the six was anywhere close to that.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left


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