It’s always nice to be sent some statistics that aren’t entirely made up or based on the inaccurate feedback of three respondents.
Händler Protect apparently has something to do with warranties, so it holds data that shows the average value of cars sold by independent dealers has risen fairly sharply lately to a very specific £7530. That’s a figure I can concur with, aligning it to what my own very selective group of independent dealers are telling me, in that they average around £8000.
Just to top off that £7530 average is the fact that the cars are 8.51 years old and have covered 72,247 miles. So let’s go shopping with that average amount of money and find ourselves something interesting.
The first stop at the independents involved selecting something that would be indestructible. We would also save a few bob. A Toyota Hilux is a wonderful thing, and I found a 2001 example with just over 100,000 miles and a 2.5-litre engine in GX trim offered for £6495. It seemed like the previous owner was something of an enthusiast, because it had wind deflectors and extra lights. It might sound a lot of money for a 19-year-old truck, but this was a Hilux.
Rather more exciting would be a coupé with an economical diesel heart, in the shape of a Volkswagen Scirocco. For £6494, you can buy a 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech GT with 90,000 miles. This should return more than 60mpg and current annual road tax of £30. It was at an independent dealer offering 0% finance – not that I would recommend that, of course. It had a panoramic roof, bi-xenon lights and rather fancy 19in Lugano alloys.
There seems to be an awful lot of Fiat 500s in circulation, many freshly released from their obligations of a PCP finance deal. That’s why I rather liked the look of a 2017 1.2 with a full dealership history and just 32,000 miles. It had a touchscreen, cruise control and tinted windows, and was finished in blue and with black alloys, so it looked a pretty and purposeful little thing for £7195.
Lifting the roof is always a good idea to raise the mood, and for this money, it’s possible to get a rather tidy BMW Z4. Although there are Series 2 models on the market from private sellers, I’d rather an 89,000-mile 2010 2.0 Sport from an independent dealer at £6450. The 2.0 is all you need and the service history seemed proper, plus it was in a kitchen-sink specification. Heated seats, M Sport alloys and a multifunction wheel.
Your local independent dealer is a great place to shop for your next motor. It won’t be the cheapest, but quite often it will be the safest. About £7000-£8000 is fair money to pay unless you’re in the market for a true banger. We can cover those next time.
Tales from Ruppert's garage