Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 21 September
Fancy a used Nissan GT-R for under £36,000? These are the top bargain buys we've spotted for sale

When the Nissan GT-R was first released to a waiting public in 2008, one of the things that took man people aback was the price.

The successor to the Skyline GT-R was expected to cost something similar to that car’s £54,000-odd. Instead, it was £65,000 – a figure that rose sharply when the first facelift came to pass in 2010 and has gone on climbing to the heady heights of £81,995 today, or more if you want anything other than the base model.

Yet those early GT-Rs’ values have sunk steadily, to the point where today they look like quite a lot of car for the cash. This 2010 example in the classifieds is on for £35,950 – around half what it would have been when it was new. It’s a rare thing in that it hasn’t been messed with, and it benefits from a full service history detailing zealous maintenance. In short, it should prove as reliable as it was the day it left the showroom.

Not to mention as balls-out fast too. Today’s GT-R is a blistering machine but even these early examples are astonishingly quick and capable of doing point-to-point like almost nothing else. They flatter their drivers with their electronics and allow even those of very limited talent to achieve a sensation of driving greatness – all backed by the soundtrack of that twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6. Like-for-like, it’s as potent as a contemporary Porsche 911 Turbo but cheaper to buy than a Carrera, and more usable and dependable than either of them. Strikes us as the sort of car that should merit your attention.

Find a used Nissan GT R on PistonHeads

Gt r  2009 d

Volkswagen Passat Estate, £14,598:

Three-year-old Volkswagen Passat Estates are starting to be offloaded by lease and company fleets now, and prices are keen. In fact, they’re barely any more money than the equivalent Ford Mondeo. This 2.0 TDI diesel in comfy SE Business trim has done just 23,000 miles. That’s a lot of car for less than £15k.

Volkswagen passat 2 0 tdi se business 5dr dab cd usb sd bluetooth half leather 309850239 1


Read our review

Car review

A revamp aims to make the ageing Japanese super-coupé more usable, but more dynamic rivals still have an edge - if not the outright pace of Nissan's indomitable GT-R

Back to top

Suzuki Ignis, £7295:

Fancy a punt on a leggy Suzuki Ignis? At this price, we would. After all, this 2017-registered SZ3’s 15,000 miles are plenty for a year-old city SUV like this, but not that much in the grand scheme of things, and if you’re a low-mileage user, you’d easily even them out in time – while enjoying the character and charm that make the Ignis so pleasurable.

Suzuki ignis 1 2 dualjet sz3 5dr hatchback 299171517 1

Rover 800 Sterling, £875:

As barges go, the 800’s better than its reputation suggests, especially in Sterling form. Imposing looks, an opulent, leathery interior and a practical hatchback all make it rather appealing for less than a grand – and this fully historied low-miler with the smooth 2.5-litre KV6 should prove reasonably dependable.

Rover 800 2 5 sterling s3572230 1

Back to top

Vauxhall Cavalier Calibre, £6989:

Here’s something you don’t see every day. The Calibre was a run-out special based on the Cavalier SRi 130, with oh-so-1980s Tickford styling, sports suspension and a plush interior. This one seems pricey,given the 164,000 miles on the clock, but these super-rare curios don’t come along often.

Vauxhall cavalier 267837392 1

Auction watch: 

Lea-Francis ace of spades: With looks only its mother could love, it should come as no surprise that only five examples of the Ace of Spades were built. Powered by a 3.5-litre version of Jaguar ’s XJ straight six, it was built on a ladder-style box frame that was then clothed in aluminium panels.

Torsion bar front suspension allied to leaf springs at the back mean it is no sports car. But it does have an opulent interior, with satinwood veneer, Connolly leather hide and Wilton carpets.

Given it’s so obscure, it’s a bit of a surprise to see it fetch such strong money at auction – £38,160, no less.

Img 6990

Back to top

Get it while you can: 

Ford Fiesta ST Price new £19,765. Price now £13,500: We’ve had to wait a while for a hot supermini to better the ST version of the Mk6 Fiesta – and it only arrived when its successor turned up earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the older car still makes lots of sense, especially when you can get a year-old, fully loaded ST-3 with just 7000 miles on the clock for more than £6k less than its original price. This car’s so good, it won our Junior Handling Day twice over – and were it not for the fact that it’s no longer on sale as a new car, it’d probably still be showing most of the competition the way home to this day.

Ford fiesta st st 3 s3564130 1

Clash of the classifieds: 

Brief: Autumn is just around the corner, which means it’s time to bag a convertible bargain. So find me the best-value drop-top for £10,000.

Porsche Boxster S, £9749:

Let’s address the elephants in the room first: the IMS bearing doesn’t affect this 2006 car because it was built with an upgraded part and, in most cases, a leaky RMS can be left until the clutch needs replacing. True, that’ll be costly, but this Boxster S is hardly expensive. Then you’re left with a glorious open-top Porsche with its screaming six-cylinder soundtrack, pin-sharp steering and sweet handling balance. Max Adams

Back to top

Porsche boxster 3 2 24v s 2dr 280 bhp 311264771 1

Jaguar XJ-SC V12 HE, £9493:

I like a Boxster, but there are times in life when you want to waft, not make waves, and for those occasions nothing else will beat the velvety smoothness of a V12 engine. So, inspired by this week’s Used Buying Guide (see p74), I recommend you savour the sights and sounds of country lanes in this well-kept XJ-SC instead, and revel in its lavishly leathered interior and supreme ride quality. A classic and classy convertible cruiser that creams this clash, I think. MARK PEARSON

Verdict: I love an XJ-SC, but not in white with a blue interior. Max’s Porsche, despite its mega-miles, takes the victory. ALEX ROBBINS

Join the debate

Add a comment…
bowsersheepdog 30 September 2018


That Rover Sterling will make a superb family car for someone, and should give great service for many years if looked after properly.

dougflump 21 September 2018

Nissan Godzilla

What a beast, haven driven one, my license would last about a week....
FMS 22 September 2018

dougflump wrote:

dougflump wrote:

What a beast, haven driven one, my license would last about a week....


Given your affection for the car, do you not reckon you could temper your impulses, so that you could continue to enjoy it, after all it only goes as quickly as you want it to.

geed 21 September 2018

So after nearly 9 yrs the

So after nearly 9 yrs the skyline retains over 50% of its value...seems impressive and I do not know what mileage this example has on it. Strikes me that the gtr has better residuals than all the badge snobs predicted back in 2008. I was hoping to pick up a cheap one 10 yrs chance