Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 26 April
At less £30,000, does this clean Aston Martin DB9 leave you shaken or stirred?

Aston Martin DB9, £29,950: You could argue a DB9 looks at its best in the classifieds, where it’s someone else’s problem.

Still, it does get you dreaming, especially one like the 66,000-mile, 2005/05-reg car we found in black, shot against an austere Edinburgh terrace. Equipment includes a Linn sound system, xenon headlights and rear parking assistance. 

All the signs of a good purchase are here: factory-spec Bridgestone Potenzas all-round, main dealer service mileages laid bare for examination and a recent service ensuring there should be no horrors waiting in the wings. 

Db9 new pic 0456b

It costs less than £30,000 but that’s just the start. You’ll need to budget at least £1000 a year for servicing and other expenses, and that’s before road tax. It would be sensible to maintain its main dealer service record, but we’d understand if you went in favour of a specialist who prefers to repair rather than replace. 

So what to look for? Check the weepage holes on the sides of the cylinder blocks that are a clue to cylinder liner corrosion. Examine the timing cover seal and the gearbox oil cooler system for oil weeps. Then listen for noisy valve gear from cold and when warm. Check the condition of the coil packs: if they’re faulty, the engine may misfire or feel hesitant. 

Aston martin db9


Read our review

Car review

DB9 matched the emotion of a Ferrari but adds practicality and offers an experience unmatched for versatility and appeal

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The DB9 is a heavy car so on the test drive feel for tired suspension bushes and worn springs. This example is an automatic, so check changes are smooth (the rare manual ’box eats clutches). Don’t gloss over worn leather trim – it’s expensive to repair – and check the electric windows work. 

We’re confident our find is a good ’un, but you can never be too careful. 

Fiat uno turbo

Fiat Uno Turbo, £17,500: Actually, tempting though this example of a 1980s hot hatch is (50,000 miles, one lady owner), you’re welcome to it at this money. It’s had a thorough mechanical overhaul and a lick of new paint. Do let us know how you get on with it.

Porsche cayenne turbo

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Porsche Cayenne Turbo, £4990: It’ll be expensive to run but, with just one owner and a full book of service stamps, this Cayenne Turbo is too good to ignore. We’d check the coolant pipes and coil packs, propshaft centre bearing and front wishbones, and that all the toys work.

Jaguar xf 0

Jaguar XF, £3500: Autocar ran an early XF diesel and what a wonderful motor it was, so we were drawn to this 2008 2.7 TD Premium Luxury. It’s done 132,000 miles but it has a full Jaguar service history and there are no advisories on its latest MOT.

Hyundai s coupe

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Hyundai S Coupé, £2995: Mid-life chassis tweaks gave the S Coupé the handling finesse earlier versions lacked. This 2007/07 example has done 70,000 miles. The service history looks a little patchy but these are tough and simple old things, so we’re not too concerned. 

Auction watch

Omega mv6

Vauxhall Omega MV6: With a 215bhp 3.2 V6, subtle bodykit and understated saloon body, this Omega MV6 auto is the definition of a Q-car. It romped home at auction, making £4440 on the hammer. The 2001-reg motor had 72,000 miles and belonged to the boss of a Vauxhall dealership, so had enjoyed five-star treatment. Upgrades included an Irmscher grille and a Powerflow exhaust. As a special incentive on the day, the boss threw in its Y11 VXL registration number. The car’s sure to attract attention at club meets, where enthusiasts earnestly debate the Omega’s comparison with rival Beemers and Mercs

Get it while you can

Vw up gti

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Volkswagen Up GTI, price new - £14,055, price now - £12,490: If you love small cars, Autocar’s recent story on their possible extinction is a wake-up call for those interested in models such as the Volkswagen Up GTI. When it first landed last year, there was a queue around the block. You’ll still have a bit of a wait, but why bother when you can get your hands on a nearly new one now and save a pretty sum in the process? One like the 2018/68-reg example we found. It’s an ex-demonstrator with 1800 miles, so fingers crossed it hasn't been thrashed too much. 

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find me a 4WD cross-country/ Allroad-style estate for £8000.


Volvo XC70 2.4 D5 SE AWD Auto: Volvo was one of the first to offer a jacked-up estate car (the other being Audi) and the brand is well known for good load-luggers – ergo, a Volvo XC70 makes a whole lot of sense. The car I’ve found is a luxurious SE model with the obligatory heated seats, along with Volvo’s charismatic five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 engine – which has more than a passing resemblance, sound-wise at least, to an old Audi Quattro. This one has done only 70,000 miles since it was new in 2008 and it has a full service history, all for just £7495. Max Adams


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Subaru Outback, £7997: In matters of taste, there is no argument; and in matters of off-roading, everyone doffs their cap to a Subaru. This barely used 2011 Outback is the supreme all-rounder. It’s built so well it’ll never go wrong, and its four-wheel-drive capabilities are such that it can tow horseboxes, traverse streams, plough across fields and take the family to Cap d’Antibes on holiday without ever missing a parish quiz night or a school run or a farmers’ ball. That flat-four diesel will cover huge distances, too, while the luxurious interior will impress even the Chipping Norton set. Mark Pearson

Verdict: That Volvo is still a stylish conveyance but the tough Subaru is its match in all areas, and is younger too. 

Read more

Used car buying guide: Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9 2004-2016 review​

Why the slow death of the value small car has begun​

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si73 26 April 2019

The Hyundai is just called a

The Hyundai is just called a coupe, I thought, not an s coupe, the s coupe was from the late 80s/early 90s.

Merlot 26 April 2019


Sure you mean that?

xxxx 26 April 2019

XC70-proper Volvo estate

All day long.

As to the Porsche for £5000, well it might be worth breaking as it's got some bad history, corrorded subframe, year without MOT, 166k miles but only 2000 miles in the last 3 years  and there's only a short MOT with it.

Boris9119 26 April 2019


As you say XXXX, Cayenne Turbo makes way more sense broken down into parts, actually sounds like a savvy buy on that basis, no way I could recommend buying it to use it as a driver. The Fiat's price is a joke surely? The Aston..... great weekend driver at that money.