Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 27 July
Fancy a Volkswagen Golf R for £18,790? These are the top bargain buys we've spotted for sale

The used car market is brimming with tasty deals, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the wise buys from the potential money pits.

Fear not: our used car experts have compiled their picks from the classifieds. See anything you like? Best to move fast and buy them before we do...

You may think it a little trite that we’re singing the praises of the Volkswagen Golf R, but if you weigh up the reasons for it, you’ll understand. Although it might not be the most exciting car to drive and it isn’t as exciting to look at as an electric blue Ford Focus RS or the bewinged Honda Civic Type R, that’s what fans are after. It’s supposed to be understated and subtle – but what isn’t subtle about the Golf R is the way it goes.

Find a used Volkswagen Golf R for sale on PistonHeads

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On paper, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine isn’t that exotic, particularly next to, say, a six-cylinder BMW 135i. But when you drop a gear or two in the Golf R and pin the throttle, it pulls with such vigour that you’d need to be in a supercar to outpace one in the real world.

It’ll also dispatch corners with ease because it has huge reserves of grip and it can get all of its power down onto the road through an effective part-time four-wheel drive system. It’s intelligent enough to shuffle power from front to back and the stability control system can even brake the inside wheels to tuck the car into corners, making it devastatingly quick point to point.

There are plenty of examples out there for you to pick from and you have the choice of a slick-shifting manual or an easy-to-drive dual- clutch automatic. The Golf R we found for sale on has the manual and comes with climate control, adaptive cruise, a DAB radio and xenon headlights.

For the sake of the four-wheel drive system, just make sure that all four tyres match and that the car comes with a full service history. It’s a quick car, after all, so you want to know it has been looked after.


Read our review

Car review

Billed the 'Ultimate Golf' and given more power, but can this facelifted Volkswagen Golf R knock the imperious Ford Focus RS from its perch?

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Seat Leon £16,500

This Leon, with just 27 miles on the clock, is the 2.0-litre diesel, which means it’s good for 0-62mph in 8.5sec and a claimed 60mpg. It’s an FR Technology model and has sat- nav, LED lights and 18in alloy wheels. Haggle on the price of a new Leon and you might get one for £20,500, but this pre-registered car is only £16,500.

Seat leon 2 0 tdi 150 fr technology 5dr diesel hatchback 301765000 1

Citroën Berlingo £13,000

Few types of car can beat the practicality of a van-based MPV and few can beat the Citroën Berlingo on price. This one-year-old car has covered 18,000 miles from new, is in top-spec Flair guise with a 98bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine and could be yours for £13,000. And you don’t have to pay VAT on that.

Citroen berlingo multispace 1 6 bluehdi 100 flair 5dr 296694908 4

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Bristol 411 £79,995

Owning a classic can be green. One of the appealing things about Bristols is that they come with heavy-duty mechanicals that go on forever and most owners pass them down in the family. This one has had an LPG conversion to ease the conscience of the next owner, since they’ll be running a 6.6-litre V8 monster.

Bristol 411 s3423203 1

Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG £28,500

There’s a Formula 1 tie-up with the 518bhp SL63 AMG. You see, an SL63 AMG was used as a pace car during the 2008 and 2009 F1 seasons and this 28,000-mile example from 2008 could be yours for less than a third of what it cost new. It even comes in the same shade of silver as the grand prix pace car.

Mercedes benz sl class sl 63 2dr tip auto 304354827 1

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Auction watch: Bedford Chevanne

It’s amazing to think that there are any Bedford Chevannes left on the UK’s roads, considering the hard lives that these workhorses must have led. Such vehicles can be rarer than most classic cars because few people have deemed them worthy of preservation.

Although this one didn’t make its lowest estimate of £6000 at auction, it is worth a lot more than it was only a few years ago. And it makes sense as a starter classic because of its tough mechanicals and simple electrics.

Rust is the main issue so take along a magnet and poke around underneath to check for any nasty holes.

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Get it while you can

Volvo S60 D4 Business Edition Lux - Price new £27,710. Price now £17,000. The Volvo S60 was never the most spacious car in its class and the boot is a little pokey, but it’s a stylish, well-equipped and likeable alternative to the more obvious BMW, Mercedes or Audi. Now that this one is a year old and has covered 9326 miles, it could be yours for a modest £17,000. That’s a huge saving over the new one, and it’s got sat-nav, climate control, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.

Volvo s60 d4 business edition lux manual w volvo on call and tempa spare 306418338 1

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Clash of the classifieds

Brief: It’s festival season, which means big music events, camping, BO and mud. With that in mind, find me a cheap and capacious car for under £2000.

Volkswagen Touran £1250

Decent. Solid. Reliable. It could be there’s no effective substitute for the Touran. Indeed, if you’re the sort who goes to festivals, it’s definitely for you. It’s big inside and it’ll seat seven, although if you are a regular festival goer, I’d be surprised if you can find six people who’ll want to share it with you. This one’s petrol and grey, so you won’t need to wash it. Or yourself, probably. It’s well inside budget, too. MARK PEARSON

Volkswagen touran 1 6 se fsi 7 str 5d 114 bhp 311272378 7

Rover 75 Tourer £1995

It might not be the coolest thing in the field, but this Rover 75 Tourer is an ideal festival truck. For starters, it’s powered by the creamy-smooth and gutsy 2.5-litre KV6 engine. There’s loads of room for luggage — and mates, too, in those big, squidgy seats. But here’s the clincher: this one’s done just 37k miles, with a full history to back it up. And thanks to the fuddy-duddy image, no tea-leaves in the crowd will give a second glance. ALEX ROBBINS

Rover 75 tourer 2 5 v6 club se 5dr 306514094 1

Verdict: I haven’t the heart to ruin the pristine velour interior of the 75, so Mark wins because that Touran is cheap, spacious and, above all, disposable. MAX ADAMS

Read more 

Volkswagen Golf review 

Volkswagen Golf R review 

Volvo S60 review

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Outoftowner1969 29 July 2018


I considered buying a Citroen C6 a few years ago, given the huge depreciation, it looked like a real bargan.

Now they seem amazingly cheap for what they are and likely to be future classics. However, I guess it could be a bit scary if things go wrong? Maybe Bob, who posted the comment above would know more about it.

I have got a Rover 75 V6 that I still use from time to time. It's now got 215,000 miles on the clock and a little bit creaky, but still reasonably fast and nice to drive. 

One thing to watch with the example mentioned is to ensure the timing belt has been done. It's needed at 90,000 or after 9 years? Mine's been done twice and It's a difficult job. The last time it was refreshed at 180,000 miles cost over £500, which is a big percentage of the purchase price of the one in the atricle. Buyer beware, eh?



Beastie_Boy 28 July 2018

My eyes!!!

That Bristol looks like a posh Marina.

I could think of 100s of cars I’d buy before dropping £80k on a Bristol makes sense.

Bob Cholmondeley 27 July 2018

A Bristol and a Shove-it van

A Bristol and a Shove-it van in the same used car article?