Then again, I love a dealer demo and I really love the look of the current Volkswagen Polo. So a 1.0 TSI 115 R Line with 1000 miles at £18,990 isn’t a giveaway, but it was parked at a VW dealer. Starts to sound like a lot for a Polo, but it should do 45mpg and, as I’ve said, it looks the part.
Instead of a small hatch, why not a great big estate car for less than ex-demo Polo money? I’m back at a supermarket and looking at a Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 Turbo D SRi VX-line Nav estate. Blimey, names are long, but what a great-looking stuff-hauler. This one had 10,000 miles and everything you would ever need as standard, as well as quite cool black alloys. Plus 50mpg on average and a massive load bay. All that for £17,999.
Back at the car buying survey, there’s a solid 25% who bought used cars that are more than five years old. Those wanting a Mini, and many do, would only have to pay £6900 for a 2013 1.2 One. It’s got 42,000 miles, has a full history, black alloy wheels and Bluetooth, so as good as the nearly new one. Or how about a 2013 Polo 1.2 TDI BlueMotion with 69,000 miles for £4400? It will do almost 60mpg and that seems like a more credible price for a VW supermini.
No point listing 2013 Insignias – there are millions of them and they have six-figure mileages. But, hey, a 2.0 CDTi Ecoflex Design Sport Tourer with 107k miles is £3800.
Here’s the proof, then, that used cars are brilliant: they give you a ton of alternatives and deliver value for money whether nearly new or five years old.
What we almost bought this week
Mazda RX-8: If you like checking your engine oil, an RX-8 could be the car of your dreams. The 1.3-litre rotary motor loves a drink so be prepared to top it up every 1000 miles or so with Dexelia 5W-30 or 10W-40 semi-synthetic. We found a 2005-reg with full service history and 70,000 miles for £975. A compression test would be a good idea.
Tales from Ruppert's garage
Porsche Cayenne – mileage 104,462: Here you go – the Flying Pig lives to spend yet another year climate-changing the planet with its marginal fuel consumption. It sailed through the MOT with zero advisories, which is what you want with a massively complicated car like this. I asked my garage to do a minor service, so that was just oil and filters, but including the roadworthiness check it still came to £200. Never mind, that’s Porsche life. Also part of that life is making a trip to a Porker main dealer for some recall work. It’s a half-day adventure for me and I’ll tell you about the Flying Pig’s progress very soon.