This is becoming a regular inbox arrival: “Hi James. I have a car at the end of its personal contract hire agreement (yes, I know) but I’m looking at joining the Bangernomics Club.” Great that so many are seeing the light, or at least submitting to the inevitable new automotive order.
Let’s pick one at random – in this case Richard, who asked for “thoughts on a well-maintained-yet-low-mileage, 20-year-old Lexus GS 300”.
Obviously, it is a ‘yes’ from me. Provided that there is a decent history and it has been well looked after, any of these ‘luxury’ Toyotas are magnificently reliable and should not be a problem at all. I mean, these are old models now, but there are plenty to choose from and they can be Ultra Low Emission Zone compliant. I was taken by a 2005 3.0SE with 100k miles. It had a full service history and a bill for recent cambelt work. That looks like the prime Lexus buy to me, especially as I only need £2900.
Otherwise, what else is there to consider in the luxury barge department? There is just so much saloon-shaped heaven, really. The Volvo S80 is always forgotten when it comes to listing booted, over-equipped and rock-solid, top-value buys. It is a bit bricky to look at, but that is a plus point. I rather warmed to a 2005 2.0T SE Lux with less than 50k miles with all the leather and stuff, but remarkably a manual gearbox. You could have fun in that and all you would need to spend is £3750.
Jags. We are now beyond the default XJ option, and that brings us to the huge number of XFs in circulation. It just depends on whether you want petrol or diesel and the real cheapies are in the private classifieds. Just £3500 for a 2.2TD Luxury with 120k miles? What’s the problem? Blimey: major damage on just about every panel as the seller, or someone dear to them, has been parking by scrape. I’ll take the immaculate, 135k-mile 2009 3.0TD V6 Premium Luxury at £3800.
Volkswagen Phaeton, anyone? A mate of mine bought one for some continental trips that are now on hold and has been bowled over by how good it is. Worth a go, then, which is why a 2009 3.0 TDI V6 with less than 100k miles and a ton of service receipts looks good at £3995. I did find some real cheapies but better to pay a decent amount for a proper example.