Is there such a thing as a commuter car? I’d argue that there probably isn’t. Buying a new car for just one regular journey sounds a bit daft, unless you can afford it. Also, commutes come in different flavours: some have traffic jam slogs, others could have clear runs on thrilling twisties.
The used car market, however, makes everything much more affordable. So here is a slightly bonkers guide to motors that might make your journey better.
For the classic dismal commute, what you need is an automatic gearbox, air-con and just a couple of seats. Well, make that a couple of doors. I’m thinking more stumpy barge than low-down sports car - an old-fashioned coupé, if you like.
You don’t want rock-hard suspension or low-profile tyres, either, so the obvious choice is a Mercedes-Benz CLK. Early ones weren’t built during the company’s finest hour, but a petrol one that isn’t rusty will at least be cheap. You can bag a CLK320 in Elegance trim for under a grand easily.
There are also some old-school E220s knocking around with big miles and silly alloys, but how about a CL500? It would be a world of financial pain if it goes wrong but is a lovely way to travel. A 2001 example is £3750 and could be stressful when it comes to fuel economy, but then you shouldn’t really care.
There are some lovely ones for £4000 with full history, and I see it as a better bet than a 2002 Bentley Continental GT, which will cost at least £20k more. I’d still like one, though.
If I was going to be super-sensible, I’d track down what’s left of the dwindling supplies of Honda Accord Coupés. For £700, you’ll get a 3.0 V6 on an X plate with leather and pretty decent history. Someone should start saving them, and that person might have to be me.
Upping my budget is easy enough, and that would mean an Infiniti G37 3.7 V6. I like their anonymity and the fact they are so rare and so well made, but £18,495 might sound a lot to some. Still, it buys a refined 2010 GT Premium from a main dealer, and it will be immaculate.
And seeing as I haven’t managed to get out of the world of coupés, I can’t leave without mentioning Jaguar. The old XK was a lovely thing and you can come across proper golf club refugees that have barely been run in.
There isn’t enough space left here to give them full credit, but let’s be honest, if you’re going to commute, at least make every journey a memorable one. So don’t buy a diesel hatchback. Please.