A question I am often asked is this: “What is going on in the used car market right now?” And the honest answer is that I haven’t the faintest idea.
It just depends what you’re after, how much you want to spend and whether you have a thing about German or Japanese cars.
You see, there are so many factors involved that it’s hardly worth speculating on what is or isn’t going on. If you’re a fleet manager or a car dealer, maybe you need some guidance, but none of that marketplace nonsense matters to the rest of us. We just want a car we can afford and which lights our fire.
With £3500 to spend and a coupé on the shopping list, you can have an immense amount of fun. A 2002 BMW 330Ci Sport may not be an M3, but it isn’t far off. It also has lower running costs and fewer maintenance issues, so it more than makes up for the lack of an M badge. It can’t depreciate much more, either, can it? Then again, some might want the security of four-wheel drive, so a same-year Audi TT quattro with a ‘225’ 1.8T motor is also within budget.
Alternatively, you could go a bit weird and bag a Peugeot 407 Coupé 2.2 Sport. It will be from 2007, but what you’ll get is a huge car with leather and loads of kit. It’s more modern than the German stuff but less interesting. Or more interesting, depending on your point of view. I also found a Honda Integra Type R, which is quite fascinating. You can’t go wrong at that price for one of these, and it’s only going to go up in value.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a huge number of Mazda RX-8s for sale. There are oil and fuel consumption issues, but who cares? One of the most interesting coupés made in the past decade, the RX-8 is worth a look for the suicide doors, never mind the spin-cycle rotaries. You can bag yourself a 2007 example for £3500.