As I look beyond my driveway, all I see is a haze of mediocrity. There are two Mk6 Golfs parked back to back, behind which is a Fiat 500 and a Nissan Qashqai.
And then there’s my driveway, which features a V6 MX-5, an E34 BMW 525i Touring, a Volvo V70 R (soon, my pretties), a Peugeot 206 CC and a Vauxhall Omega with its roof chopped off. At my mother’s house down the road, there’s also a £50 Honda Civic, a Peugeot 106 and a BMW E39 525d that I recently paid £150 for.
So yeah, to many, I have a problem with buying cheap, old cars, but here are a few reasons why I - and I’m guessing many of you - think it’s the best thing ever:
Being able to pick and choose between a variety of cars on a daily basis means that driving never gets boring. If I want excitement, I’ll take the V6 MX-5. If I want to fly under the radar, the Volvo V70 or £50 Civic are perfect, and if I want to get arrested for crimes against car modification, the OmegaUte is the one for me.
What’s more, I enjoy each cars’ quirks, from the unservoed brakes in the 106 to the fact that the key got stuck in the ignition barrel of my E34 the other day; with cars like this, nothing is ever simple, which in turn means I’m never bored.
With the exception of my MX-5 (and to a degree the E34), none of the cars listed above give me anxiety. I can park where I like without fear of expensive paintwork getting dented or scratched, I can carry timber, tools and my dog and not care about getting the interior dirty, and I can drive through width restrictions like they’re not there.
So to anyone reading this with a financed enter generic car here on their driveway, I’d urge you to give cheap shitboxes a go. Your driving stress levels will plummet and you’ll have more fun in the long run. Plus, I’m guessing that what you’re paying out for six months finance would probably bag you a really interesting and reliable used car.
One of the best things about buying cheap old cars is the hunt where you settle down, open 1000 tabs and look what’s out there. Sometimes you’ll hit gold on Gumtree, other times you’ll find your next true love on Facebook Marketplace (the chances of that happening are about as slim as me hitting six foot by the end of the week).
Either way, with a strict budget in mind, you’ll be amazed at what you can afford, and so long as you know what to look for when you see the car (common faults etc), you’ll be in a great position to haggle the seller down some more.
The easiest ways to do this, for example, are with the things you can easily see: tyres are expensive, so if they look like they need replacing soon, that’s a good place to start. Equally, if the brake discs and pads look particularly lipped or thin respectively, then you’ll need money off to get these sorted too. The list is endless, so my advice would be to watch this ChrisFix video.
Obviously, most people don’t have the luxury of being able to pick and choose between multiple cars (that’s why I let Car Throttle pay for insurance), but I guarantee that you’ll be able to add at least one to your fleet if think outside the finance box. What’s more, older cars may be cheaper to insure, too, and if you accidentally curb a wheel, then no big drama.
Who’s with me?