Make the plate change work for you
Given time – another decade – a £2k BMW Z3 2.0 may well seem like a steal
It’s 67 plate time. Old people like me miss the letters but, even more than that, we miss it not being 1 August. That was a proper time to do the changeover and it provided the motivation and money that otherwise-bored showroom staff needed to get up in the morning.
Never mind, because the stampede of the masses to the showrooms to buy 67-plate motors presents plenty of opportunities for more savvy shoppers. I’m talking about part exchanges, and there are loads of them, even if the new car market isn’t quite as buoyant as it was a year ago.
I should be pointing you at sensible three-year-old, just-out-of-warranty people movers that have just been chopped in for a 67-plate newbie, but it is far more fun to take the rise out of the unwanted part exchanges that dealers think they may be stuck with.
A 1999 Vauxhall Vectra must now be in the ironic ‘classic’ category, and £475 for a 170,000-miler sounds rather steep, but it is a 2.0 LS model with a full service history. I am sure if you offered the dealer £300, they would pull your arm off.
Indeed, also for £300 I found a 2004 Honda Jazz. With one-carefuloap-owner, such a purchase should be a no-brainer. It does have 140,000 miles and a very honest description by the dealer as ‘scruffy’.
It looks okay in pics, as they always do. The tyres need replacing but, otherwise, it is a Honda, so you would think that it would keep on working (albeit quite scruffily).
1999 is quickly becoming the go-to year of unappreciated future, but currently ironic, classics. A pig-ugly and rather pointless BMW Z3 2.0 is an unwelcome addition to a dealer’s inventory. Just £2000 will buy it, and from the pics it seems to just need a bit of T-cut to shine in the September sun. Given time – well, maybe another decade – and that £2000 may well seem like a steal. Right now, it is sinking into a gravel forecourt and being consumed by weeds.
A Land Rover Discovery I spied not only has the misfortune of being a 2005 model, but also one with a 200,000 mileage. There is a colossal amount of service history evidence, which is very reassuring, and the theory would be that any of the issues that are common on this iteration of Discovery will have been ironed out by now. It’s a 2.7 V6, of course, and the asking price is £5000 on trade terms. Go and kick the tyres, though, and I reckon the dealer will melt a few hundred off that figure, if only to make a Discovery-sized space on his forecourt.
It’s September, then, and used car opportunities are everywhere. You don’t even have to look too hard.
Vectra: perfect for those in the market for an ironic ‘classic’
Disco 2005: worth investigating, even with 200,000 miles