James Rup­pert

Dirty diesels done dirt cheap

Auto Car (UK) - - CONTENTS -

It is easy to find a va­ri­ety of ex­cit­ing ve­hi­cles for £2k

And so scrap­page be­gins: ditch that dirty old diesel and we will give you some cash so that you can go and buy another one. Well, a less dirty one, any­way. That’s been the Ger­manic ap­proach so far, as both Mercedes-benz and BMW will re­ward you for drop­ping off a belch­ing old C-class or 3 Se­ries.

Slightly un­der the radar, and with less pre­tence at it be­ing all en­vi­ron­men­tal about this, Vaux­hall has for sev­eral months just been of­fer­ing a plain and sim­ple £2000 scrap­page scheme.

Mean­while Ford is happy to take any petrol or diesel into its car pound. Terms and con­di­tions al­ways ap­ply to these – for in­stance £2000 paid for a car con­form­ing to Euro 1 to 4 emis­sion rules, pro­vid­ing it is swapped for a Euro 6 Ford – but the ba­sic fact is that man­u­fac­tur­ers are throw­ing £2k around.

Of course, what that means for used car buy­ers is that we should pay rather less for old diesels. In the short term prices are not go­ing to change no­tice­ably. For me, aside from the fact that these schemes ad­ver­tise the ut­ter im­be­cil­ity of trash­ing func­tion­ing ve­hi­cles (al­though some will be resold), it also fo­cuses my mind on what great value £2000 mo­tors are.

The ‘ran­dom used car gen­er­a­tor’ that is the in­ter­net is your friend, so it is easy to find a va­ri­ety of ex­cit­ing ve­hi­cles for £2k, or a lot less. A 2005 Mercedes A Class is ef­fec­tively a mini­van. The petrol ones are prefer­able, the mileage should be de­cently be­low 100,000 and it should cost about £1500. There’s a great small fam­ily car right there.

In­deed, small cars with posh badges abound at this level. A re­ally tidy 2003 BMW 1.8 316ti ES Com­pact is a much cooler take on the 1 Se­ries. Again, it is £1500 with his­tory.

Nor­mally I wouldn’t have much to do with an old Peu­geot, but a 307CC 2.0SE seems like fun. The ad I saw said that the 2006 model has a spank­ing new clutch. It also has 94k miles and looks lovely in the pics that the dealer took. Yours for £1595.

Prob­a­bly the most in­ter­est­ing ve­hi­cle to be dragged up by this sub£2000 trawl is a VW Golf V5. A 2000reg car with 15 main dealer ser­vices, it has only cov­ered 56k miles too. Good­ness me, that is tempt­ing.

And, fi­nally, I was charmed to my socks by a 2006 Fiat Panda 1.2 4x4. This has to be all the 4x4 that most of us will ever need. A rea­son­able mileage too at 84k, all for £1795.

So for the pal­try amount a main dealer will give you for some­thing old via a scrap­page scheme, you can bag your­self some­thing far more in­ter­est­ing. If you have bought some­thing fas­ci­nat­ing in­stead of part-ex­ing please let me know.

A used Fiat Panda 4x4 could be all the car you’ll ever need

There’s life left in many road­wor­thy £2000 mo­tors

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