Our latest project car is probably the youngest we’ve ever bought – it was registered on May 13, 2011. However, it was cheap for a reason: the mileage is over 167,000 – that’s around 26k a year.
With our new sponsors Autovaux offering to help repair any Vauxhall model we chose, we had to make a decision between a Corsa, Astra or Insignia – those being the best-sellers. As the latest project was to replace the rather huge Mercedes-benz E320 estate, we decided to go for the biggest of the three Vauxhalls.
I took my usual route of finding a suitable vehicle online at British Car Auctions in the week leading up to Christmas. It would help if we had a car bought before the holiday break, so we could give it more of a test drive.
Around 90% of Insignia A models on the used car market are diesels – mostly the 2.0 CDTI in power outputs of 130 or 160PS and some with ECOFLEX (whatever that may entail). So, a turbodiesel was the model of choice and a high-miler would give us something to get our teeth into. Hence, when I saw the 11-plate Sports Tourer in Elite trim listed at the BCA sale on December 20, it seemed worth a punt.
There was reason to be cautious, though. Over the past few weeks I had spotted many dead Insignias, mainly due to engine seizure, which could arise for any number of reasons. Is the 2.0 CDTI that bad, I wondered?
I had already lost two Insignias in bidding wars the day before, each exceeding my target price. So with the Elite model driving through the hall, I had a maximum of £2000 to spend. Bidding started at £1000, climbed to my bid of £1800 in a matter of seconds and that was it – we had won this twoowner, high-mileage project.
I’ve not seen our Insignia myself, only in the pictures that Rob Hawkins took for the feature starting on page 30. But, as you will read, Rob didn’t get to drive it around much over the festive period.
According to the V5C, the first owner had the car through the Motability scheme for the first two years. The second owner added around 30,000 miles a year from 2013. We’ve managed to speak to the last owner and hopefully will be able to solve the mystery of the non-existent service records.
If you have experience of working on