1 The Rotten Truth
The Mini has plenty of moisture traps in its body, all of which can harbour corrosion. Known grot spots include the boot floor, headlight surrounds, the bottom of the doors, the rear wings below the windows and the weld seams around the headlights.
2 Does It Handle?
The steering on any Mini should feel razor-sharp and immediate. Any sensation of play, or vagueness can point to worn bushes, and the sensation of the steering briefly not feeling in tune with the cornering is likely down to worn teeth on the steering rack. Listen out for a clicking sound on full lock too, which is a classic symptom of worn CV joints.
3 faking It
Cooper homages are common in the classifieds, but don’t pay over the odds for them. Do your homework before buying – and punch a prospective purchase’s details into the DVLA’s online database to see what it throws up about the car’s identity. It isn’t unusual for Coopers to have non-standard accessories, too – who spotted the wooden dashboard trim on our test car?
4 NO smoking, Please
The A-Series can take big mileages if looked after, but look for evidence that a car has been serviced regularly. Check the oil filler cap for signs of white sludge and beware blue exhaust smoke.