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Bag A Big Beast

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Bag A Big Beast

Geoff Maxted
September 29, 2013

BMW 750iL
Car dealers, bless ‘em, get a bit of a raw deal. They are in business to make a profit, much the same as the rest of us, one way or another. They have overheads, wages and taxes to pay, yet they are lambasted as thieves and charlatans to a man. Often, this is because they do not seem to make the sort of trade-in offer that a customer might have been looking forward to. This is often because the type of car being offered for trade is not popular in the prevailing climate. Right now, because of our economic woes and the eco-pressures forced upon us, the stigma has fallen upon big, luxury cars.

Obviously, there will always be people who can afford to run these big beasts but, there again, they can probably afford to buy a new one. For most of us ordinary mortals the luxury car market is a no-no; yet it need not necessarily be so. It really depends on your motoring needs. High mileage users need not apply, of course, but if you can manage with limited usage then there can be a lot of pleasure to be had from owning a big car.

For starters, you don’t want anything recent. For sale right now is a 53 plate Mercedes C Class C180K 3 door with just under 60000 miles on the clock and plenty of extras for under £3000. These cars are pretty much bomb-proof and an example with a high-ish mileage need not be a worry. As long as a car has a full dealer service history and doesn’t flag up any data check issues then you’re good to go.

A sorted C-Class Merc will do a not unreasonable 30mpg and because it’s getting on in years a quick shop around the insurance comparison websites should net you a good deal, particularly if you do without the superfluous additional benefits on your policy and stick on a decent excess. As a low mileage user, a good set of tyres should last a long time although it would pay to stick with cars on the manufacturer’s standard wheels. Similarly, service costs need not be astronomic provided you keep clear of the main dealers and if you are handy with a spanner then basic home servicing should be straightforward.

How about a 2001 7 Series BMW for under £3000? Or a similar Audi A8? There’s always the trusty Jag. A tidy XJ8 on a W Plate with 79000 miles will set you back circa £2000. It might not have the same caché as a Germans and might have a few niggling reliability issues but the Jaguar XJ can often be the biggest bargain of all. As a left field choice the truly brave enthusiast may even consider the much rarer Alfa Romeo 166 but, between you and me, it’ll probably all end in tears.

There is a large choice of stately motors available and dealers don’t want them. If you know your cars, shop carefully and have some mechanical savvy then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t taste a little champagne luxury on a Lambrusco budget!

Written by Geoff Maxted. Facts courtesy of AutoTrader.

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