Buying guide

Going up in the world: 12 affordable future classic cars that are likely to increase in value

Going up in the world: 12 affordable future classic cars that are likely to increase in value. Including the Peugeot 306 GTI-6

Values of classic cars have spent the last decade rising faster than a rocket blasting off for the International Space Station. Petrolheads who have scraped together every last penny and wealthy speculators alike have watched as the future classic cars they own have outperformed stocks and shares, left art and equities trailing and even boomed beyond the London housing market.

For drivers who don’t own a classic, would like one, but don’t have hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds to spend, the question is: what affordable future classic cars should they invest in today?

After 25 years of testing cars, I’ve seen all sorts of motors come and go. But these are the lesser known models that left a lasting impression – and are therefore most likely to become future classics that appreciate in value. Get ready for lift-off…

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Brilliant bangers: five of the best cheap and cheerful cars for £1000

£1000 used cars: VW Bora is a brilliant banger that’s a VW Golf in disguise

Avoid the obvious when searching for a cheap car (Picture © Volkswagen)

Brilliant bangers don’t have to come in packs of six, ready for the frying pan or barbeque: they can also be some of the best value motors money can buy.

Choosing a used car on a £1000 budget calls for patience, detective work and an ability to resist the lure of luxury names. You’ll also need to read between the lines and not be tempted by classic sales patter: “First to see will buy”; “One lady owner”; “Starts every time”.

A full service history, all accompanying paperwork, verified mileage – clocking can be common – are just your starting points. Check the length of the MOT, find out when the next service is due (and how much it’s likely to cost) and don’t be put off by cosmetic blemishes if the car is mechanically tip-top. After all, you’re buying it to get from A to B for the least amount of money, not cruise London’s Kings Road in head-turning style.

A final tip is to try to build a picture of how reliable the car is likely to be. A helpful tool is the Reliability Index, provided by Warranty Direct, a leading provider of mechanical insurance for cars. With all that in place, start hunting out any of these brilliant bangers…

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Used car buying guide: best-selling convertibles

Best-selling convertibles

With the hoped-for arrival of hotter weather, many drivers’ thoughts turn to buying a convertible. Here we look at the country’s five best-selling convertibles. But rather than forking out for a new one, there are plenty of used bargains to be had with some models selling for hundreds rather than thousands of pounds.

Mercedes SLK

This was the car that started the modern trend for folding hard tops. Although the first generation model was far from perfect, the concept was clearly right because Mercedes is still making the SLK 20 years on. And as with the Mazda MX-5, there are models to suit all budgets.

Why choose this

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Scenic Route: Buying old Land Rovers – the Green Flag expert’s guide


Fans will tell you buying old Land Rovers can be a fun and rewarding experience. Old versions of the model we now know as the Defender were the original ‘go anywhere’ vehicle. Ever since its introduction in 1948, the Land Rover is one of the few cars that can truly lay claim to having a cult following. It’s no surprise then that Joe Swash picked a Land Rover for his epic road trip for Green Flag’s Scenic Route series.

Joe’s is a 1985 Land Rover 90 Soft Top, the short wheelbase version fitted with what appears to be a poorly erected tent covering the back seats and load bay. You need a sense of adventure to own and drive a car like Joe’s. It’s also ideal to have a little mechanical knowledge or, at the least, the enthusiasm to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, learning to fix faults as they arise. And they will – as any Land Rover owner will tell you. Continue reading