11 Sept 2013

Fleet - I don't know whether to buy another car (once the S4 sells)

My Audi S4 has been for sale for over a month now, without success. To be honest putting it up for sale during the summer wasn't the best timing. I priced it too high too.

The car started at £8,000 on eBay, as a classified ad, and Autotrader.  Nothing.  I then reduced it to £7500 and got a ton of spam from the Autotrader advert.  Examples:

Hello, can we meet today? I would like to see the car.

Hi, i want to ask you when can I see the car please.

But not one real person, until last Friday when a chap called me in the morning and said he was interested and could I text him my address.  Suddenly at 6pm he turned up, having driven from North Yorkshire.

He spent an hour going over the car, drank my tea, took a leak in my toilet, then said, "No thanks." and left.

Tyrekickers, eh?

So I've reduced the price again, to £6,500.  As a reminder I'm selling the car because it doesn't get used. I've already got my Porsche 924S and a Triumph Street Triple, and my wife's Land Rover.  I also need to refill the coffers a little.  I'm no 'daddy's money' rich journo who can buy and sell Ferraris and 911 GT3s.

Like you, I live in the real world.

Well, the slightly surreal world of the part-time motoring journo (who also works in a normal job full time) who's lucky enough to get press cars to test.  As such the drive is often overflowing and I have to park one of the cars in my long-suffering neighbour's drive.

So when I finally sell the S4 (and three people have shown serious interest at just under the current price) should I buy another car or not?

I'm inclined to do so.  If so the budget will be under £2,000 and it will need to be able to cram 3 dogs in the boot.  When my wife is away I have to put the dogs in the 924S for their daily walk.  There's just enough room but they do make a mess of the interior.

As a petrolhead I'm always scanning the classifieds, so already know what I would buy.  I think.

A BMW E36 323i Touring appeals.  There's a lovely '98, 3 owner example on Autotrader right now.  It's up for £1150 as a private sale and looks mint. It's in Boston Green Metallic and has a beige leather interior.

An E30 Touring would also be attractive.  It would need to be a 320i or 325i and a manual.  They're hard to find in the budget but one recently sold on eBay for just over a bag of sand.

I'm in a Golf mood at the moment.  Specifically a Mk2 GTi mood.  I've been looking over a few but they're hard to find in original trim and decent condition.  Too many modi-monkeys have abused them with silly headlights and other bling-tat. One I saw had Audi wheels - replete with Audi centre caps.

There are also quite a few Renault Clio 172s in budget.  Most are original, quite a few described as in good condition. I've never even sat in one, never mind driven one. I worry about quality (bits falling off), the size of the boot and I've heard the driver's seat is quite high - I like to sit low.

Can you think of any other cars that would fit my criteria?  It absolutely has to be rear wheel drive if it's any bigger than a small hatchback and 0-60mph must be quicker than 10 seconds.
That's my wife's old Disco, but she's bought another Series 2 - in blue
Article by Matt Hubbard