Dream car or Budget, which comes first? Tell us your thoughts | No thanks

Back to the Landy

Regarding the recent article about running older and much simpler vehicles that are perfectly adequate for everyday use, one glaring omission in the list is the Series 2 or 3 LandRover. Mine is 40 this year, starts first time every time and passes its MoT with ease. OK, fuel consumption is not brilliant and I wouldn’t want to do high miles on a motorway with it (although I can keep up with the trucks in the N/S lane). It seats seven, no RFL to pay, insurance very low, no expensive particulate filter or catalyst to replace, no complex computers which are vulnerable to radio frequency interference. The most unreliable car I have ever owned in over 50 years: the M-B A Class was badly affected by RFI. And unlike modern cars my Series 2A is appreciating in value. I reckon that as it has saved the energy needed for at least 6 cars from being made to replace it, pretty ‘green’ too. My only concern, along with other ‘Practical Classic’ owners, is the potential for damage to fuel-line and engine by the addition of ethanol in fuel. 5% now and rising to 10% soon.

Asked on 9 October 2011 by RS, Hitchin

Answered by Honest John
You are right. The Land Rover should not have been omitted. Not everyone's experience of them echoes yours, though. I always recommend anyone contemplating a Series 2 to join the club (www.series2club.co.uk). I will never forget the purgatory of being driven to and from a race meeting in an SII SWB diesel. Maximum speed 55mph. 8 hours of torture. And we could not even talk because of the noise level. Another problem with bioethanol is that it is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture). So the ethanol element of fuel left in a tank for a long time can emulsify and block fuel lines and filters. Some owners of older Long wheelbase diesel Land Rovers have been caught out by the London Low Emission Zone. (www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/lez/default.aspx)
Similar questions
My daughter is thinking of buying a 2007 Ford Fiesta 1.4 with 72,000 on the clock. It's a nice looking car at £1995 and comes with a full service, MoT and three months warranty. Although it's 13 years...
My car has just been written-off (via an accident that wasn't my fault) and I need to buy a new car. I have a £1000 settlement and can also afford to get a loan of up to £2500. I'd rather not get a loan...
What's the best first car for an 18 year old driver? I need something older and cheap. My budget is about £1500 - £2500. Also, how do I check if the car has any issues, i.e. outstanding finance, been involved...
 

Ask Honest John