Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

I urge fellow motorists to consider buying older cars, such as my 1996 BMW 328i.

I always read with interest the letters you publish, yet find myself exasperated by the cost of even modest modern motors. It is many years since I purchased a new car (a 1996 Volvo T5 estate) since when I have ferreted around the used car market. My purchases have included Range Rovers, Jensen Healeys and TVRs. I now own a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300TE and a 1996 BMW 328i convertible. I accept a few rattles and repair bills but travel first class rather than economy, with minimal depreciation. 30mpg may not be exceptional, but it seems as if manufacturers' claims are pretty unrealistic so I am happy with what I get. I can only urge fellow motorists to look at the bargains out there, to find a reliable independent garage and to enjoy real motoring on a budget - it is seriously good fun and cheap at the price.

Asked on 11 March 2012 by JB, Amesbury

Answered by Honest John
It's down to the kind of motoring you do. If you are retired with time to spare and your motoring is largely "unessential" then no problem running an older car that occasionally breaks down or needs work. But if every minute counts you can't afford that. Reliability and lack of downtime are paramount. I often think of buying an old car to muck about with. Then I realise I simply don't have the time and remember the horrors of the unreliability of old cars in the past. So they're not for me.
Similar questions
I was interested to read the answer to "AB, Ormskirk". You said that one couldn't question the quality of a nine-year old car that was originally designed to last about seven years. My grandson is just...
I read your articles every week, and am constantly amused at all the problems readers have with their cars. Our family car is a fully loaded 1994 BMW E34 525SE Tourer with some 165,000 miles on the clock,...
I don't quite agree with your suggestion that we should compare the cost of repairs to the value of the car. We should instead, compare the cost of repairs with depreciation and the costs/value of buying...
Related models
Excellent build quality. Good balance of performance and economy. Plenty around to choose from.
Roomy and hard wearing inside, solid build quality that disguises miles well, still has class especially in estate and coupe form