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Buying an old Volkswagen Golf as a first car

My son, who is 22 with a clean licence, has decided it is time to buy his first car. Illustrative quotes suggest a 2005 Vauxhall Corsa or Toyota Aygo would cost him c. £1,300 to insure, which I didn't think was bad.

He says he would rather walk, he wants something with character and he has instead identified a 1989 Volkswagen Golf Mk II GTI in good condition, which, to my amazement, it would seem he can insure for £850. Apart from the obvious concerns about reliability with a car older than him, should he be concerned about being forced off the road by emissions regulations?

A quick response would be most appreciated before he commits !

Asked on 3 May 2013 by b6waf

Answered by Honest John
Could be okay if no rust at all. First place to look is around the front screen frame and make sure the trip computer works because if it doesn't it's unfixable. Originally Golf Mk IIs require almost continual replacement of components, but it was my experience that, except for fuel pumps, once a component was replaced it tended to last longer than the original.
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