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

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.
Similar questions
After an ebay hour spent looking at these online, I was wondering whether they would be affordable as a first car? My brother will be learning to drive soon, and these seem stylish and relatively dependable....
My 17-year-old grandson is contemplating buying a Triumph Herald. what would you advise? Wwhat are the pitfalls? What should he expect to pay for a good example
I need to buy a small car for my son to learn in, then drive when he passes. I am looking for the best combination of safety and value. What do you recommend? We're hoping to spend less than £7000.
Related models
The definitive 1980s hatchback, sold, well made, practical and reliable
 

Ask Honest John