Five Reasons Why Cheap Cars Are Ace…

Being cheap is a richer experience.

Cheap cars are the absolute bomb-diddly, which in our vernacular means brilliant. We love cars at the shallower end of the money pool, but not because they’re cheap. Yes, the low value gets us in the door, but there are many, many other reasons why we stay. We could quite easily get something flash and new on PCP, but that doesn’t appeal. The draw of cheap cars is simply too much.

The one thing that does grind our gears, however, is the onlooker’s assumption that cheap cars are, by default, rubbish. That is not the case. Far from it in fact. Not £2 Grand isn’t here to celebrate ‘bangernomics‘ or other terms for clapped out jalopies (though we love ragging around in wreck when we can). No, we’re here to celebrate the cheaper car. Not all of us have a lot of money, but that shouldn’t relegate us to the terrible, broken cars of the world. And it doesn’t, because there are all manner of machines out there, for minimal cash, that those same onlookers would think you paid a lot more for.

Cheap cars are brilliant. But why are they brilliant? For the following five reasons, of course…

The choice is endless…

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Here in the UK, the used car market is huge. The desperation of the dealers to push new cars on people means the used market is flooded with machinery of all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, the numbers at play dilute the market so much that prices are driven down daily. As such, you can get a ten-year-old car with low miles and full history for less than two grand. You want a convertible? No problem. How about a rugged pick-up? Loads of ’em, boss. A performance car? Yep, you can have one for under two grand.

What the manufacturers and dealers don’t want people to realise is the fact the market is alive with (admittedly older) examples of everything they’re trying to sell new. New cars are bought because people want to be seen in something new. That’s it. There is very little a ten-year-old car can’t do that a new one can. The used market is perhaps even more rich and diverse than that of the new car. And all for a fraction of the price.

Chop and change…

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Got a new or nearly-new car? The chances are it’s on finance, and that means you’re stuck with it until the term is up. Yeah, you could probably buy your way out of it if you absolutely had to, but not with any degree of ease. And what if you get bored of your car? What if you have more kids? What if you end up with a longer commute? What then? You’re shackled to a car that’s no longer fit for purpose.

Cheap cars are the way forward. You’ll own it, so if you need to chop and change, you can. No finance agreements, no settlement fees. You just list it for sale, then bank the cash and buy something else from the vast sea of cheap cars out there. Maybe it’s not a life change, maybe you just want to drive something else, maybe you’ve seen another car that tickles your pickle. Just sell and swap, simple.

They’re disposable…

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We don’t like this fact, per se, but there is no denying the truth to it. Cheap cars are, by their very nature, disposable. Take the Mercedes-Benz W124 up there. That’s ours (part of the fleet for Car & Classic – the day job). It cost us a mere £100 and now it’s on the road, probably stands us at about £700. That’s not a lot of money. As such, if the engine fell out tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We’d be annoyed, perhaps even upset. But it’s not like a £15,000 car grenading its engine, is it? Imagine having dropped eight, nine, ten grand into a car, also with nothing in the way of warranty, only to have it let go? You would HAVE to fix it, no matter the cost. Cheap cars? Chuck ’em, buy another.

You build experiences and memories…

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The automotive world, at all levels, is diverse and exciting. If you have a passion for cars, you owe it to yourself to experience as many as possible. And if they’re cheap, you can. Fast, slow, big, small, poverty or luxurious – it’s all there and it’s all available for less than a couple of grand. The motoring world is full of oddballs, it’s full of icons and it’s full of legends, so get them, experience them. Buy that Clio 182 and build memories of track days and screeching rubber. Buy that E38 and look back fondly on the time you were driving around like a boss. Buy that base-spec Panda and build memories of no-frills adventures.

We’ve had hundreds of cars, and we have hundreds of wonderful memories as a result. The places, the people, the adventures, the wins and the fails. And we love it. Cars can be, if you let them, part of your life’s tapestry. And it’s easier to weave them in if they’re cheap and, as above, changeable. Nobody has fun stories about the three years they had a Fiat Punto on PCP.

You can be proud of a cheap car…

Cheap cars are only crap cars if you let them be, if you buy that car that is obviously a nail, that’s been neglected and battered. But here’s the thing, new or nearly new cars can be crap, too. Quite easily in fact. You don’t have to go far on the internet before you find a horror story about an unreliable new car. Being rubbish is not exclusively related to being cheap. People just want you to think that. The marketing and PR people want you to think old is rubbish because they want you to buy new. They don’t want you to celebrate their past products. There’s no money in it for them.

Value is not the same as worth. You car might have cost you £2,000, but it might be worth far more than that to you. Take our Rover 800. Nobody likes 800s, but we do. It’s ours and it’s deeply special to us. It has, as we mentioned above, woven itself into the tapestry of our life. The fact it was £475 doesn’t matter. You can, and you should be proud of your car no matter its market value. Do not let people make you think cheap is rubbish. Cheap can be, and often is good.

So be proud of your car. Its YOUR car. You worked for it, you worked on it. You built it. You restored it. You repaired it. Whatever is applicable. It’s your car, and you have every god damn right to be proud. If anyone says otherwise, ask them what they drive. We’ll bet our bollocks to a barn dance that it’s something crap, something dull and something with crippling finance on it.

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