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Buying a working, legal, partially presentable car for under a ton?

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And the chase itself will make a good story...I have bought cars on Dartmoor, in the Welsh hills, on the Pennines and from some really nice and not so nice people - but plenty of characters. Never not got home though. Often the story is more about the journey and the  people not just the car.

 

If you are a writer/journalist you may have read this - all about the chase for the life story of the elusive  Baron Corvo. If you have not read it - worth tracking down -written in the 30's but republished many times so loads of cheap copies on the web. It's a piece of great writing.

One of my best memories was made four years ago when a mate and myself bought a Porsche 924 with a weeks MoT, unseen and that hadn’t even been started for three months, from a guy I had only spoken to on the mini forum, on an ‘interesting’ estate in south London and drove it back (On a Sunday) to the Midlands. The fan belt went after less than a mile, cue entertainment finding one of those but we did, then off to the M40 with a car visibly dripping ‘water’ that actually turned out to be petrol. Then a game of only put in two gallons and hope you can make the next services. It went ok until where the M40 splits and we ended up filling it from a can on the chevrons in the middle. The door lock failed and locked us out the driver’s door so you could either climb over from the passenger side or dukes of hazard it through the window. Great fun. I went back and bought a Subaru off him which was cracking car but I lost a packet on it.

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Sarcasm noted

None intended.

 

I've received a lot of helpful information in here so far, and it's nice to note that people are concerned about whether I'm going to fall foul of the law or not. I'm probably not (I've outlined the full plan to one of my friendly motor industry legal contacts; their opinion is that I'm the safe side of the line), and nobody needs worry on my behalf about that, or anything to do with the writing and publication (pitched and commissioned) aside from how difficult getting a car that will move under its own power, legally, and not require ruinously expensive repairs to continue to do so for such a stupid start price is. But bringing up those concerns is appropriate and it's good to see people are willing to do so rather than keep them to themselves and just let someone do something potentially careless.

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I think this will be a bit of a laugh. I've had a freebie Volvo 940 estate, a Mk3 cavalier and a VW... oh what was the booted Golf called?? I bought a white Uno from BCA in Enfield, it was so miserable they waived the fees, it cost me a tenner. It needed an exhaust bracket welding on for an MOT.

 

Granted it was a few years ago mind but hey, what the heck.

 

Watches with interest....

 

 

VW Bora.

 

Actually, saw a funny one the other day.  It was a MKIV Golf Estate (de-badged, which should have been the first clue) with a Bora front end.  They'd obviously taken the front sections of panels off a MKIV Golf Estate and replaced them with the panels, headlights, etc. from a Bora.  Perfectly possible given that they're exactly the same underneath and the only difference (I think) are the wings, bonnet, headlights and bumpers.  Made me blink though.

 

Anyhow.  I think the original objective is quite possible but will take time...

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One of my best memories was made four years ago when a mate and myself bought a Porsche 924 with a weeks MoT, unseen and that hadn’t even been started for three months, from a guy I had only spoken to on the mini forum, on an ‘interesting’ estate in south London and drove it back (On a Sunday) to the Midlands. The fan belt went after less than a mile, cue entertainment finding one of those but we did, then off to the M40 with a car visibly dripping ‘water’ that actually turned out to be petrol. Then a game of only put in two gallons and hope you can make the next services. It went ok until where the M40 splits and we ended up filling it from a can on the chevrons in the middle. The door lock failed and locked us out the driver’s door so you could either climb over from the passenger side or dukes of hazard it through the window. Great fun. I went back and bought a Subaru off him which was cracking car but I lost a packet on it.

Great story. A few sub 200 cars I have bought over the phone and made a cash transfer to buy without meeting the owner or seeing the car where I have though it worth it. They have all been ok with a bit of roadside fettling...depends on the model though.

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If you have a bit of polite banter in you , and talk up that youre going to be doing a bit of work to it, which will be doccumented, yada yada yada, you might get this away for a hundred.  If nobody bids.  And you jump in the SEND CELLAR A MASSAGE button .34 seconds after the end of the auction.  And to be fair, it looks like a decent steer. 

 

And its local.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1997-MK3-Vauxhall-Astra-Low-Mileage/223488360156?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

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None intended.

 

I've received a lot of helpful information in here so far, and it's nice to note that people are concerned about whether I'm going to fall foul of the law or not. I'm probably not (I've outlined the full plan to one of my friendly motor industry legal contacts; their opinion is that I'm the safe side of the line), and nobody needs worry on my behalf about that, or anything to do with the writing and publication (pitched and commissioned) aside from how difficult getting a car that will move under its own power, legally, and not require ruinously expensive repairs to continue to do so for such a stupid start price is. But bringing up those concerns is appropriate and it's good to see people are willing to do so rather than keep them to themselves and just let someone do something potentially careless.

 

Thing that gets me is you are using the info people give, taking little notice along the way, and if your idea comes to fruition, which may well happen if you moderate some of your requirements.

You will go all quiet on us, tell us nothing, put it all in print, and expect us to pay for it.

 

I'd rather read Jim

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VW Bora.

 

Actually, saw a funny one the other day. It was a MKIV Golf Estate (de-badged, which should have been the first clue) with a Bora front end. They'd obviously taken the front sections of panels off a MKIV Golf Estate and replaced them with the panels, headlights, etc. from a Bora. Perfectly possible given that they're exactly the same underneath and the only difference (I think) are the wings, bonnet, headlights and bumpers. Made me blink though.

 

Anyhow. I think the original objective is quite possible but will take time...

The Bora was available in estate form on the continent, and as a Jetta wagon in North America.

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Thing that gets me is you are using the info people give, taking little notice along the way, and if your idea comes to fruition, which may well happen if you moderate some of your requirements.

You will go all quiet on us, tell us nothing, put it all in print, and expect us to pay for it.

I'll make the project an AS community thread before I write anything about it properly anyway - you guys will have been instrumental in getting the car(s), and there's plenty of vehicle life stories - from collection to sending off - on here from members, so it should slot right in. Just with a dumber budget.

And to repeat, I could have just stayed anonymous, scouring the relevant resources without ever registering. I registered because people shouldn't just take from online communities.

 

I've literally thanked people for their input and help giving me new avenues for sourcing cars (still can't find a local "independent" auction centre that does cars though), so "taking little notice" is rather wide of the mark too.

 

Also the outlet is online and not behind a paywall of any kind.

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As others have said, when scrapyards are paying £130+ for cars you will need to beat that to get anything at all, unless you're very lucky.

When I was in the market for a cheap car before Christmas, I found it very difficult to find anything half decent (ie with a decent length of mot and not ready for the scrapyard) for less than £300.

Eventually got an N reg Clio off here from BeEp. Its a bit of a shed but its solid and reliable and cost £220.

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I've thought about this a bit more and yes you can get a decent car for a ton and under.

I've had many many cars for free with mot and just yesterday I bought a cracker of a wee motor on an 09 plate for less than twice your budget and it's moted till Oct.

My advice is double your budget and the world's your oyster.

 

My main source of cheep and free motors mates and word of mouth.

Get known as the doylum who will take anything and they will fall into your lap.

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306, MOT, no major issues, many minor electrical issues. 99p start, ends in less than a day, no bids. Might get this for under a ton if you bid first and put off other bidders by doing so.

 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F264292604714

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...do you know any estate agents, house clearance co's or property speculation type folk?? you might get a decent, minimal fixerations needed, presentable looking car ex giffer/old lady sub €100 car with some test still on it; elderly owner having gone into a home, moved to live with relatives, or moved into that great carpark in the sky.... often its case where you might get the car for free, as they don't want the usual 'stereo typical' scrap folk coming around n the car needs shifted to clean the place up...

 

...I have a car transporter n used to have a landrover disco TDi so did some occasional car moving; my mate used to be into the house clearance/ clean up biz so Id be called to pick up the odd car; tho this wasn't a regular thing; we used to move them to his yard, n hed attempt to sell them complete; if this didn't happen in a timely fashion another scrap collecting mate used to come around n hiab the car onto his truck n itd go into the bin; id get the cat off it for my expenses...

 

....a 2001 mk2 mondeo 2 litre Zetec with 6 weeks test is the only one I remember being tested; n my mate managed to get €250 into the hand selling that....

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That 306 tick's most of your box's, very low mileage, always reliable, new tyres, mot expires 31st May. Listing has make an offer option.

 

Its 30 miles away from me, I can offer free storage at my unit for a week or three. Shipley might offer a cheap transport service to my location and if need be you could hitch hike to collect it

 

Probably not relevant to the advert but he has lots of positive feedback for selling  tig welding gloves, nurses uniforms and used ladies under garments.

 

If all else fails after the purchase, Remove my Car offers £140 scrap.

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