Jump to content

The worst car you’ve ever owned


Recommended Posts

1974* Mk4* 1500* Spitfire. 

In 1985. 

The registration number history I got from DVLA Swansea, when you could get it for free, showed that it was originally a white 1500, owned by BL for the first 9 months. After about 4 more owners, it had become Magenta. 

When I bought it as a nieve 17 11/12ths  year old, it had a 1300 engine, no overdrive. And a mk4 bonnet. There wasn't one bit of white on the chassis, or body. But the boot lid and bonnet had been yellow at some point. Under the bonnet, boot, and one of the doors, there was inches of filler. 

The sills were rotten, every suspension joint fucked, the brakes dodgy. It came with a Hard Top and no soft top. The tyres were 4 different brands, and going bald. 

After about 8 weeks of ownership the head gasket went. I didn't change the oil, so about 2 weeks later a conrod wrapped itself around the crank. 

This was about 6 weeks before I took my A levels.  I funded it by a par time job in the Amomoc Cadiz. (A petrol station) 

Whilst waiting for my results, I found a decent engine in a a scrap yard, and bodged it.  Resprayed it in a mates garage on results day.  Both were less than mediocre.  Then I sold it. 

I'm not keen to own another Herald derivative. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a car I'd always wanted, with the right engine and transmission.  

It never ran properly for long (but was spellbinding when it did) and was so rotten I think it had been parked in the sea at some point.  

It was cheap but a total money pit, and eventually I cut my losses and sold it for spears & reapers.

I bought it from a good friend - who is still a good friend!  To his eternal credit, he made it very clear that it was not the best example of the breed...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went from an impreza wrx to a 11 plate 1.1 golf bought from BCA , it was about 5 years old 

I wasn't going for a golf I wanted a skoda yeti but they all went for too much money , I bottled it when a skoda octavia scout i hadn't even seen came up in budget , looked at it after , missed a bargain.

Went back and looked at what was left , golf looked OK 

Won it , drove it home , hated it by the time I got there , had it 3 miserable months and offloaded it 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havent owned many Cars in the 17 years i've been able to drive: Saxo mk1, Escort mk5, Focus mk1 Estate, Escort mk3, Capri mk3 and last year a 2000 Vauxhall Combo DI Van.... guess which was the worst. Should have known as I bought it from a friend for £200. At first it seemed a lovely little van but when I showed the Combo a bit of love (timing belt and drive shafts) it spat a bolt out the oil pump in Norfolk and all was lost. It was so underpowered when I got it but I guess I got a months worth of motoring out of it and didnt have to hire a car. It gets worse, sold it on facebook marketplace and got loads of fines from the next owner. It seems to have finally been crushed now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fiat F in Tipo 1,4 , biggest pile of shite ever made , it needed a new part every month of its life , and every part cost a ton ..

on top of that the handling and performance was shite , the gear change was shite , the electrics were ...... shite .. ( even the electronic dash broke )

and the only car I bought from a show room .... which turned out to be .... shite and eventually shut ..

how it won car of the year I dont know ..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

K12 Micra. An early one (52 plate) so electrical issues galore. (Thanks Renault)

Never did get to the bottom of the intermittent charging problem it had from day 1 (didn't try that hard as the battery never went flat on me) and the dealer just kept loading the parts cannon at it.

Nail in the coffin was the timing chain which stretched (TADTS)  Persistent EML, chain rattle and lack of power (not that it had any, anyway) Ungrateful bastard thing

Paid nearly £2k (ouch, but I needed "an car" right then right now.. the dealer alleviated me of my Rover 414 shaped problem..which I am still sour about as it shat it's clutch the day before I was going away and it was the one year I didn't bother with breakdown cover :( couldn't leave it on the side of the road for ages and didn't see the point of recovering it home for £HOWMUCH. Dealer collected Rover from said roadside, gave me £50 for it (😔😔) they stuck a clutch in it, then I saw it going through a police auction a couple of years later absolutely wrecked. It was scrapped a short while after according to carbaba. 

Back to the Micra, sold the thing for about £400 to a takeaway delivery bloke, it then passed through 3 further owners before being scrapped last year, some 4 years later!

Biggest loss (must say a lot, as it's not that much!) I've ever made on a car 

So basically I chopped in one of my favourite cars for the worst I've ever owned. What was I thinking... :(

It was the Micra or a 2003 Merc A Class available there and then. I chose the sensible* option. 

Pains me every time I think of it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suzuki Liana wot I bought for Mrs Grogee mk1. It had apparently done 35,000 miles but I'm sure it was abused. The 5th gear synchro failed so it kept popping out of gear, expensive fix.

It was also pretty hateful to drive - noisy, crap handling, uncomfortable, tinny, ugly. Its only redeeming feature was a digital dash.

I still don't know what I was thinking. I sold it at a loss and got her a MK1 Focus 1.8 that was absolutely brilliant. Then divorced her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Citroen C6. The dream - a new, big Citroen after 7 CXs and 4 XMs, one that no dealer had bodged, no owner had broken, one that could be cherished and kept for that unique big-Citroen experience.

It was pre-reg. It had one door with filler, visible as fine scratches in primer sanding below the smooth lacquer and a thin strip of masking primer on the inside edge of the door. I found that later though.

It was nothing like a CX or XM to drive. Unresponsive brakes, diagonal pitching, lagged suspension response, poor feedback, really heavy, hard to place on the road because the seats were central biased, lag when pulling away from roundabouts and the knowledge that the RT4 Navidrive was already outdated next to the C5 in the showroom, the non-fixed hub wheel felt clumsy next to the C4 and C5, the LCD segments in the dash and HUD for adaptive cruise control that didn't exist.

Then it had a bulged tyre. Out of warranty. Dealer wrecks the wheel, lies about it. Spends months faffing when I'd said "just change it for one on a stock car and sort it on your own time". After 1800 miles of vibration from new wheel and six hours wasted on dealer trips they swapped the wheel with one from stock. Lied about that, and got cream belts covered in brake dust handprints. Lie face and "you just swapped a wheel from a stock car after I waited hours" denial fell apart when I complimented them on changing the date code of my tyre as well as the wheel.

Then the balljoints started rattling on steering at 20,000 miles.

Then the osf strut developed an issue with metal shavings in the strut and I lost my car for ages while they got a new strut. I had a C2 to drive.

It still didn't work right. And the radio would reboot randomly losing the dashboard mid drive.

It had none of the finesse, it's a 407 Coupe in a fatsuit and the suspension isn't up to the extra weight, it was an insult to the history of big Citroens made worse by the inherent cohesiveness of the C5. Right down to the fact a steel spring C5 can out brake and out-motorway-comfort a C6.

Cynical lump of PSA-malaise crap that's essentially the 21st century Tagora.

Lost money getting out of it before PCP ended, left C6 RTK on it without regret, and got a Mk 2 C3 Airdream as the cheapest new Citroen possible (after cheap C5 estate deals were salesbait). C3 was brilliant.

The C3 was so good I gave Citroen another chance. Wanted a Berlingo. Coventry salesman failed to notice blue badge and walking stick and crowed about scroungers on Motability losing cars because of PIP cuts.

I will never spend my own money on a Citroen again.  Cars are fine, the dealers need tearing down and starting again. I quite like the e-Berlingo, but I'd worry about having to interact with a dealer...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great car, shit luck.

54 V70 T5.  Bought summer 2015 of a friend. Had two known faults. Fuel gauge only read from empty to half. Parking sensors had a mind of their own.  

First couple of months were good. Brilliant in fact.  It should have been the perfect car. Fast, super comfy, big boot for tip runs. Ideal as I just bought my first house that needed tons of work. 

Then the clutch went on the on-slip to the Erskine Bridge. That was a £1200 bill for clutch and flywheel I didn't really want at a time I was skint. 

Management light was then constantly on with a fuel pressure regulator issue. It started leaving small puddles of oil as it started leaking from a seal behind the timing belt cover. 

The heater matrix started leaking as I had the tell tale slimy carpets and dew forming on the inside of the windscreen. Then then handbrake shoes decided to seize on the drum. The drum got so hot it blistered the paint on the alloy. 

I bailed as I wasn't going to throw more money at it and shopped it to WBAC for £1500 (terrible I know!) as I wanted it gone.

I ended up leasing a brand new C4 cactus. Not very AS but it cost £120 per month with zero deposit and did double the MPG which frankly saved my sanity at a time I needed zero surprises with motors. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose, technically mine was my C5

fantastic ownership experience, absolutely loved that car

but my god did it like to bite me

in the first 6 months of ownership

rear arm bearings

Electrovalves in the gearbox

lots of wiring issues to sort

many, many suspension leaks

even daft stuff like drop links etc


but recently, the autobox started slipping when hot, to the point where it was getting difficult to drive, as well as notchy shifts

then, in the last couple of days the turbo because really audible, started smoking a fair bit and running like crap

so I scrapped it

hasnt put me off though

my 93 XM is my daily at the moment and it’s bloody good at it too! Shockingly reliable 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, RoverFolkUs said:

So basically I chopped in one of my favourite cars for the worst I've ever owned. What was I thinking... :(

Yep, I've done that, and more than once too.  Most recently was last year, taking the Famous Five Volvo up to @cms206 and coming home in his Astra.  Nine years younger, but A) an Astra; B ) manual; C) diesel and D) rusty AF.  About the only saving grace was the towbar, which I sold the day it failed the MoT, requiring a weldathon.

There are other cars I will actively never have again:  BMW; Maxi; Estelle; probably Chevette (after 3); definitely 
Escort after 2.  There are yet others that may already have been mentioned upthread that I found perfectly acceptable at the time and only inflation is keeping me away from them.  Well that and my ever-growing taste for luxury cars.

Sod it, I'm 63, I've earned my luxuries!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My worst is a toss up between a citroen c2 VR 1.6 sensodrive and a merc a class diesel CVT. The c2 had the most comprehensive service history I have ever seen, with bills and receipts for everything, one owner and about 80k covered. The gearbox was shit, slow, unresponsive and jerky, and shit itself in a few months costing over a grand to "fix" and it was as slow and jerky after that. Sold for a massive loss and I saw it for sale for £200 a few months later, with a fucked gearbox. The a class was a mistake buying it, there was defects when bought, and the CVT box was fucked. Sold to arnold clark on their +£500 promotion so I only lost a few hundred instead of scrapping it for £50 was all I got offered. I saw it for sale as a good runner a couple months later on a back st bomb site for £1500 lol

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vectra V6 diesel. Car was ok - engine is an utter lemon.

No practical advantage over a 1.9 16v ( caravanners may disagree ). Not quick but thirsty. Expensive parts and nobody wants to know when there is something wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Bren said:

Vectra V6 diesel. Car was ok - engine is an utter lemon.

No practical advantage over a 1.9 16v ( caravanners may disagree ). Not quick but thirsty. Expensive parts and nobody wants to know when there is something wrong.

Having experienced that engine in a Vel Shatis, I wholeheartedly concur.


50 minutes ago, Daviemck2006 said:

The c2 had the most comprehensive service history I have ever seen, with bills and receipts for everything, one owner and about 80k covered. The gearbox was shit, slow, unresponsive and jerky

TADT, S.  The one I bought had just had many hundreds of pounds spent on a new actuator and it was still crap.  Fortunately I sold it before it shat itself again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Skoda Rapid- nothing rapid about it,  kept a spare engine from scrap yard as they were consumables. 

Omega 2.2 another pile of shite with a gas conversion that never ran right before or after service.  Had weird LSD diff wind up issues that killed autobox. 

MG metro,  parts, rust and insurance put pay to that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends how you define worst I guess. I've had some pretty snotty old shitheaps but when you pay a couple of hundred quid what can you reasonably expect?

For me, the worst car is defined by expectations not being met, something I thought would be really good which turned out to be anything but.
A VW Jetta taught me that VW reliability was a myth, a Rover 600 turbo confirmed my suspicions that the last good Rover was the P6 and the Volvo C70 was so shit whether it was working or not it destroyed my faith in the whole brand.
The Jetta went to auction with the bill for its new (and also fucked) engine in the glovebox and at least returned the cost of the engine if not the car itself. The tinny, torque steering Rover I hated so  much when the new Land Rover spec head gasket went pop I insisted I got to watch as it got fragged despite the car being in almost perfect condition, and the Volvo went to a dismantler for £1500 less than I'd paid for it 3 months earlier from someone I thought I could trust.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeep Cherokee Classic 2.5 diesel 

Bought new in 2000. My Dad had a 1995 4.0l petrol which was very nice apart from the fuel consumption. I liked how they looked , so bought one .

Terrible engine, “agricultural” is being polite but it was especially noisy on tick over, sounded like a helicopter was about 10ft above the roof.

Poor quality all round. Paint quality was poor and had part re spray under warranty.

Rear brakes locked up on even dry roads at speeds as low as 20mph.
Driver’s seat falling apart after 20000 miles / 3 years and general interior rattles.

Only car I’ve  had that failed it’s first MOT.

Added to that, the dealership at the end of my road closed down and moved 40 miles away, so had all that hassle getting warranty items repaired.

Having said that, they gave me a courtesy car one day that was ten times worse, a convertible Suzuki Grand Vitara with leaking roof.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mrs6C bought one of mine up recently, when we decided we were not going to live in the USA I wanted a Luxo barge for myself. At auction I found a lovely 6 year old Audi A6 SE 2.4 Tiptronic and bought it. The gearchange was very odd so I took it to a gearbox specialist to be told it needed a £1750 rebuild and the reason the warning light had not come on was it had been very neatly black taped behind the instrument glass.

I put it back in the Auction without the tape, lost £400 and Mrs6C has never let me forget that!

Audi A6 Front quarter.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely the 1982 Morris Ital 1.7HL estate I bought in 1986.Had it for 2 1/2years and everything seemed to fail on it. Front suspension joints, exhaust valves, propshaft, diff, rear brakes, throttle cable are just some that come to mind. Finally got rid when oil consumption increased to 37 miles per pint. Could have forgiven it if it had been economical, nice to drive, practical etc. But it had no redeeming features whatsoever apart from the fact it was at least easy to work on. Ironically would quite fancy one today as a plaything. Would want a 1.3 though as they're nicer to drive and think the saloons look better as well. Or a mk 2 Marina. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I owned both of my worst cars in a row.

In 2014 I had a 2001 Peugeot 306 HDi estate, which I'd put a stage 1 map on. I should have kept it.

Instead, I got rid of it after 8 months and bought a 1999 Audi A4 1.8t quattro sport. I threw so much money at that car. It kept eating suspension springs, then the ABS went all funny, and I can't remember what else was up with it. I kept it for two years because I spent so much on it so felt obliged to. I eventually sold it for a significant loss and replaced it with a 2000 Vauxhall Omega 2.6 V6.

My logic was that a RWD V6 saloon would surely be quite nice. Nope. What a bucket of shit. The interior was made out of such flimsy, shiny, scratchy plastic that it's the only car that made me physically flinch whenever I got in it. It handled like shit, it never tracked properly straight even after getting the tracking done at a garage, the drivers seat actively hurt me whenever I sat in it, and the gearbox was completely idiotic. Even in normal mode it was overly keen to change down and scream its head off on the slightest of gradients. Oh, it also kept misting up the windows even with a brand new pollen filter and just me in it. I had to constantly drive with one of the rear windows slightly open.

I only kept the Omega for 3 months, and again sold it for a loss.


These experiences are probably why I have an aversion to large 'luxury' cars and would rather just have a sorted mid-size hatchback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if it was the 93 Renault Espace I won on eBay that had just run out of MOT or the fully working 01 Megane.

The Espace only removed £170 from my wallet as I scrapped it for £80 as soon as the MOT results were in.  Something of a win for a plastic car that had apparently dissolved underneath and struggled to reach 50mph.

I had the Megane for a couple of years and had to replace the engine twice and the head once due to bad luck and bad workmanship from me, a couple of garages and Renault themselves along with loads of other problems.  It caused a ban on Renault ownership in my house that I celebrated the end of by acquiring the Safrane.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...