“Reports that late 1990s cars had all but disappeared due to the scrappage scheme seem to have been greatly exaggerated” said independent motoring expert, Honest John following a visit to a major BCA car auction earlier this week. “You couldn’t move for late 1990s cars at the auction I went to on Monday and there were plenty of bargains to be had, which is great news for motorists who are on a tight budget but still want a decent set of wheels.
“For example, a 2000W Peugeot 206 1.4LX 3 door went for £650 – £300 below the listed trade price and a solid 97R Nissan with 57,000 miles on the clock sold for just £350. The Peugeot 206 was bought by two girls without any assistance from a bloke.
“What this sale told me was that the scrappage scheme did a good job – but it didn’t wipe out late 1990’s cars,” continued Honest John. “That means that used buyers who don’t have much money to spend will still be able to find a car that meets their budget. And that is crucial to keep Britain motoring.
“Fuel prices are sky-high so anything that can be done to keep motoring costs down has to be a good thing for the UK economy. Sadly the public transport infrastructure – outside of major cities – is still very weak and, therefore, people need a vehicle to be able to get to work, get to the shops, support family, etc.”
Buying at Auction – Tips from Honest John
If car buyers are going to make the most of the good deals, they need to still be mindful of a few key things when going to auction.
- Give any cars you’re interested in a good once-over in the auction marshalling yard
- Look for obvious signs of a repaint (spray dust, over-bright paint, rubbing compound, tide marks under rubber trim strips)
- Check for matching shut-lines, especially between the bonnet and wings and front wings and doors.
- Crouch down in front of the car and look along the sides for ripples
- Check the condition of the tyres for uneven wear
- When the engine is started up, look for excessive smoke from the exhaust, and ask the yard boy how much clutch it has left