Currently I'm driving round in a 1.4 Volvo 340, set me back all of £300 with 12 months MOT on it. Insurance would have been £640 with Tesco, I'm paying £470 on a competition car policy for it though (love the fact I get a £200 discount for modifying it and going rallying!). Great fun lively RWD car, with the 360/2.0 engine option it would be quick and cruise happily at 85mph (I got a 1.4 so it is eligible for endruance rallying). It's not going to deliver more than 30mpg but given how much you'd save on purchase cost and insurance it is somewhat offset. The other great thing about the 340 is it is so well built and tough compared to modern cars, particuarly useful given the abuse it gets!
Very quick car for the money and well built good interior quality and all, though you'll find a lot of them (and all the cheap ones) will have been thrashed and had very little maintenance done on them.
I know I say it all the time but I'm in awe of what you guys are willing to pay for sh!t cars. Jakg I can't recommend a car for you, I recommend you come to America and buy a house with what you pay in insurance every month.
They really are fast little things, at least if feels like that because its small. I'm am, of course, talking about the Classic Mini, not the new BMW Big.
Running costs, can't comment. Thats my dads business, but as long as you look after it and stop any problems before they become too big, you'll be fine. Rust is the tricky one, but isn't it easily treatable?
Fuel, not all that bad in the one we have.
Fuel Type, we've got the 1.6 sport model. Its fun. Petrol.
Transmission is a manual 5 speed.
It is, of course FWD, but this car gets away with it. And its good fun.
Equipment, radio slot is one of them that you can just put a stereo from Halfords into. Ours has leather seats! And one of the window winders works without falling off!
Body style: Saloon will hold 4 people, I can fit in the back of a classic Mini behind where my dad sits. I'm 5' 7" and he is 6' 3" and its not too bad. I couldn't fit in the new MINI when I was 5' 2" at most. Like Dougie says, a clubman might be a good idea.
Age: You'll be looking at pre-2001, thats when the good Minis were stopped so yeah, like Dougie says, more than likely anything over 15 years old for your budget.
Umm, Minis are fun, good cars and are definitely more respectable and cool than a Proton.
And then when you gain a bit more money, shove a Hayabusa engine in it. Or knock the dash back a few inches and throw in a Rover V8.
Anything post 2001 will be as reliable as the next car, for around a grand, you can pick up a decent 2.0TS (avoid anything selespeed though), for a bit more you could get a 2.4JTD (torque monster with 45mpg).
That would be the obvious choice yes but remember it's Jakg we're talking about... he'd end up installing a bodykit anyway. I'd buy a Golf myself if I had those requirements (but tbh I'd probably go for an Audi if it was a car for myself :P)
Go for a car you can not end up installing a spoiler. A diesel. A spacious family wagon. A good, economical and dead reliable Toytota Avensis. Not a Corolla because it's a crapbox you can't even fit in.