Last weekend I went out to see what cars I could get for my budget. Being the low season of car sales, I though I could haggle some good deals out of some dealers, and maybe even get a decent part exchange price for my current car.
On Sunday I went to see a 1998 Saab 9-5 2.3 turbo (low pressure) for sale at only Â£2,495. Quite bargainlicious considering they were over Â£30,000 new. It was sold out of a “work from home” trader, who had about fifteen cars stuffed in his garden behind his bungalow. The first thing I noticed is that it looks very classy in dark blue. The second thing I noticed was that the boost gauge was missing from the dashboard. That seems very suspicious to me as all Saab turbo cars have a boost gauge, especially a 2.3 litre beast like this one. Looking around, there was also oil in the engine bay, although it wasn’t smoking out the exhaust, and had been involved in a clear frontal impact, as the front license plate was cracked and in the right headlight lay the remains of what used to be an indicator bulb.
Nevertheless, I took it out for a spin to see if the driving could convince me. It didn’t. I’m not saying it wasn’t fast (its an exceedingly quick car considering its weight, I managed to get upto 90mph without even trying), nor am I saying it wasn’t comfortable (the soft beige leather seats hugs your body very comfortably). It just lacked that spark I was looking for. It wasn’t the Aero model (pictured), which means it had standard 16″ alloys and no body kit, the interior was very worn for a car with 90,000 miles on the clock and the problems mentioned above just meant it wasn’t quite what I’m looking for.
He did offer me Â£1000 for my Honda Civic in part exchange, and Â£100 off the asking price of the Saab, but I was expecting more of a discount considering the time of the year (slowest for second hand car sales), and the fact he mentioned he had too many cars and had to get rid of some quickly. Also he had just sold a people carrier just before I test drove it, and I chatted to that guy and he said he managed to knock off serious money, somewhere around Â£700 from that cars asking price.
In the end Andy (my friend who went with me) was right. If you don’t like a car as soon as you see it, and still don’t like it enough after a test drive, it’s not worth buying.
On Saturday, I was on my way home when I saw 1997 Lexus GS300 Sport. You may be wondering why I call it a pimp wagon, well let me explain what happened when I sat in the car and turned the ignition on. The steering wheel electronically slid out from the dashboard and into the pre set position. I know its a gimmick for fat people, but this seriously impressed me! Everything in the car is electronically controlled, from the sunroof to the cup holder. This particular example had its alloys refurbished, in gun metal grey. This is what really finishes that car off, and sets it apart from any other car I can afford.
The car itself had been cleaned immaculately, it had a shining 3.0 litre V6 engine even though it had done over 100,000 miles. The leather seats had been waxed up and showed no signs of obvious wear, and everything in it was working. The asking price of Â£4,000 isn’t too bad considering I can bargain hard for a car like this, and I would’ve bought it there and then, which would’ve been a mistake as the cheapest insurance quote I got was Â£2700 with a Â£900 excess, so I’m glad I went home to think about it and check insurance prices.
Once I find a good deal for insurance on it though, you’ll know who’s in the blacked out silver Lexus GS300 with gunmetal grey alloys!