Last year I needed a car fast. My brother phoned me up as one of his workers had just smashed up his company car. Needing another car fast, he asked me where he could get one? I noticed that next to Surrey Keys Station was a car showroom full of old bangers. I cycled up there and the cheapest car was a Vauxhall Cavalier 1.8i for £220.
It was a freezing cold January day and a deal was done £200 for cash. A few hours later, a phone call to let me know the heater was not working! This meant the car was useless in the freezing January weather. A few weeks later, I had to travel down towards Dover to pick the car up. It was now mine. The heaters are disconnected on these cars as it is an expensive part to replace, and when they go they make a big racket. The exhaust was also missing, but that was not really noticeable.
Driving back on the M20 was the coldest journey in a car ever experienced by me. Not having driven much in the cold without a heater, this is not saying much. Also the inside of the car stunk of damp cloth. Apart from that, everything worked. I kept my speed down to about 60 as a shaking started at that speed.
Logged onto the Internet to get an insurance quote of £400, as I was now a car owner and wanted to be legal about it. Tax was not bothered with though. Going to the shop and back proved uneventful. The car did 30mpg and legal speeds were easy to keep up with. The car had a sunroof and electric windows, and my neighbours were impressed I could drive.
After a few months, I decided to make a trip up the motorway to see my sister 50 miles away. When I got there however, the engine battery was dead. A look under the bonnet showed the belt had snapped for the alternator. A trip to the garage got a new one for £7. The brakes had a strange sensation to them as well - it seemed they were down to the metal. Not wanting to spend money meant the car was scrap.
Phoning up the local scrap dealer, he offered to take it off me for free. I left it outside the state of the art car stripping plant - no more scrap yards it seems.
The insurance gave me a £250 rebate. So all in all, a very cheap 3 months motoring, as 1000 miles were covered for the price of the petrol needed to fill the tank.
PS They wanted £200 for an exhaust, which I did not buy.