The old banger is a vanishing breed. And it's not because all drivers want new cars. On the contrary, not everyone wants to pay out monthly for a fast-depreciating asset. Many drivers would rather opt for a cheap, serviceable car in its dotage.
Although I write about cars for a living, and shiny new ones sometimes cross my path, cars I’ve actually owned have mostly come from the bargain basement, including a venerable Toyota which lasted for three years and 50,000 miles that someone gave to me because they wanted it removed from their drive. I saved vast sums of money and had fun in the process.
Today, such cars are virtually non-existent and demand for them has never been greater. According to Ian Plummer, commercial director of the vehicle sales juggernaut that is the Auto Trader website, the supply of ‘cheap’ cars (in this case anything up to a not inconsiderable £5,000, but including bargain basement vehicles) is down by 23 per cent, average prices for 10-15-year-old cars have risen by 43 per cent, and just under a quarter of the monthly 70m visits Plummer’s site gets are looking for the least expensive vehicles.