James Ruppert: how to pick up a bargain Beetle

Then there is the last-of-the-breed Beetle 2, which isn’t quite so lovable. The petrol 1.2 TSI starts at £5500, so a contemporary model at a reasonable price. I have a lot of time for a 1.6 Bluemotion, which does address the older cars’ fuel economy issues and deliver 65mpg, officially anyway. A 2013 one with over 90,000 miles is £5995. A bunch of special editions increases the choice and I like the idea of a Fender I can actually drive. I saw a 2013 2.0 TDI with 50,000 miles, a DSG gearbox and Fender logos. The sound system should be decent, it had a DAB radio and it was a two-owner car for £9999. 

Certainly, the Beetle isn’t for everyone, but they are good value, and in the world of the me-too hatch, it is the curvy exception. Otherwise, buy a Golf or Polo.

What we almost bought this week

Citroen C3 Pluriel: It was going so well – pretty little French hatchback in the right colour, full main dealer service history, a reasonable 75,000 miles on the clock and a recent new cambelt and water pump, all for just £890. And then the admission that the electric hood is playing up. Sadly, roof problems are the Pluriel’s Achilles heel. Moving on…

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Volkswagen Golf, mileage – 55,725: It’s always good to know that aftermarket gadgets are actually working and have a real-world purpose. You might remember I have a Michelin Fit2Go tyre pressure checker. The posh one on the Baby Shark is resting at the garage at the moment – more on that next time. The Golf, though, uses a simpler version, but it rapidly zeroed in on the fact that the nearside rear tyre had a large tack in it. I’ve already sold a few of these to mates with lower-tech 1990s cars who reckon this could be a lifesaver and it is. So let’s get that tyre fixed as there’s no spacesaver these days.


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