Bangernomics Guide to Car Adverts

Baffled by all the sales-speak?  Use this handy guide to work out what the vendor really means.....

Low recorded mileage - The vendor suspects it has been clocked.

Genuine low mileage - The vendor has no idea whether it has been clocked, but the seats aren't worn.

Some service history - up to 32,000 miles.  Unfortunately the car now has 117,000 on the clock.

Full service history - And here's one I made earlier.

Two previous owners - Plus the one whose name is currently on the logbook.  Plus the vendor, who didn't bother to register the car in his own name.  Neither did the mate he bought it from.

Immaculate bodywork - Amazing what you can achieve with body filler and aerosols.

Good condition for year - Well, how many other 1985 Fiats do you see around?

Low mileage for year - On a 15 year old car, that means 120,000 miles.

Mechanic owned - The bloke spends all his working hours fixing cars for other people.  Do you really think he's going to spend weekends working on his own?

Lady owner - Hasn't had an oil change in five years.

New engine - New to this car, anyway.  Cost fifty quid from a breaker's yard, plus a steam clean and a lick of paint.

New tyres - Serbian remoulds at a tenner apiece.

New battery - Very old battery, scrubbed down with Fairy Liquid.

Recent new clutch - Two years and 40,000 miles ago.

Expensive stereo - Evening, Sir.  Sergeant Carter, Regional Crime Squad.  Mind if I take a look inside your car?

Expensive alloys - Somewhere an Escort XR3 is up on bricks.

Sunroof - Interior full of water up to the bottom of the doors.

Very quick - Thrashed to death.

Good runner - It starts and moves under its own power.

Very reliable - But not for much longer, which is why the vendor wants to get rid of it.

Engine needs minor attention - The oil filler cap is probably re-usable, but everything else is scrap.

Needs little work for MoT - Failed on so many points, the MoT tester ran out of space to write them all down.

Needs minor welding - Needs new bodyshell.

Spares or repair - Everything totally worn out.  You may be able to salvage the wheel nuts.

Collector's car - No it isn't.  It's a 1975 Hillman Avenger, and worth about half what the vendor is asking.

Ideal first car - With a bit of luck, the new owner will crash it before the engine blows up.

Much money spent - Terminally unreliable, rolling money-pit whose owner has given up hope.

Runs on unleaded - For about 1,000 miles, until the valve seats burn out.

Bodykit - Tacky glassfibre wheelarch extensions held on with pop rivets and painted a slightly different shade to the rest of the car.

Rustproof, economical car - Reliant Robin


Back to top