recommend a 2nd hand car <6k for provisional driver


MB Enthusiast
Nov 8, 2014
2013 CL500 Previously S212 E500, W211 E500 5.5, E350 S500, S211 E500, SL350, SL500, S500, E55
I still counsel an easily found six year old mainstream car, on 50k Miles, with one or two owners, and a service history for a quarter of its new price. “Classic cheap motoring.”

Enjoy it for two years and then move on

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MB Club Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
Not always
A couple of years back , when my daughter finally got her own place , at 31 , she had to get her own car instead of driving her mum's .

I had previously given her a 190 some 10 years ago , but she felt it was 'too big' . This time round she wanted to buy a nearly new Mini or Fiat 500 .

I told her that until she got on her feet with the flat and getting used to paying the bills etc , she would be better off buying something cheaper . Add into the mix she wanted an automatic , and the choices were more limited . However I found a 51 plate Polo 9N , 1.4 automatic , one elderly owner who was giving up driving , a few parking type dings on the corners ( said owner admitted she had caused these , hence giving up driving , but otherwise very good , with local garage service history ) , asking price £1100 . The test drive revealed the engine sounded very tappety , so I said we'd think about it overnight and let her know in the morning . Looking online , it was a common trait of that engine , but the consensus was that they would run forever like that anyway .

So we went back in the morning , offered her £1K for it , saying it was my daughter's first car .... she didn't have a lot of money etc , and the deal was done . I serviced it myself , changed brake pads , put on a couple of new tyres , new battery and all was good . Two years on , it has passed two MOT's without advisories , and she beamed when told by the tester that , apart from the dings on the corners of the bumpers , it is a little gem of a car for its age .

So far she still likes the car and I suspect she won't want to fork out on another until such time as this one starts costing money to keep roadworthy .

Not particularly 'a classic' , but a sensible older car that still runs well and perfectly safe , and she's £5K better off than if she'd bought something newer . I also suggested that if someone damaged it she'd be a lot less upset than if something happened to a more expensive , newer car . Less likely to get stolen or vandalised anyway as it's the sort of car no one takes notice of parked in the street .

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