Then there is the Peugeot 508, which seems to be overlooked by many, but is a saloon that you should consider in the middle or last part of its depreciation cycle. As weve been dealing with at the top end of the market, just under £15,000 will take you to a 2.0 BlueHDi 180 GT automatic with only 22,000 miles.

At least you wouldnt see many others on your highway trips. If any of these modern ones are as painfully brilliant as the old Ghia affair, I leave it to you. Better, more comfortable and safer fuel consumption will swing it for most.

What we almost bought this week

Lexus IS200: A 2.0-liter, 6-cylinder inline gasoline engine, rear-wheel drive, sporty look and generous equipment: Lexus inclination in the compact executive saloon market caused a sensation in 1999. We found a 2000 X-reg Sport for £995. It has done some heroic 173,000 miles, but dont be afraid: the salesman is a Lexus technician who has appreciated it and has only had two owners.

Readers travel

Julian Booth makes a great comment: “Insurance companies can be quick to amortize vehicles when all it takes is a little repair work to get the vehicle in order. “Heres my 11-plate Freelander 2, which had a small amount of damage to the front spoiler, the passengers back door, the panel behind the door and the end of the plastic bumper. It was purchased for £4,500 and a check showed no damage or distortion to the chassis. “The used parts cost £175 and a quality spray means I have one of my favourite vehicles for £5550.

Tales from Rupperts garage

BMW 320, 83.523 miles: If my calculations are correct, we are approaching the latest official MOT of the baby shark. I think the windowsills will be fine, but I would like them to be improved cosmetically soon. For the rest, it is the tyres that matter most, despite having a full tread and a reassuring Michelin brand. The thing is that they are quite old now, so they should be replaced. Meanwhile, my Fit2Go Michelin pressure monitoring system is working well. I placed the unit in the top center of the windshield, so it reminds me of the old BMW control system.

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