I ignored my own advice a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't find a Mazda Premacy or a Chevy Tacuma to add to my stable anywhere within 100 miles of where I live and the Hyundai Getz pool car was on its last legs, the exhaust having fallen off a couple of days after it just about scraped through its MoT. At £200 for a new one, it just wasn't worth it, as it's highly unlikely it would get through another MoT without some serious attention to the bodywork.
Anyway, the 2nd hand car place a couple of hundred yards up the road happened to have an '05 Jaguar X Type diesel estate hidden round the back for £995 - I thought a number had dropped off the price tag, but no, the dealer got it as a part-ex and wanted to get rid of it quickly as he needed the space for more expensive cars. 160k on the clock but, with a 2 litre diesel engine, it's good for another 140k. It also has a tow-bar - an essential requirement. With the exception of a couple of scrapes here and there on the nearside (not to the metal and which I can easily blow in myself when the weather warms up a bit) and the perennial problem of rusted window seals, it looked an absolute bargain.
Kicking the tyres got it down to £900 (tyre kicking will always produce a result, especially done while tutting, sucking your breath through your teeth and shaking your head from side to side). I spent no more than £140 on new window seals all round and gave it an oil change (regular oil changes are the secret to engine longevity on a diesel). It has one major design fault - the Jags of this type and age have Ford engines. Can't be helped - will probably make servicing cheaper though.
Even if I only get 5 years out of it, that will be very cheap motoring. To cap it all, No.1 Son's mate's mother was desperately looking for a cheap runaround and snapped the Getz up at £200 (with a full tank of petrol, which probably accounted for 1/3rd of the price). So all-in-all, a net cost of £840 for a 2 litre diesel Jag estate, with no rust whatsoever, has been added to the stable. Not a bad deal.
If anyone's interested, the '93 Mercedes 300SL (R129 model) will be up for sale come March/April. Hay won't let me keep that, the 500SL and a Jag.