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The car has covered 118000 miles and is solid with just a few small patches of corrosion under the bonnet

Posted on 05 October 2010

The car has covered 118,000 miles and is solid, with just a few small patches of corrosion under the bonnet. It has the automatic gearbox, which is less favoured by the enthusiasts, and leather trim, which is in good order It is on sale at a classic car dealers. Edward has always wanted a P6 and this one seems like a good example. But he also knows that it is probably mad to buy such a car as his sole everyday runner and without the benefit of a garage to keep it in. Edward wants to know if he should take the plunge or is it totally insane?

Edward Harris is 41, lives in Kent and works in the printing industry.

First of all, cars registered on or before 1972 are free from road tax. Great – you can save £165 a year straight off.Older cars are also simpler cars. If Edward is handy with a spanner, there is no reason why he can’t carry out simple servicing jobs. A good local garage should also relish the chance of working on a real car. They won’t be charging £100 an hour that some main agents get for simply for opening the bonnet. Parts for popular classics can be much cheaper and sometimes more easily available Depreciation can be marginal Driving will be fun again. A nationwide network of specialists, enthusiasts and owners clubs is a huge help, as is classic insurance which, depending on Edward’s mileage, can be temptingly low.

But there could be a problem if Edward intends to use the classic to cover 20,000 miles a year. If so, he may find a modern car more comfortable and practical Using a classic 365 days a year requires real commitment. And if Edward has that, then fine.A car for the heartLet’s indulge Edward and even encourage him. The truth is that a Rover like this (known as the P6) in good condition is a great buy and makes a lot of sense.

It is an everyday classic that can cope well with long motorway journeys without overheating in the slow lane. The unique body construction means that damaged and dented exterior panels can simply be unbolted and replaced.Edward is correct to think that enthusiasts prefer the manual version. Also the V8 engine is thirsty, especially when connected to the three-speed automatic gearbox. For everyday use, he would be better off with a smaller-engined 2000 or 2200. The best buy is probably the 2200TC, which is as plush as the V8 he is looking at and with very similar performance but significantly cheaper to run.If Edward is serious about running an old Rover, he should shop around for the best example and join the P6 Driver’s Club on . To me, £3,750 sounds expensive and £2,500 for a very good 2200TC is more realistic. A friend of mine runs a P6 as his only car and has to endure boiling radiators and failing heaters, but that is the reality of running a classic.A car for the headEdward wants an affordable, everyday car with character.

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