Volvo 340

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The Volvo 340 comes with either a 1.4 or 1.7 engine. 

The 1.4 is by no means a sporty car; by today's standards it's rather sluggish and staid.  It comes without power steering and can be a bit heavy to drive at times.  Whilst the 1.4 couldn't be described as a gas-guzzler it isn't as economical as other later, small engined cars it's no better (or worse) than the 1.7.  For their size they're a surprisingly heavy car. 30 mpg is the norm.

They are boringly reliable and tend to plod on year after year.  The styling is now quite dated and second hand, they are not a particularly popular model.  Servicing and parts are relatively inexpensive.  At present, breakers yards are still a good source of second hand parts.  There doesn't appear to be any inherent faults with these cars.  Just keep an eye out for rust around the rear arches.

The plus point is they're so cheap to buy now.  5 years ago (2003) it was possible to pay £300 for a 1989  one-owner, 26,000 mile example with complete service history.  There's still plenty of low mileage examples out there, and they are worth very little indeed.  It's a buyers market.  A couple of hundred quid should get you a very good tidy example indeed with service history.

Car auction prices? (like British Car Auctions or the Scottish Motor Auction Group). Early 2007 an example with 50,000 on the clock was sold for £35.  Yes, that's thirty five pounds. The second hand value of these cars is almost non-existent.  They're almost impossible to get rid of because of their very dated styling and image.  The reality is that it's difficult to give one of these cars away.

If given the choice, go for the 1.7 engine model.  They're no more expensive than the 1.4 variant.

Don't go by the year of the car - it makes no difference to the price.  Condition, length of mot and service history is the yardstick.  They're cheap to insure as well.

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