Spring is finally here, though it has been a quite cold one this year, but that’s the uncertainty of nature. Grape crops are in danger in France, there is still snow in the Nordics, but despite that, the summer will also eventually come and for many people it means road trips and more adventures. Having a hobby car or a so called adventure vehicle is a dream for many people. Most people would be thrilled to have a new Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet for sunny summer days and a new Land Rover Discovery for off-road adventures, but this is out of budget for the vast majority of people.
An alternative is to look at the used car market, to find the car with the right fun factor for summer driving. Here are my top 5 used cars for summer fun and road trips.
1. Mazda MX-5
This lightweight front-engine, rear-wheel drive two-seater roadster debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show, and since then has won the hearts of many car enthusiasts. It is a simple car perfect for open top driving, while also quite affordable, meaning you can get a pretty good used model for around £5k.
2. Land Rover Defender
If you want to take the road to the unknown, then this is the car. First launched in 1948, this British four-wheel-drive off-road SUV is probably the best known off-road vehicle. There is a short two-door version and a longer 4 door version. Very reliable and with some modification you can literally go to places that no other production car is capable off. Some people have even turned their Defender’s into campers or just removed the rear seats.
The last model rolled off the production line in early 2016. Some of the models are already keeping their value very well and are seeing a good increase. Well maintained model is probably not guaranteed to be a good investment, but it is likely to keep its value very well compared to different alternatives.
3. Jeep Wrangler
Somewhat similar to Land Rover Defender. Also very rich history and true to the original concept and design. The soft top models are perfect for summer driving on almost any terrain.
4. Volvo 240 Wagon
The early 1990s Volvo 240 Wagon is a big car, meaning you can fit there your family or friends and a camping for a very long time. With the right maintenance these cars are considered almost bulletproof. It already has a classic look and well maintained models are seeing a price increase.
5. Volkswagen Caravelle
The classic Volkswagen van is a synonym for vanlife and travelling. The big VW sign on the front is iconic. The vehicle itself has seen a very sharp increase in price and is a popular collectors item. However newer models from 1979 (Type 3) forward are not that expensive, offering great value for the money. They can be turned into little campers, tents placed on the roof and much more. You can get a well maintained model for around £7k.
When buying a used car, it is recommended that you have it thoroughly checked and even when it all seems good, you should be ready for surprises. A good place to find a good summer or a year round car is a used car from Hertz Rent2Buy. Yes, Hertz also sells cars. They have a great choice of used vehicles, offering a unique 5 day test drive to help you choose the right vehicle for your needs.