A car just for towing?

chaps89

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For the last few years I've been saying my car won't last much longer but still she keeps going. I don't feel I can justify upgrading her whilst she's still going strong (touches wood) but I would really like some wheels to get me and madam out under our own steam.
Would it be madness to buy an old towing vehicle purely for towing?
The idea was to do a 4x4/car and trailer rather than 3.5t and car to avoid having 2 lots of maintenance/tax etc.
However I can't afford the upfront cost of a box but a cheap 4x4/car and older trailer could be in budget. (Safety still being top priority of course)
Then I guess as and when either car gives up the ghost I move to just 1 vehicle to do both, or if my current car goes first but the towing one still looks to be going well replace with a tiddly run around which is more economical than my current one.

Anyone done it, did it work or bite you in the bottom? Reckon the answer is to keep saving, but just looking at other options!
 
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there was an almost identical thread to this a little while ago. while some said they had done it, personally I've had no luck with older, cheap 4x4s-much depends on your budget for one but that can be complete money pits. I would not buy one without having a full inspection carried out on one, RAC or equivalent (they will do commercial vehicles if you phone up).
 

Leo Walker

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I do it. I buy them for £500 ish on ebay or FB with a long MOT. I run them till they either fail the MOT or something goes wrong and then I sell them for scrap/spares or repair for £400. The landrover lasted a year and the most recent terrano lasted 8 months. We could have fixed the Terrano easily as it was only a minor fault, but it needed 4 new tyres so its was cheaper to sell it and buy again. It costs me about £20 a month in tax so not too bad. I'm sure at some point I'll buy a lemon, but if I only pay £500 and I get £400 back then I'm not going to lose much. Both cars have been completely reliable, start first time, never given us any trouble. Although my partner does usually drive it to work an back, a 6mile round trip 3 or 4 times a week which does help.
 

chaps89

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Oops, I missed that there was another similar post recently, apologies.
Nothing wrong with current car apart from having 171k on the clock (I bought her with 60k on almost 5 years ago) I've looked after her well and so far she's only ever needed routine work.
She does about 40mpg and tax is somewhere between £200-250 a year so she's not hugely economical, but not terribly bad to run either.
I'd be looking to do it on the same basis as LW - a real bargain basement and run it until it gives up the ghost/fails an mot.
I could easily run it around in between towing uses but I'd hope to be out and about in the trailer most weeks.
I definitely don't want a rust bucket though nor anything too likely to breakdown when madam is on the back!
 

Orangehorse

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Well done Leo, that is impressive and you have lots of experience and confidence! I know someone who kept a Range Rover permanently attached to her trailer, so there was no hitching and unhitching. However, her husband was a mechanice and used to keep it running.

Cax on our oldish Discovery isn't huge, I think the very high Car Tax is for newer diesels.
 

DirectorFury

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I do it. I buy them for £500 ish on ebay or FB with a long MOT. I run them till they either fail the MOT or something goes wrong and then I sell them for scrap/spares or repair for £400.
If you ever get a pre-95 Disco LW I'll buy it off you when it dies :).
I sort-of did this (we have 12 cars...long story!) with the J-reg Discovery. He was £450 ~4 years ago with 9 months MOT. To my surprise he's gone straight through every MOT since without any work needed - OH did change the gear and transfer box when we first got him home but that was mostly because he had a 'spare' new rebuilt one on the workbench and wanted it out of the way.
In the last year the Disco has actually been used as my daily driver since I killed the Golf again - he's surprisingly good on fuel and very comfortable! OH and I are quite attached to him now so when this MOT is up in April he's going in for a full restoration - even with us doing all the work I'm anticipating it costing ~£8k to do a high standard - so we've failed at the 'scrap it when it won't pass an MOT' part :D.

Tax is £20/month, insurance around £400/year, and he'll get up to 38mpg on a run as long as you're not doing 80 down the motorway!
 

Leo Walker

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If you ever get a pre-95 Disco LW I'll buy it off you when it dies :).
I had a mark one and people were fighting over it! Someone bought it unseen and tarted it up. Its now got camouflage paint and nets and all sorts, it goes round the country going off road. I really loved that car so I'm glad it went to a good home.

I dont have any experience and I absolutely dont know anything about mechanics! But I can check MOTs and have a look at the obvious rust points, tyres and take it for a drive. I will buy a rubbish one sooner or later. It still wont matter as someone will buy it off me for not much less than I paid :)
 

paddi22

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I do it. I buy them for £500 ish on ebay or FB with a long MOT. I run them till they either fail the MOT or something goes wrong and then I sell them for scrap/spares or repair for £400. The landrover lasted a year and the most recent terrano lasted 8 months. We could have fixed the Terrano easily as it was only a minor fault, but it needed 4 new tyres so its was cheaper to sell it and buy again. It costs me about £20 a month in tax so not too bad. I'm sure at some point I'll buy a lemon, but if I only pay £500 and I get £400 back then I'm not going to lose much. Both cars have been completely reliable, start first time, never given us any trouble. Although my partner does usually drive it to work an back, a 6mile round trip 3 or 4 times a week which does help.
we do the same, we buy isuzu troopers for a pittance and run them till they fail the MOT/NTC(we are in ireland). If the bill is more than 600 we scrap and buy another one! we get on average 3 years from them
 

OldNag

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I do it. I buy them for £500 ish on ebay or FB with a long MOT. I run them till they either fail the MOT or something goes wrong and then I sell them for scrap/spares or repair for £400. The landrover lasted a year and the most recent terrano lasted 8 months. We could have fixed the Terrano easily as it was only a minor fault, but it needed 4 new tyres so its was cheaper to sell it and buy again. It costs me about £20 a month in tax so not too bad. I'm sure at some point I'll buy a lemon, but if I only pay £500 and I get £400 back then I'm not going to lose much. Both cars have been completely reliable, start first time, never given us any trouble. Although my partner does usually drive it to work an back, a 6mile round trip 3 or 4 times a week which does help.
I have an old one of these. Bloody brilliant car!
 
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