What used Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon will I get for my budget?
Early examples of this Mercedes C-Class are now old enough to have fallen to 'banger' status and can be snapped up for less than £1000. A risky choice from a reliability point of view, but with potential for low-cost luxury if you can find a good one.
About £5000 will get you a much more sensible 2004-2005 C220 CDI automatic with full history and the desirable automatic gearbox, while a good late-model C350 CDI V6 diesel will set you back about £8000.
How much does it cost to run a Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon?
Regular running costs are not too bad, as long as you avoid those overly thirsty early petrol models and the AMG variants. The C220 CDI diesel, for example, can manage a fuel efficiency figure of about 40mpg in real world driving conditions.
Servicing can be very expensive at Mercedes' main dealers, though, so it’s best to seek out a well-respected independent specialist, of which there are many.
Front suspension ball joints need replacing at 80,000 miles (costing about £80 per side), while the rear wishbone bushes need replacement after a similar amount of time.