Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Beetle hatchback?
The Beetle suffers the same problems as the contemporary Golf. The clutch can be a particular weakness and can wear out within 40,000 miles; during the test drive make sure you can operate it smoothly and it doesn't feel too stiff. The ignition coils can also go on the 1.8 turbo engine - a mechanic should be able to check them for you.
There have been two recalls on the Beetle, the most alarming concerning water entering the anti-lock unit, potentially causing a short circuit and a fire. The other covered a loose passenger side airbag. A VW dealer will able to tell you if they have been carried out.