What used Volvo S40 saloon will I get for my budget?
Early S40s can be had for as little as £1000, but beware – these will probably need the expensive diesel particulate filter service, or will have either the un-loved 1.8 Flexi-Fuel engine or the underpowered 1.6 petrol.
Better quality diesels start at £2500, while a 2008 2.0-litre diesel with the desirable R-Design body kit will set you back closer to £3000. Late-model 2012 1.6 D2 DRIVe cars still command close to £7000.
How much does it cost to run a Volvo S40 saloon?
Thanks to its Focus origins, the Volvo S40 can be run quite cheaply, as long as you avoid the higher prices for servicing and parts charged by main dealers.
A 1.6 D2 DRIVe diesel should cost barely any more in daily expenses than a more modern model, and even the 2.0-litre diesel is decently frugal.
Both diesel engines require a cambelt change at 96,000 miles, but it’s worth having them inspected well before that, especially in the case of the 1.6, which can leak oil onto its cambelt from the oil pump.
More serious is the requirement for a diesel particulate filter service at 72,000 miles, which can cost as much as £1,000.
It’s also worth pointing out that cars fitted with the larger 18in alloy wheels will tend to go through their tyres more quickly, with changes needed as soon as 15,000 miles in some cases.