Bargain of the Week – Subaru Impreza WRX

I’ll be honest; contributing to the BOTW can be a hard job sometimes. Searching, sourcing and even doing the deal is extremely satisfying. But watching my hard work drive down the road when preferably it should be sitting on the driveway has become a little unbearable recently. I keep using the “economic downturn” as an excuse to sit down once a week and get typing on the laptop, but I can’t stress enough that right now is a perfect time to buy. I’ll give you a little tip: Car sales are on the up. For the last few months I haven’t any new, 58-reg cars. Since the end of February I must have counted over sixty. More and more of us are taking the opportunity and hunting for a good bargain. The word on the street from the trade? “We’re selling but can’t get the stock”. Demand outstripping supply? What recession?

With that in mind I’ve deliberated, chewed over the idea and spent far too long on the internet. This week I’ve decided to buy a car for myself. It’s a big step especially as an expensive summer holiday looms but with my own words ringing in my ears, I’m going to take full advantage of the situation and grab a new set of wheels. Dealers are falling over themselves to shift stock and I’ve been eyeing up Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s actually convincing me that a re-mortgage would be the ticket to supercar status. Surely I can squeeze the dog into it somehow?

It’s a never ending task. Trying to find the right car but also something that perhaps may have been out of reach just six months ago becomes strangely obsessive. The variety of used car websites is mind boggling and narrowing down a shortlist seems to be impossible, for me anyway – sports cars, convertibles, estates, classics. Perhaps I should treat myself and have a mid-life crisis next Tuesday?
Having eventually seen sense, I finally come up trumps: Subaru. We all know about their phenomenal success and always seem to associate the brand with rallying and Playstations’ Gran Turismo. Truth be known, the Japanese marque has never really floated my boat. That was until last week. Toying with the idea back in the summer, I started another search for Impreza’s. Hoping prices had tumbled in the last six months my luck was in. My brain was saying no but my boyish antics got the better of me. The WRX it is, then.

With 2.4 children and a dog I need an estate. Ah yes, a classic Q-car that can also be used as the family bus. The 5 door fits the bill perfectly. Damn, only eight for sale in my local area. One did catch my eye but having already seen the ad a few months earlier, surely it would have been sold by now and the dealer had kept the ad in just to drum up more business.
Whether I’m just lucky or attract bargains, the 2003 WRX 5 door was indeed still for sale. Belonging to a local garage on the green, the owner had bought the car from a regular customer who needed to upgrade. Using it as a second car for over a year, the credit crunch had hit sales hard and it was regrettably time to sell. Completely unmodified (apart from a slightly larger exhaust) it was too much to bear and I had to pay a visit. It was indeed, standard and had only covered 74,000.

The dealer had just given it a full service including Subaru genuine discs and pads all round (a £600 bill) plus charged the air-con in preparation for the summer. The service book was until last year packed full of Subaru dealer service stamps and it even had the all important Tracker fitted. It is a 3 owner car and completely clear of any nasties from the HPI check. The interior is absolutely spotless with no scuff marks or tatty trim and it even had a brand new dog guard and rubber boot mat fitted. The metallic green paintwork is also immaculate without any dings or scratches – too perfect it seemed.

With a twenty minute test drive and 260bhp to play with, I just had to have it. A quick call to the insurance company sealed the deal for me – 5 years-plus no-claims, fully comp, only £54.00 per month. Hardly breaking the bank especially with this sort of car? The window sticker said £5,995 but the dealer was prepared to take £5,200 without even haggling – desperate times no doubt. With a hand shake and 6 months tax thrown in plus an MOT, I’m now the owner of a mint Impreza WRX. It may have taken months of searching on the net to finally take the plunge but I’ve proved to myself that it can pay off. Thankfully this time around I don’t have to cringe and watch it disappear down the road, but instead peer through the window and see it sat on the driveway.

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