Flash for not much cash: The best used luxury cars

If you don’t have £170,000 in change rattling around your pocket but dream of piloting a Bentley Flying Spur or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, you can do so at a fraction of the price on the used market.

Being ferried about in a luxo-barge can be achieved for as £3000 (not including the price of a chauffeur, anyway), and the classifieds have plenty of choice. We’ve picked out some highlights below.

Porsche Panamera

Is the Panamera the best-handling luxury car of the lot? Quite possibly. Although it has never quite lived up to its billing as a four-door 911, the way it drives is sublime. The interior is exquisite, too, with sporty styling that hints at its performance. Diesels were introduced in 2011 and are your best bet for a bargain: the 3.0-litre turbo V6 produces 247bhp and uses an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. These can now be had for just £18,000 – less than you would pay for a new Smart EQ Fortwo.

Click here to buy your next used Panamera from Autocar

One we found: 2011 3.0 V6 S, 97,000 miles, £17,999

Volkswagen Phaeton

Stick a VW badge on a luxury car and what do you get? Horrific resale values. At least that was the result of the Phaeton experiment, which began in 2003 and ended in 2016. VW’s halo car was kitted out supremely well, and a 2009 facelift added new instruments and a touchscreen to a package that already had cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors and heated front seats. While not the most exciting steer, passengers have loads of room and the huge boot is ideal for trips away. It’s thirsty, mind: even diesels won’t break 30mpg.

Click here to buy your next used Volkswagen from Autocar

One we found: 2009 3.0 V6, 74,000 miles, £3250

Bentley Flying Spur

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Aston Martin struggled to sell the Rapide saloon when it was launched in 2010, and it wasn’t until a change in the way that the car was marketed that sales began to pick up. Whether you think it was underappreciated or not is by-the-by; as a used purchase, it’s terrific. The 5.9-litre V12 makes a glorious noise and performance in the corners is surprisingly good, given that it tips the scales at two tonnes. If the relative lack of space in the back is an issue you can overlook, you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to buy your next used Aston Martin from Autocar

One we found: 2012 5.9 V12, 55,000 miles, £37,999

Rolls-Royce Phantom

The Phantom VII, sold between 2003 and 2016, harnessed one of the smoothest engines in production: a 6.75-litre V12 delivering 453bhp and 531lb ft for unrivalled wafting ability. It has a ‘they-don’t-make-them-like-this-any more’ interior, as you will see as soon as you enter through the rear-hinged doors. The Series 2 model arrived in 2012, adding LED headlights, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and improved infotainment. Prices vary massively depending on options, but early versions of the S2 still attract six-figure sums.

Click here to buy your next used Phantom from Autocar

One we found: 2012 6.75 V12, 20,000 miles, £109,000