James Ruppert: the ideal sub-£5000 multi-car garage

Received a very nice question from Gus about how to run a multi-car garage. There are a lot of Autocar contributors and readers who are bonkers enough to entertain all the fun and games involved when looking after more than one motor. After all, you can only drive one at a time, but then again, it’s always handy to have a spare. 

This isn’t a flippant answer situation. There is plenty to be said when it comes to multiple motors – except I don’t want to bore you with all the procedural bits. Let’s have fun trying to buy something small, something medium, something large and something sporty. 

The beauty of this is that it’s your garage and you can have whatever you please between the walls, or on the drive. Let’s set a realistic budget of £5000, which, because there are no other pressing bills, your other half says you can blow on your four-wheeled dreams. 

Okay, small. A characterful one for bobbing about and doing hardly any miles to the gallon. A Daihatsu Charade would be a hoot. A little cube of joy with a raucous 1.0-litre engine. A 2004 example, which is still £30 to tax and has air-con that isn’t a sunroof, is yours for £795. Plus it delivers 58.9mpg. If everything else goes askew, here’s your daily driver. 

Medium-size mile-muncher? The great thing is that a middle-order executive with a posh badge would work, even if a Ford Mondeo is the obvious answer. Instead, how about a Jaguar S-Type with the V8 engine and, even more convincingly, a full MOT and an outrageously reasonable mileage? Really well looked after and all for just £695. 

Answer: If properly applied, it probably is. That’s a big ‘if’, though, since you’ll never know for sure. It doesn’t help that the stuff is insanely expensive and thrust at customers by salesmen on a commission. Suspicions aroused, we assume it’s quack medicine and wave it away. Without it, our advice is to avoid parking under trees, remove bird droppings when they land and wash and polish the car from time to time. John Evans