Buying advise

Hi just going to look at a couple of mk3s this weekend first time buyer .Hoping for some tips/advice on what to look for or avoid .looking at a budget of £5000 or lower ,any help would be greatly appreciated

You should pick a decent car up with that budget, post your location-ish and maybe somebody can point you to a good one local to yourself.

Ftom Manchester. Cheers

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Well i’m in Wigan and if i see anything locally i’ll give you a nod.

Thanks can wait to get going

FWIW I was looking for a Sport, but got a 2.0 Icon and I’m glad I did - don’t miss the 6 speed box or the 17" wheels; just love the refinement.

I’ve added foglights and a DAB system but it was fine as I bought it really.

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When buying a Mk3 the main things to look for are:-

Service records showing regular oil changes, also check the engine oil level is at the max mark on the dipstick. This is probably the most important check to avoid future engine problems.

4 matching good tyres at around 26 to 28psi. Critical for good handling. If not budget for new tyres.

Ideally undersealed. Early cars are showing corrosion on rear wheel arches. If not undersealed then budget to get done.

Check around front wing indicator repeaters for signs of corrosion/paint bubbling.

Check for paint bubbling around rear number plate lights.

Check carpets and boot floor for damp, sign of blocked roof drains or leaking scuttle grommets. Lots on forum about these issues.

If a soft top the condition of roof, has it been reproofed? Look for signs of green algae or mould spots on inside.

Good luck with your search, there are plenty of good cars out there but some bad ones as well so don’t be rushed into buying the first one you see.


Hiya, this may be of interest?

Not definitive but every little helps! :smile:


PR-Yorkshire just about summed it all up.

Seast belts can be lazy to retract, which can be half fixed.
If you can get underneath the car, take a look at the chassis rails directly above the back box hangers for early signs of corrosion.

Hiya James,

Not sure of your background, that is to say, are you after just open-top fun or more performance. I owned both the 1.8 and 2.0 NC’s and would say as @Jemster mentions the 5-speed gearbox is great. The smaller engine has more compliant suspension and the exhaust note is great. I would try driving each to see which is the best fit for you.

Good Luck,

Thanks for the info ,looking at a 2.0 roadster at moment any thing i should look for ?do they still have roof drain issues