(Sorry if this is a re-post, still getting used to Kinja!)


So here's the story: looks like in a few months my GF will be driving for work (dog rescue) a lot and using our only car (2003 Saab 9-5) so I need something for myself for a short daily commute and the odd trip here and there. It'll only need to do about 10-15 miles a day so economy isn't a big thing, but it has to be cheap to insure and be fairly basic so I can keep it going myself. Need room in the back as I play in a band and need to move amps etc). I don't need speed or razor-sharp handling, and I don't want some boring eurobox or identikit Toyota, and don't really feel Ford/GM stuff is made too well. I've come down to a couple of things I can afford and have always had a thing for - a Land Rover Defender or an old Fairway/Black Cab/London Taxi.


I've thought through the pro's and con's I can think of (below) but I'm interested what you good people know or feel about these cars. (I already know they'll both be slow as hell and have agricultural handling, I'm not too bothered about that)



Require a few spanners to keep them going, fixable by a dumbass (my family have owned several old Series Landys - actually prefer the S3 look with the recessed grille but they're just a teeny bit too thirsty and tractor-like -and they'll get drafted in to assist)


Useful in the winter - we have a horse stabled down a muddy & sometimes snowy country lane (we get by but the Saab reacts... interestingly) and being able to throw hay etc in the back would be useful.

Easy to swap body types (soft top, van, pickup) fairly easily and cheaply

Can help my GF with dog stuff as it'll probably already look quite tatty

Zombie apocalypse vehicle preparation: check


Might be a tight squeeze in our car park (turning circle, height etc... there is an arch just over 2m tall), can park it on the street but it's pretty cramped.

Will be more expensive to buy

Probably the less reliable of the two



More comfortable of the two

Cheaper of the two to buy (and insure I think)

Amazing turning circle, easy parking

50's styling with solid modern(ish) Nissan engine, so less of the classic car headaches

Arguably the most iconic (every souvenir shop in the UK has miniature versions of these somewhere despite there being none left as working taxis in London)

Sorely tempted to give it a sort of rat-look (seeing one of these battle through 28 Days Later only endeared it to me more)


No front passenger seat

Parts will be harder to get

Not so easy to find manual versions (don't want an auto)

No good in the mud/snow

So whaddya reckon? I'd be looking at about £3.5-4K for a Defender and about £1.5-2k for a decent enough Fairway. I know they're not flamespewing rocketships but I want something that puts a smile on my face...