I’ve had my mini for around 3 months now, and following yet another problem with it, a little regret is starting to sink in. Normally, when something goes wrong on it, I leave it out of oppo, as it’s normally something simple and mundane, and giving whatever the problem is any more attention than it needs tends to frustrate me more, but I’m starting to reach the limit and I’m beginning to question whether getting it was really the right desicion.

Ever since I first watched the Italian job when I was about 4, and first found out about my uncles bright yellow mini, I’d wanted one of my own - I bought magazines and books, watched hours of YouTube videos and endlessly scoured every corner of the Internet for months on end, looking for one to buy, eventually narrowing my search to a later Mpi, ideally in Nightfire red.

Then I found it - a car exactly like the one I’d always pictured, that was also both affordable and a reasonable distance away. I arranged to see it and almost immediately after laying my eyes on it, I fell in love with it. “This is the car I want” I thought as I looked at it. I bought it, costing me nearly my entire life savings and arranged for the seller to deliver it in a few days.


The days leading up to its arrival were agonisingly slow; all I wanted was for the mini to get here, and when it did, I was like a little child on Christmas. I knew it had problems (namely front tyres and a short MOT) but I’d set aside the little money I had spare to fix these problems, as well as any others it may have, so I didn’t see this as a issue.

This is where the problems began...


The car may have been virtually rust free - almost an impossibility in the world of unrestored minis, but everything else seems to be an issue. The MOT was way more than I was expecting, and since it got back from there, I’ve had nothing but issues with it. It’s constantly making noises it shouldn’t, and it’s left me stranded a few times already, and seems to be getting worse. I knew when I got it it would need more work to keep on the road than a normal car, but there’s a limit - and that’s certainly not the new-problem-every-journey that it currently seems to be. It’s got to a point where the car will sit in the garage undriven because I’m too afraid to take it anywhere in case it breaks again.

There’s loads more I could write, but it’ll just frustrate me even more, and right now I really don’t want that. This is my first car, and should have bought something newer and more reliable to get used to driving in, rather than an old British car which (at least for the rover built late 90's models) is notoriously more complicated than any car this size needs to be.

I guess my question for oppo now is this - do I cut my losses while I still can and sell the car (I’ve put more than I should into it already, but I got the car for a decent price initially, so I hope that I wouldn’t be out too much money), then get something sensible, like I should have to start with, or do keep hold of it and hope that things start to get better?