Cars that practically disappeared overnight

There’s something about ageing cars and registration plates that freaks me out. I mean, when I see a car from 2005 there’s something in my head that still makes me consider it to be relatively new. It’s disturbing to think that plate was actually issued well over a decade ago…

Recently, I’ve noticed that plenty of cars that used to be seriously common now appear to be almost extinct, and this list is devoted to those.

It’s worth noting that this is written from the perspective of a UK resident, those who are fortunate enough to live in a better climate (or with unsalted roads) will probably have an altogether different list (why don’t you let me know in the comments at the bottom)

Here we go:

Ford Mondeo mk1 and mk2

Fordheritage (34 of 115)

Should you see one then you can bet on one thing, it’ll have a tape-based repair on one of its bumpers – but that’s a different story altogether.

Most probable cause of death: Government scrappage scheme, tin worm

Rover 200/25

Rover 200/25 | Image: Mic/Flickr


The little Rover 200 was once at the corner of every street, even its later MG sister cars are few and far between nowadays.

Most probable cause of death: Almost certainly head gasket failure

Fiat Punto mk1

Fiat Punto |  Image: Kieran White/Flickr

The original rudeboy choice, the Punto even made its way into a Lethal Bizzle single. There are still so many of its competitors on the road: Peugeot 106s, Saxos, Corsas e.t.c, but the Punto appears very rare in comparison.

Most probable cause of death: Bad driving

Vauxhall Vectra

Vauxhall Vectra | Image: Kieran White/Flickr


Despite getting some brutal press, the Vectra proved to be an incredibly popular model for Vauxhall, rewind ten years ago and they were the rep mobile of choice. Nowadays though, they’re a rare sight.

Most probable cause of death: Government scrappage scheme

Peugeot 406

Peugeot 406 | Image:jonsowman/Flickr

Peugeot produced the 406 for nine whole years, at one point these were some of the most common cars on the road. In 2001, 19,000 406 GLX models were taxed on the UK roads, last year that number was down to just 1,500.

Most likely cause of death: unknown

Ford Probe

Ford Probe | Credit: Kieran White/Flickr

Strong competitor for the worst name in motoring history and a pretty odd car altogether, for most, the Probe is easy to forget. Last year, less than 700 Ford Probes were taxed on the UK’s roads.

Most likely cause of death: uneconomical repairs

Renault Laguna

Renault Laguna | Image: Kieran White/Flickr

Anyone who was a fan of the TOCA series or followed touring cars in the late nineties will remember I’ve got fond memories of early Lagunas. Anyone who ever owned one probably thinks otherwise.

Most probable cause of death: A lack of love

Other notable mentions:

The Vauxhall Nova: seriously hard to come by now, and when they do turn up they usually command silly prices, most consumed by rot.

BMW E34 5 Series: The 5 series from this era is seriously hard to come by. Sad, really.

Citroen BX: When was the last time you saw one?

Peugeot 205: The dinky pug is in serious decline, just 125 205XS’ were taxed last year, that’s compared to 11,000 in 2001

Have I missed out any obvious ones? Let me know in the comment box below:




  1. Nissan Primeras rather sadly. Great cars, well built and reliable, handle well too, see BTCC! I still drive my 2000 version and love it but I hardly ever see another one.

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