Top Gear Wiki

Top Gear CC.jpg

Cheap Car Challenges would usually involve the trio, being given a certain amount of budget to buy a car before  being set a number of challenges in finding out who had the best deal with regards to their purchase, the first being a £100 Car Challenge. Sometimes the challenges would usually involve the trio going against their producers in an attempt to prove that a certain type of car was superior. This segment was passed on, during the transition to The Grand Tour.

The earliest execution of this idea dates back to presenter Jeremy Clarkson's 2000 home video release, At Full Throttle, which he presented with then-current Top Gear presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson. Tasked with modifying an older sports car for less than £5,000, Jeremy would purchase a 1979 Rover SD1 whereas Vicki would purchase a 1986 Vauxhall Nova Sport. They would then be tuned by tuning firms associated with their brands for less than the money the presenters had left, and would be raced against one another at the end of the video.

Top Gear (Clarkson-era)

Episode Challenge Budget Jeremy's Purchase Richard's Purchase James' Purchase Winner
Series 4, Episode 3 Extremely Cheap Cars £100 Volvo 760 GLE Rover 416 GTi Audi 80 1.8E Jeremy
Series 5, Episode 6 Cheap Porsches £1,500 Porsche 928 Porsche 924 Porsche 944 Jeremy
Series 6, Episode 2 Cheap Coupes that Aren't Porsches £1,500 Mitsubishi Starion BMW 635CSi Jaguar XJS James (Jeremy Claimed Victory)
Series 7, Episode 4 Cheap Italian Supercars £10,000 Maserati Merak Ferrari 308 GT4 Lamborghini Urraco None
Series 8, Episode 8 Cheap Vans £1,000 Ford Transit Suzuki Supercarry LDV Convoy Richard
Series 9, Episode 5 Tractors N/A JCB Fastrac 8250 Case STX Steiger 530 Fendt 930 Vario None
Series 10, Episode 7 British Leyland £1,200 Rover SD1 Triumph Dolomite Sprint Austin Princess James
Series 11, Episode 1 Police Car Challenge £1,000 Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo Suzuki Vitara JLX Lexus LS400 Richard
Series 11, Episode 3 Cheap Alfa Romeos £1,000 Alfa Romeo 75 Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo GTV Jeremy
Series 11, Episode 5 Presenters own Luxury Cars N/A Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser N/A Rolls Royce Corniche Fixhead Jeremy
Series 12, Episode 1 Cheap Lorries £5,000 Renault Magnum ERF EC11 Scania P94D James
Series 13, Episode 2 Teenage Cars £2,500 Volvo 940 Estate Hyundai Scoupe Volkswagen Golf Jeremy
Series 13, Episode 5 RWD Cars £1,500 Porsche 944 S2 Nissan 300ZX Ford Capri 2.8 (Morris Marina) James
Series 13, Episode 6 Pre-1982 Cars £3,000 Austin-Healey Sprite Lanchester LJ 200 Citroen Ami 8 James
Series 15, Episode 2 Track Day Sports Saloons £5,000 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth BMW M3 Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth James
Series 15, Episode 6 British Sports Cars £5,000 Jensen-Healey Lotus Elan TVR S2 All
Series 16, Episode 4 4 Seater Convertibles £2,000 BMW 325i (1988) BMW 325i (1987) BMW 325i (1989) James
Series 17, Episode 3 Cheap Cars for the same price as a Nissan Pixo £6,995 Mercedes-Benz CL600 BMW 850CSi N/A Both
Series 18, Episode 7 Rallycross Racers N/A BMW 328i Citroen Saxo VTS Toyota MR2 Richard
Series 21, Episode 1 Cheap Hot Hatches £800 Volkswagen Golf GTi Vauxhall Nova SRi Ford Fiesta XR2i All
Series 22, Episode 3 Cheap Ambulance Challenge N/A Porsche 944 Turbo Chevrolet G20 Motorhome Ford Scorpio Cardinal Richard
Series 22, Episode 8 Classic Car Ownerships N/A Fiat 124 Spider MGB GT Peugeot 304 S Cabriolet Richard
Series 22, Episode 8 Cheap SUV'S £250 Vauxhall Frontera Sport RS Jeep Cherokee Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin Jeremy


  • James: 7 wins
  • Jeremy: 6 wins
  • Richard: 5 wins
  • Shared: 2 wins

The Grand Tour

Episode Title Challenge Clarkson's Purchase Hammond's Purchase May's Purchase Location
Italian Lessons Cheap Maseratis Maserati Biturbo S Maserati 430 Maserati Zagato Spyder Northern France
Jaaaaaaaags Reliable Jaguars Jaguar XJR Jaguar Mark X (Jaguar XJ6 Series III) Jaguar XK8 Convertible (Jaguar XJS) Colorado, United States
Chinese Food for Thought Luxury Cars BMW 750iL Cadillac STS (Fulu) Mercedes-Benz S600 Chongqing, China
Well Aged Scotch Italian Classic Investment Alfa Romeo GTV6 Fiat X1/9 Lancia Gamma Coupe Inverness, Scotland
Lochdown American Luxury Cars Lincoln Continental Mark V Buick Riviera Boattail Cadillac Coupe DeVille Scotland
Lochdown Terrible American Cars Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrysler Voyager Pontiac Aztek Scotland
Lochdown Classic American Muscle Cars Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Dodge Charger R/T Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Scotland
Carnage A Trois Weird French Cars Citroen CX Safari Matra Murena Renault Avantime Wales and England
Carnage A Trois French Family Cars Citroen Berlingo Multispace Renaut Scenic Peugeot 407 Wales
Carnage A Trois French Hot Hatchbacks Peugeot 306 GTI Peugeot 205 GTI Renaultsport Clio 172 Cup England

Top Gear (2016+)


Episode Challenge Budget Evans' Purchase LeBlanc's Purchase Schmitz's Purchase Jordan's Choice Winner
Series 23, Episode 4 Best Luxury Alternative to the Orient Express £8,000 Jaguar XJ Exec Honda Gold Wing Audi A8 Venice-Simplon Orient Express Jordan


Episode Challenge LeBlanc's Purchase Harris' Purchase Reid's Purchase Winner
Series 24, Episode 1 Most Reliable Car Mercedes-Benz E Class Volvo V70 London Taxi Reid
Series 24, Episode 6 Best Sports Car for Cuba N/A Maserati Biturbo Chevrolet Camaro Harris
Series 25, Episode 3 Best Japanese Sports Car Nissan Skyline GTT Mazda RX-7 N/A Harris
Series 26, Episode 4 Best Cheap Luxury Car Bentley Turbo R Mercedes-Benz S600 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow All


Episode Challenge Budget Harris' Purchase McGuinness' Purchase Flintoff's Purchase Winner
Series 27, Episode 1 Best First Car £4000 Mini Ford Escort Mk2 Porsche Boxster McGuinness
Series 27, Episode 2 Creating Electric Cars N/A Triumph Spitfire (i3 Batteries) Nissan Leaf (Modified) Subaru Brat (Tesla Battery) Flintoff
Series 27, Episode 4 Best Underated Classic £6000 N/A Matra Bagheera S Austin Allegro Estate Flintoff
Series 28, Episode 1 Best Cheap Cabrios £600 Mercedes-Benz SLK Ford Escort Cabriolet Chrysler LeBaron McGuinness
Series 28, Episode 3 American Cars in Peru £5000 Dodge Dart Modified Pontiac Firebird (Oldsmobile Cutlass) Volkswagen Camper Flintoff
Series 29, Episode 2 Performance Insurance Write Offs £6000 Ford Focus RS Porsche Cayman S Maserati Quattroporte All
Series 29, Episode 3 Rental Cars in Cyprus €30 Kia Picanto Ford Focus Cabriolet Suzuki Jimmy Harris
Series 30, Episode 1 Cheap 70S Dad's Cars N/A BMW 3 Series E21 Ford Fiesta MK1 Ford Cortina MK4 McGuinness
Series 30, Episode 4 Cheap Mid-Life Crisis Cars £8000 Vauxhall Monaro Ferrari F355/Toyota MR2 Kit Car TVR Chimaera Flintoff
Series 31, Episode 3 Cheap British Rally Cars in Iceland £2000 Vauxhall Chevette Rolls Royce Silver Shadow N/A (Range Rover)* McGuinness
Series 31, Episode 5 Cheap 70s First Drivers Cars £7000 Lada Niva MGB Sebring Volkswagen Beetle All