Thursday, 13 May 2010

A Rough Guide To Car Boot Sales

The car boot sale is a great British institution. They usually take place at weekends (and during the week, here in the West Midlands) and are held on grassed fields, school or community grounds and car parks. They offer an opportunity to buy and sell almost anything.

Sellers roll up at around 5am, pay around £7-10 for a pitch, park, unload their goodies on tarpaulins, tressle tables, dress rails or just heaped on the floor and await a sale whilst sitting in the comfort of their vehicle. Items are rarely priced and haggling is actively encouraged.

Every walk of life is represented from professional market traders, elderly folk looking to downsize, declutterers, students wishing to supplement their grants, house clearance specialists, to bootleggers and generally dodgy geezers. There's everything available from a single nail or a pound of carrots to an antique double bed or a vintage frock.

Boot sales usually finish by noon although our great British weather often plays a hand in early closure or complete cancellation.

A useful website for finding a UK boot sale.

Here's a few some of this morning's bargains:
1960's era Elizabeth Arden "Introductory Box" bought from my favourite house clearance traders for £1. Unused and perfect. It will look gorgeous on our Art Deco dressing table when we get round to decorating our guest bedroom.

TopShop red leather shoes (50p) and 1950's ceramic vase (50p)

Part of a haul of vintage hats, I got 7 for £3

1970's acetate-lined fun fur jacket £3, Kate Moss eat your heart out!

....And finally, the winner of my giveaway is:

The lovely Rose & Bird.
Congratulations, sweetheart! Please email me with your address so that I can send your goodies.


  1. This is a fantastic post! The hats, the Arden set and the fur jacket are all amazing finds :D

    Congratulations to Rose & Bird! x

  2. Wonderful finds!

    Can't believe I actually won a giveaway, thank you so much!

    Liz x

  3. Wow, wonderful finds - the shoes are beautiful and Elizbeth Arden.....
    Congrats Liz on your win.
    Kandi x

  4. Wow, I'm soooo jealous of that Elizabeth Arden set - fabulous!

  5. What a fab post, Vix! I am super jealous of the Elizabeth Arden set. It's divine.

    There's a new boot sale just down the road from me starting up on Sunday, at a much friendlier time of 8am. Fingers crossed I find some treasure! xx

  6. OMG that Elizabeth Arden set is fantastic!!And those shoes!The vase is very pretty-I'm beginning to really like 50's decorative stuff,I never really did before.Yeah,Kate Moss would cream over that coat!!
    Man,your car boot sales look amazing!!!
    LOVE HelgaXXX

  7. Great post. I need to start car-booting in Glasgow. I never hear of any car boots/jumble sales, but they must be taking place - I just need to tune in to where to find out about them. The fur jacket is gorgeous - a strong incentive to go for a rummage. xx

  8. I love a car bootie too! I had to stop myself though... I haven't got enough room!
    Great finds here, I loved the hats and the fur althought the Elizabeth Arden is a very curious and cute find too.

    See you soon.

  9. I can't wait for the big one at the cricket club down the road to start up again. I want me some bargains.

    Can't wait to see you rocking that amazing purple hat!

  10. What's the immigration policy over there? I want to come to a Car Boot Sale! What fantastic buys, Vix! The hats, the shoes, the jacket!!!

  11. Thanks for the info!!! I LOVE it. It is a lot like an outdoor flea market in the states, especially in the south, like Kentucky. I can stay all day at one and enjoy meeting the sellers and gabbing with the buyers as well. Haggling is also expected and I have gotten some great buys! I love the red shoes especially and of course the hats. I'm a hat freak!!! I want to travel the world someday and learn about all the wonderful cultures that are out there! The U.S. can be stiffling, and a bit "closed-minded" when it comes to other views and opinions. Ah,,, To be a traveler!!! I can live vicariously through you :) Reva

  12. Great post Vix!
    My life would be so dull without these two things:
    1. Your blog
    2. Car Boot Sales
    They both rock my socks off :)

  13. OOh you've got me all excited for boot sale season lol..I'm a fairweather boot saler I think..xx

  14. great post! Wish my head could register so early on a weekend i'd be there like a shot, maybe this weekend... amazing buys, love the jacket! x

  15. Great post! I love a good car boot, rummaging and picking out a gem is great fun.

    Love the hats!! Can't wait to see you rocking them in your outfit posts.

    Congrats to Rose & Bird, uber jealous!

    X x

  16. Hiya hun, oohh I do love a car boot binge,I'm going to one this weekend funny enough,though may skip it if it's too bleak out there I've had enough of getting drenched this week!
    peace & bows
    prettyneons x

  17. wwwwwaaaawwwwhhhh amazing haul!! I love carboots.. I picked up an AMAZING thick luscious large vintage tan leather satchel a few weeks back for £2... TWO POUNDS! I love carboots with a passion!!

  18. Great finds, Vix. Can you believe that I've never been to a car boot sale? I find the amount of goods slightly intimidating, and as a gypsie at heart I don't want to accumulate too much stuff (that doesn't go for clothes ;-). But with your tips I might actually dare to go to one.

  19. Great post so useful - I need to go to more x

  20. Fantastic post! Car boot sales are one of my highlights of the week and a reason why I like summer so much! I love finding a bargain and getting out before most people are awake!

  21. fantastic post! i am obsessed with the hats!

  22. Great boot finds.

    I have found a few great boot sales in my area at.

  23. Hi, i was amazed to stumble upon this blog. I use car boot sales and charity shops for not only my clothes (i'm basically and old mod...) but also for bits of photographic kit (...and a photographer).

    I actually found this blog when researching and looking for car boot pics for my own blog post about photography on a shoestring. And you're from the West Mids too! Double whammy!

    Great blog!


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