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Thread: Some first car advice

  1. #1
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    Default Some first car advice

    Hello all.

    I have finally after many more attempts than I would have liked, passed my driving test! Later this month I will turn 20 and if I am not lucky enough to be bought a car by my parents then I will be looking to buy my own. I'll be looking for something cheap to insure (well as cheap as humanly possible for a 20 year old) and run as I'm a student. I'll be using the car mainly for going back and forth from home to uni which is a long old way (Essex to Cardiff!). I'm not sure what a budget would be yet as I could do a 50/50 deal with the parents but let's say there was a budget of 6,000 for car and insurance (Insurance on most things whether 1.2 or 1.6 seems to be about 1,500 to 2,000). i'm a pretty mature human being so don't be afraid to suggest something over 1.0 litre in fear that I will park it in a tree!

    The only thing that my parents have vetoed outright is a classic Mini. I mounted a an assault to buy one last year but the parents (rightly I suppose) put their foot down on the basis that the crumple zone of a classic mini is your face.

    Would really like some friendly advice as there seems to be a dizzying array of options!

    All the best,

    Will

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  3. #3
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    A lot of options mate. Firstly for big milage I would usually say go diesel but before u pick that keep an eye on the fuel prices if they keep rising petrol will do fine. You would not go far wrong with a small 1.2 car ie corsa, fiesta, c2, etc they are cheap to run economic and easy to find parts/repair. You can get decent 2nd hands ones to. Remember if your going second hand look out for milage no more that 15k miles per year. And also a good tip- always go to buy a car with a friend- and always always don't forget to haggle for price and extras

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by spandit View Post
    Ford Fiesta?
    Rather than just names of cars I was looking more for specific advice on the model, engine size and testimonials etc!

    Thanks though I had thought of the fiesta and it seems a fairly solid if unexciting option!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyJDickson View Post
    A lot of options mate. Firstly for big milage I would usually say go diesel but before u pick that keep an eye on the fuel prices if they keep rising petrol will do fine. You would not go far wrong with a small 1.2 car ie corsa, fiesta, c2, etc they are cheap to run economic and easy to find parts/repair. You can get decent 2nd hands ones to. Remember if your going second hand look out for milage no more that 15k miles per year. And also a good tip- always go to buy a car with a friend- and always always don't forget to haggle for price and extras

    Sent from my HTC Salsa C510e using Tapatalk

    One argument I'm tossing up in my head is whether to go for a more solidly built car like a VW polo but with obviously more miles, or a cheaper car with less miles? Would you say at this price range you want to go as new as possible?

  6. #6
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    I got a corsa 1.2 petrol when I passed my test and it was a great car. Done me 10 years with no bother until I had my first accident and the insurance wrote it off for very little

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  7. #7
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    Any opinion on the new Mini? The one which has caught my eye is the 1.4 litre diesel

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    I would weight it up and ask questions. So ex taxis have done the miles but have been well looked after. One v good website for reviews is www.parkers.co.uk

    Sent from my HTC Salsa C510e using Tapatalk
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  9. #9

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    How capable a spanner monkey are you? The car you are most likely to crash/damage is your first one... spend as little as humanly possible on it. Learning to fix it yourself can and will save you a huge amount of money over the years.

    Example: Last year I bought a 1994 VW Golf 1.9 Tdi for 180. To put various bits right and get it through it's MOT (including the cost of the MOT test) bumped that up to a whopping 347 and a weekend's mucking about with spanners and getting a bit oily.

    If driven like it's been stolen (Aberdeenshire to Cumbria in 'ahem' and a half hours) and it returns 53.8 mpg. Driven exceptionally carefully between motorway service stations and it made nearly 70mpg.

    It's not flash, has no 'driver aids', isn't very fast (14s to 60mph... ish - might make a ton if you push it down a mineshaft or put it on top of the 9.15 Reading to Penzance) but it IS a bit of a Tardis when it comes to interior space, handles really well and even including business use costs me under 300 a year to insure.

    It's also incredibly disposable... I'm certainly not going to cry much over it should it get totalled by Studly McNonuts in his mum's corsa pretending he'd Jenson Button in Asda's carpark.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilderbeast View Post
    Any opinion on the new Mini? The one which has caught my eye is the 1.4 litre diesel
    Wouldn't touch it with a 10' someone elses... The original mini was a poorly built design masterpiece. The BMW mini is a fabulously built design disaster area buoyed by an extremely expensive marketing campaign. If you want a car the size of a Ford Focus, the Ford Focus is a much more practical vehicle than the Mini and might even be slightly smaller
    Please help SAVE one of the last true market towns in Britain from supermarket development!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adze View Post
    How capable a spanner monkey are you?
    If I'm brutally honest I'm not. I know a bit about cars but without some sort of instruction I'd be pretty lost. I have changed a wheel on a friend's car and this is the limit of my experience but I'm a fairly practical chap so I think I could learn most basic fix's without too much trouble!

  12. #12
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    I think you should get a Ford Fiesta.

    They are common, so spares are easy to come by, reliable, economic and have loads of space for your kit in.

    Ill also send a useful PM

  13. #13
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    Go for a diesel, it's not a question of price per litre but price per mile and a diesel will whoop a petrol in terms of mpg. Look at what reps are driving, you need cheap and cheerful motoring, something that doesn't cost a packet to keep on the road. Skoda octavia's were in vogue a couple of years ago. Despite your protestations, you will smash whatever your driving in the first couple of years, that's a given. No point getting something you're too attached to. Do the time in something naff, buy something decent when you've got some "no-claims" discount and built up your bonus, got some experience and you've learnt from the hard knocks.
    Failing that, get a subaru impreza.
    Learn how to change a wheel and keep the spare inflated.

  14. #14
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    I've recently Bought a Peugeot 106 1.1 Zest X reg as a 2 nd family car for work, o.k, They are classed as a boy racers car, But they are cheap n cheerful, and there are plenty of em about so parts are fairly cheap too.
    The Wilderness is to big to fight. Yet for those of us who'll take advantage of what it offers, nature will furnish every necessity
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  15. #15
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    Do not buy a mini unless you're going to lose sleep without one. They are TINY, uncomfortable to drive and even less comfortable to ride in, especially for long journeys.

    I'm still driving my first car, it's a VW Passat 2.0 Diesel that I inherited from my father. It's a pain to insure even now (I'm 23 and a postgrad student) but very economical in terms of fuel. I'd never guess it was a 2.0 if there was no badge.

    The best advice I can give is to buy something robust and cheap. Remember that scrapes and bumps are unavoidable, especially as you're an outdoor sort of guy. I stopped crying over every scratch after the first year or so. I soon learned that while our hedgerows are beautiful... that beauty comes at a price.

  16. #16
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    Nissan Micras are small, reliable and don't cost a fortune to insure.
    Having said that I bought a Ford Transit as my first four wheel vehicle but that's cos I have loads of tools to carry about and have motorcycles that occasionally go in the back.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by demographic View Post
    Nissan Micras are small, reliable and don't cost a fortune to insure.
    However, they do go wrong and when they do the parts cost is seriously prohibitive. The AFM (airflow meter) packed up on a friends K11 motor - the price for a new throttle body from Nissan? 1,400. Even online 'spares for any car' type places were well over 200 for part alone - this for a car worth, maybe, 750 with a following wind.
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  18. #18
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    Re. insurance, try getting a quote on a 2 seater, be it a van, or a small 2 seater, I know you've got a lot of M 11 and M4, but it could just be worth it.

    You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised by an MGB or an older MX5 or MR2.
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  19. #19
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    Really depends what you want.

    If it's just a run about then pretty much anything will do.

    If cheap running costs are the main priority then something like a Diesel Polo will take some beating.

    If your looking for something that your going to learn about and enjoy driving like above a MX5 is a mega reliable and very cheap to run fun car.
    The UK version is sadly cheaper to insure than the Jap import version (Eunos Roadster), i say sad because 9 times out of 10 the Jap imports are in far better condition.

    There is very little difference insurance wise between the 90-93 1.6's and the 94> 1.8's.
    One to be wary about are the UK 94> 1.6's as these were heavily restricted to force buyers into buying the 1.8's.

    A MX5 is never going to be economical as far as fuel goes (you'll be lucky to get into the 30's mpg wise), but they're easy to work on, have a massive on-line following as far as forums go and parts are very very cheap.

    It's also rear wheel drive as well, so you get to learn to drive in a proper car


    As you get older and insurance drops you can bolt on a turbo or supercharger kit and around 240bhp can be had for around 2k.
    Much more than 240bhp and bottom end engine work is advised.


    Great little fun car, i am a bit biased though as i've been running one for 8 years now.
    Mines a 94 Jap import with a MP62 supercharger kit, never had it dyno'd but it's running somewhere around 240bhp and weighs in just over 900kg.

    In 8 years it's raced at local timed events, been tracked several times a year, is my every day transport and has taken the Mrs and i up and down and across Europe, including a few Greece to UK drives and back again.
    Only problems i've had in that time were due to either stupidity or laziness on my part (do all my own servicing, tuning etc).





    So great fun to drive, easy to work on so a great car to learn about servicing, tuning etc, extremely reliable and MPG aside (not bad, but not good by modern car standards) mega cheap to run.

  20. #20

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    Toyota Yaris 1.4D 04/05 plate (the old model, not the new fluffy ones)

    Easily get 55/60 mpg, quite nippy and Very safe.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilderbeast View Post

    Would really like some friendly advice as there seems to be a dizzying array of options!

    All the best,

    Will
    Don't buy a car unless you really really have to.

  22. #22

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    haha! Love the mx5 love going on here. I had had one for 3/4 years- a mk2 one (2000) Best car ever, cheap to fix, easy to work on yourself, plenty of good forums too. Great fun car.. cheap too.

    Other cheap reliable cars I have found are the Ford Ka- maybe a bit of a chick mobile, and loves the tinworm, but over 4 years with hardly any issues!

  23. #23
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    I would say another vote for a Ford Fiesta. Did a study on them MANY years ago and found them out to be the cheapest to run, insure and maintain compaired to Vaxhauls and VW. As your doing high milage go for the deisel. It wont set the world on fire with speed but will be practical and economical to run as a student.




    http://www4.autotrader.co.uk/search/.../sort/priceasc
    Last edited by Grendel; 06-03-2012 at 11:28.

  24. #24
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    If you're not fussed about what the car is you could do far worse than a Hyundai Getz. We had one for my wife for a few years (1.5 diesel) and it was a comfortable car that had plenty of room in it and was just as happy on motorways as it was round town. Bit more room than a Fiesta and quite a good "upright" driving position.

  25. #25
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    Polo, fiesta, corsa diesel.
    Buy old car with 11month's MOT - you can often pick them up for under 500 as perfectly good runners.

    As everyone has said, you *will* bump and scrape your car - make sure it's just your car, don't claim on insurance.

    Alternatively - are you nuts? Check out the cost and time it takes to drive from Essex to Cardiff. 3hrs driving and 20 fuel each way. Plus cost of car.

    That's a heck of a lot of train tickets.

    Get yourself a really decent folding bike (one of the ones that is more of a bike than a folded bike IYSWIM), then you can make the most of cheap train tickets and stations.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharly View Post
    Polo, fiesta, corsa diesel.
    Buy old car with 11month's MOT - you can often pick them up for under 500 as perfectly good runners.

    As everyone has said, you *will* bump and scrape your car - make sure it's just your car, don't claim on insurance.

    Alternatively - are you nuts? Check out the cost and time it takes to drive from Essex to Cardiff. 3hrs driving and 20 fuel each way. Plus cost of car.

    That's a heck of a lot of train tickets.

    Get yourself a really decent folding bike (one of the ones that is more of a bike than a folded bike IYSWIM), then you can make the most of cheap train tickets and stations.

    But it is far more practical for taking my mountains of books and equipment home in the car then trying to carry as much as I can through London.

  27. #27
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    How often do you have to make the journey?

    I seriously recommend you draw up a list of the costs - don't leave anything out - for all possible forms of transport.

    If going by train, for example, add in some extra for buying at least one meal along the way (yeah, you could pack up a sandwich, but sometimes you'll forget).

    For car, you have:
    Purchase cost
    Insurance
    MOT
    Maintenance
    Petrol

    If you aren't doing more than changing the oil yourself, figure the MOT+maintenance costing you around 600 per year.

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    Toyota Yaris either 1.3vvti petrol or 1.4 D4D --- older style.e

    When I took the Discovery off the road to rebuild the floor etc I bought a Yaris as as top gap / works car. 03 plate 45000 miles and less than 1900 inoc tax and MOT done 2 days before I picked it up. 18 months and 30 000 miles later I've kept the Yaris and sold the Disco nearly a year ago

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdS View Post
    Toyota Yaris either 1.3vvti petrol or 1.4 D4D --- older style
    Definitely. I had 2 of these. The 1ltr and the 1.4 D4D.

    I had a head on accident in the 1ltr, I was doing 45, the other car was doing 50/55mph. Managed to get the door open etc, and get out (even thought I broke my pelvis). The firemen who attended were amazed at the state of the car given the speeds involved. They said if I'd been in any other car the same size I probably wouldn't have gotten out alive. I hit some daewoo monster of a car, bleedin' huge it was.

    If I didn't need a bigger car I'd definitely have another one (one of the older ones anyway) - you can't get much better small car.

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