Need a small car for use in rural Scotland

I am trying to advise my stepson on buying a new car. He lives in rural Scotland and we have a number of questions:-

1) His budget will be in the region of £15,000; would he be better to think of a new car or one up to 24 months old?

2) He has looked at the Fiat Panda (four-wheel drive model) and Nissan Note. Can you recommend any other models of this type/range? It will be a petrol engine.

3) Is the four-wheel drive option a sensible one, or would a front-wheel drive with all year tyres be as practical? He will use the car mainly on roads, but does have to visit a croft up a track one a week.

4) Do you have any further advice, please?

Asked on 9 May 2016 by RuralRider

Answered by Honest John
The Panda 4x4 and particularly the Panda 4x4 Cross TwinAir is great for off road and snowy conditions. Fiat also does a front drive Panda Trekking fitted with an electronic diff and Goodyear Vector 4 Season tyres: www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/fiat/fiat-panda-cr.../

If buying anything else, the best all weather tyres are Michelin Cross Climates, but Nokian Weatherproof and Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons are almost as good and Nokian's UK distributor, Nordic Tyres, is in Inverness.
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