Decisions, decisions.... - DieselBoy
Your help is required gentlemen (and ladies of course)..

I'm looking for a small car for my 'better half'. It has to be 1300cc or less for insurance purposes, as new as possible, with a very low mileage. It will only ever be used for 10-15 mile commutes with a 100 mile trip once a week.

That's the easy part - now for cost! I want to spend no more than £3k. I've seen a number of Saxo's for around that mark, but I'm not sure about their safety and equipment.

Any ideas people?
Decisions, decisions.... - Morris Ox
I think you'll struggle with the new as possible bit at £3k. I think Saxo's are 'light' in every sense of the word and just don't rate the build. A newish car at £3k is bound to be one that was very cheap to start with and you only achieve that price by making some pretty severe compromises somewhere.

My personal choice, would be something along the lines of a 98 R/S plate Fiesta 1.25 LX, which has that lovely Yamaha-designed 16 valver. Perky performance, very pleasant to drive, and usually comes with power steering and electric front windows, a sunroof, and one of the most user-friendly stereos on the market.

You'll be looking at something which has probably got 30-50k miles on the lock. I've seen one advertised in my neck of the woods for £2,700 so you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding something in your bracket.

Don't go for the 1.3 model, BTW. It has that awful old 'Endura' Ford lump.

Decisions, decisions.... - DieselBoy
Thanks. However, she currently runs a 'K' plate 1.1LX which she hates! Having driven it, I agree. Trying to convince her that Ford have come a long way since then may be tricky!
Decisions, decisions.... - Morris Ox
I know exactly where she's coming from. SWMBO used to run K990 MWS, a 1.1 LX with the XR2-alike wheels and no power steering. Was like a tank to park and had a gutless wonder of an engine.

That was the old generation car. The 1.25 LX is a completely different kettle of fish - very smooth engine, power steering, better build, nicer interior, vastly improved refinement, almost a big car feel to it.

Please, please persuade her to at least try one. Life with a Saxo is likely to end up just as disappointing as the K-plate Fiesta.
Decisions, decisions.... - DieselBoy
Cheers Morris.

As the car is going to be a suprise present, I'll get her in one without rousing suspicions!
Decisions, decisions.... - Altea Ego
I would second the Saxo comment, very lightly built in all ways, as is the Pug 106. May I politeley suggest the Clio?.. Nicolle (Mrs R Family I love it when she calls me Papa) loves hers to bits. I would look at the Ibiza as well.
Decisions, decisions.... - king arthur
Skoda Felicia or SEAT Ibiza any good to you? Seen as the VW Polo's poor relations, and as such come at very good VFM.
Decisions, decisions.... - DavidHM
I don't know why the insurance thing is set at 1300 cc. At least make it 1400 to allow something with a bit of performance; the insurance varies from car to car.

A Fabia is out of budget and, if you want a sub-1300 old shape Ibiza, you're left with the 1.0 which, if you can find one, is slower than walking for most people. The same applies to the Polo.

A 1.4 is an excellent car though, as is a Polo with the same engine. If it's going to be a present, a Fiesta might be a bit offputting as externally an R and K-plate Fiesta are quite similar. Other than that it's an excellent car as long as you avoid the 1.3 Endura 8v engine.

If you can find a nice one, an Ibiza can be a great bargain, espeically privately. You should be looking at R-T plate cars for your budget. A V plate, ex-lease Clio at auction should be attainable, but you'll probably only get a P plate Polo.

Whatever you get, budget a couple of hundred for changing the cam belt if it's done more than 50k or is more than 5 years old.
Decisions, decisions.... - leatherpatches
I have two suggestions, which may well be rubbish:

1) Vauxhall Corsa 1.5TD. Nippy and very low insurance. With full service history you could safely buy one at 50k+ miles and do another 100k easily.

2) Peugeot 106 1.1 - any variety. Again cheap on fuel and insurance and hold their value, although lower mileage would be preferable. I would think the 1.25 Fiesta is a better bet in than this, though. They are a totally different beast to the old fiestas. Much more free revving and economic.

Good luck.
Decisions, decisions.... - DieselBoy
After much looking around, a Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 Breeze has been selected. 1998 'S' with 30k, FSH, immaculate condition for the sum of £2600. Looked up value in Parkers and are coming back with £3100ish for A1 - so a good deal done me thinks... Better half likes it.... "I like the bubbly shape"!


Value my car