Skoda for a learner ? - volvoman
Hi Gang - My lovely other 'arf Volvette wants to learn to drive but hasn't got round to it yet. By chance, a good friend of ours has been trying to get rid of a 1996 P plate Skoda Felica Bohemia 5 door and is asking £1200. It's done 38k and has had its 40k service but the road tax is due to expire in the next month or two I believe.

Question - would such a car be a good starting point for someone with not very much money who is learning to drive and doesn't want to spend a fortune on insurance, petrol, servicing etc ?

I checked the CBC Breakdown and it mentioned heavy steering but wifey is pretty strong so I don't envisage any huge problems on that front ;-)

Anyone got any thoughts ? Any feedback much appreciated.
Skoda for a learner ? - volvoman
ps. It's a 1.3, 5 speed manual and I'm not sure when the MOT is due but will find out tomorrow.
Skoda for a learner ? - Another John H
My eldest learned in SWMBOs Felicia (S plate 1.3 estate).
Admitted this one has (woolly) power steering, but, ignoring that:

the gearbox is nice and light.
the brakes are good.
visibility (out) is not bad - however estate is difficult to judge the back of.

The only problem which has turned up recently is the youngest: at 5 foot nothing cannot reach the pedals without being dangerously close to the airbag.
She won't be learning in it.

Other than that, watch out for head gasket oil leaks, as per Honest John guide.

On balance - go for it.
Skoda for a learner ? - king arthur
I can't think of too many other cars you can get with 5 doors and 38k on a P for 1200 notes. On the basis that it uses VW Polo mechanicals and is probably a good year or two younger than anything else you could get for the price, it can't be bad if you don't mind the lack of image.
Skoda for a learner ? - NeilT
I got one of these (M-reg 1.3LXi) for my nan a few years ago and she is still very pleased with it.

Only one problem she had was the steering which became too heavy for her with her arthritis. I managed to get a PAS conversion kit which was basically all the parts from a 1997 1.3 (the first 1.3 model to have PAS), and fitted....she is now happier than ever with the car, which has now done 50,000 trouble free miles, and which for me, is alot more nimble around a counrty lane than my Leon.

Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150, 406 SRi Turbo, 406 SRi 16v, Various Montegos...
Skoda for a learner ? - volvoman
Hi all - well it looks like the deal is done ! Had a look at the car today and it's in very good nick in terms of interior and bodywork which is spotless aside from a minor scrape on FNS wheel arch. Can't speak for the mechanicals but no obvious signs of leaks and I know our friend's genuine so no worries there. MOT is due at the end of November but tax runs out this month. Even so, it's in the cheaper category so not too expensive for Volvette. It has electric front windows, alarm, good Blaupunkt stero and even a cooling fan override switch ! (apparently the original owner had heard about overheating problems with previous models and thought it was a good idea). All in all looks very clean and tidy, just the job for her to learn on. It's even blue, which is her favourite colour. Going to get the cash and paperwork sorted this week hopefully and am looking forward to all the joys of being a 2 car family again !

Thanks for the feedback all.
Skoda for a learner ? - NeilT
Oh, and they are a doddle to service. I can carry out an oil & filter service on my nans in less than 20 mins, and without even getting my "working" clothes on.....:-)

Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150, 406 SRi Turbo, 406 SRi 16v, Various Montegos...
Skoda for a learner ? - volvoman
Yes Neil, the owner said the same thing and there's certainly plenty of room to move in the engine bay. Who knows, I might even get my hands dirty and try it myself - it's about time I learned something about cars :-0

Ask Honest John

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