Car buying advice - Cesc

Hi All.

I'm trying to help a friend choose his first car.

The idea is to buy a car that can be used as a work horse for 2-3 years, to rack up miles and be a comfortable to drive at the same

Budget is 4k, mileage per year: 15-18k, manual transmission and Diesel ( looking for 40mpg roughly).

My suggestions were as follows, ( all used cars with 40k ish on the clock)

Kia ceed (Pre-2013 models, post 13 are 7k and above)

Seat Ibiza, 2011 onwards

Honda Civic 2007 onwards.

Any other suggestions you might have ?

Thanks!

Car buying advice - retgwte

For first car, with zero non claims bonus, insurance cost is a dominant factor.

You need a list of all insurance groups listed per car, and shortlist from the lowest insurance groups you can tolerate.

Myself for a first car I would be looking at something like a fiat Panda diesel.

Car buying advice - badbusdriver

Firstly, if your friends mpg requirement is 40, scrap the diesel notion. The petrol versions of all the cars you have suggested will all manage more than 40mpg. For a relatively small budget, going diesel is not a good idea at all as they are so complex and costly to fix if they go wrong. Far better to get a n/a petrol engine, ideally from a Japanese or Korean manufacturer.

You have not given much info about your friends other requirements, such as how old he is, how much miles will he cover, how much space he needs. That last point is not helped by your suggestions, which have two cars from one size bracket and another from a smaller size. The Civic and Cee'd (as petrol) are both fine and reliable, if he can afford the insurance, but I'd forgot the Ibiza as there are some lemons with both petrol and diesel. I'd be thinking about the Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2, both of which will be unfailingly reliable and manage at least high 40's mpg all day long.

Car buying advice - Andrew-T

You have not given much info about your friends other requirements, such as how old he is, how much miles will he cover, how much space he needs.

15-18k per year - at least, that's how I read it?

Car buying advice - badbusdriver

You have not given much info about your friends other requirements, such as how old he is, how much miles will he cover, how much space he needs.

15-18k per year - at least, that's how I read it?

Fair enough, i wasn't 100% awake at the time!. But as a first car, we still need to know how old he is (if the chap in question is under 20, or even 25, that will have a major effect on the insurance costs and therefore what car he can get) and how much space is needed (family, dog, etc?).

Maybe something like a Ford Focus 1.6 (i know i said Japanese or Korean, but the engine in the Focus was designed by Yamaha and is very reliable). This will be comfortable on the motorway, fairly refined, fairly spacious and manage more than 40mpg. It would also be cheapish to insure and any garage can service them. £4k would get you into something like this,

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20181012143...1

Car buying advice - TheGentlemanThug

I agree, with the budget available your best bet is going for a naturally aspirated Japanese car. The Focus 1.6 petrol is also good and should be plentiful.

We do need to know more about the driver and their use of the car though. Your requirements thus far could cover everything from an Aygo to a Mondeo.

Car buying advice - Engineer Andy

Hi All.

I'm trying to help a friend choose his first car.

The idea is to buy a car that can be used as a work horse for 2-3 years, to rack up miles and be a comfortable to drive at the same

Budget is 4k, mileage per year: 15-18k, manual transmission and Diesel ( looking for 40mpg roughly).

My suggestions were as follows, ( all used cars with 40k ish on the clock)

Kia ceed (Pre-2013 models, post 13 are 7k and above)

Seat Ibiza, 2011 onwards

Honda Civic 2007 onwards.

Any other suggestions you might have ?

Thanks!

As others have asked, the age and gender of the driver can matter a LOT for the insurance, especially if they want/need a larger car or one 'seen' as being a higher performance model or one with a 'boy racer' reputation or that will likely be bought for modding.

Additionally, we need the following to get a more accurate picture of their circumstances:

1. Type of driving - mostly urban, slow speed work, mainly faster flowing out-of-town roads, a mix of both, plus roughly where the car will be driven - more remote rural and/or hilly areas that often experience bad weather (especially in winter) or not;

2. What sort of storage and passenger accomodation is required - i.e. size of car. Is there a minimum, e.g. worst case when they and family are going on a trip/holiday or they regularly use the car to shift large/heavy loads, e.g. garden/major household waste, work equipment, etc that may need a larger boot space than a city car or Fiesta sized car;

3. Are they willing to put aside a reasonable amount to cover not just insurance, but also to keep the well maintained at either a main dealership or well-regarded independent garage, or will use a cheapo 'back alley' garage or maintain it themselves. Korean and especially Japanese lower spec N/A petrol cars tend to be the most hardy/reliable, but must be properly maintained, especially chain-cam engines which require fresh oil of a high standard as per the handbook schedule;

4. What do they mean by 'comfortable to drive'? Many cars nowadays have decent seats, but have larger wheels and lower profile tyres fitted as standard (even lower spec models - hoping to attract young people) and quite firm suspension, which can often lead to poor ride quality, especially when driving on poorly surfaced urban and rural roads, not so bad on motorways. They are also far more susceptible to blowouts and general tyre/wheel damage and wear much quicker than standard profile (55 or above) tyres.

They also put more strain on suspension parts which also wear more quickly. Added to their higher replacement cost, this can add quite a bit to the maintenance cost of the car. A good compromise is 55 profile, up to 65 profile is fine unless you want really great handling. Some cars that are known for good handling can more easily take higher profile tyres (matched with smaller wheels) without much of a handling penalty.

Personally speaking, I'd go for the lowest spec required, common Japanese or Korean small/mid-sized N/A petrol car (dependent on their passenger/storage requirements) that can do 0-60 in about 10-14 sec and an overall real mpg (check out the section on this website for that - manufacturer's figures often are well above what can really be achieved) of 40-50mpg. Having A/C is fine (especially if they going to do lots of long journeys or be driving a lot), but keep the number of toys and spec level to the absolute minimum needed - not doing so will a) bump up the price of the car or restrict them to older models (not so good for reliability), b) may cost more to insure (higher group) and c) more to maintain (something more to go wrong). Follow the KISS principle.

As others have said, their insurance will likely be the highest outlay per year for the first 5 years or so, far more than all the other costs (including VED and servicing). As such, which car they choose can have a significant bearing on the insurance premium level.

My first car was a mid-90s near base-spec 1.0 petrol Micra (when Nissan still made reliable cars - I'd avoid them nowadays), which had no electric windows, no A/C (great for reliability, but never again once I could afford it next time) power steering (so light - it didn't need it). Very few issues in the 8 years I owned it - not quick (0-60 in about 15 sec), but fine around town and easy to park (great for visibility - something to look for for your friend's first car) and achieved more than the quoted overal mpg (47) at 52mpg (though I was doing more driving on dual carriageways than in urban areas).

Make sure they find out ALL the likely costs of buying and running the car first, as many young people buy cars they cannot afford and often have to divert money from other areas, e.g. saving up for a home, etc to fund running it, often because they bought a older premium/performance car that cost the earth to run (reliability problems and expensive parts/servicing) or without verifying it had previously been reliable/well maintained/not crash damaged.

Car buying advice - Cesc

Thank you all for the responses.

I will try and provide as much information as possible.

Late 20's, just finished uni and lives on his own. he has had a driving license for 2 years but never had a car up until now.

He has already set a separate budget for insurance, at the moment he gets quoted £1500 per annum. he can go for any car under that

Doesn't have any pets. his family visit him once or twice year so needs a four door car to fit 4 passengers.

Doesn't carry any bags or tools or equipements as such, so boot space will only be needed when he's family visit.

He likes to travel to nearby cities to visit friends and i am sure he will be going on a few road trips once he does get a car. but only uk trips.

His daily trip to and from work will be 70 miles in total. mostly motorway driving.

When i said comfortable to drive, i was mainly thinking of the ride quality especially since he would be spending a lot of time in the car.

although it is his first car, he isn't fussed about gadget etc.. mainly wants something that looks good but can live with for 3 years or so without having to worry about maintenance a lot or to expensive.

i did look at petrol cars but at the time or some reason i didn't think much of it at the time.

My knowledge about cars is still a work in progress lol.

Hope i haven't missed anything and really appreciate the time all of you are taking in helping out.

Thank you!

Car buying advice - Cesc

I forgot to mention that, i don't really know what his driving style is, since he hasn't driven here.

but i know he won't be a rough driver, he is a cautious person and appreciates the things he has, so he would likely be taking a good car of his car and driving it safely too.

Car buying advice - TheGentlemanThug

I'd be inclined to look at a Focus 1.6, providing he can afford the insurance. The 1.4 would also be a good option. There should be plenty of choice, parts are cheap and any garage worth their salt can service it.

A Civic 1.8 is also worth a look, but insurance may be an issue, not to mention ride comfort.

Car buying advice - badbusdriver

I'd be inclined to look at a Focus 1.6, providing he can afford the insurance. The 1.4 would also be a good option. There should be plenty of choice, parts are cheap and any garage worth their salt can service it.

A Civic 1.8 is also worth a look, but insurance may be an issue, not to mention ride comfort.

Yes, i think the Focus would probably be about the best option here. I doubt the insurance should be too much of an issue, and the combination of refinment, space, ride comfort and all round low running costs should make it an appealing choice. Also, the sheer number available means there are plenty to choose from.

Edited by badbusdriver on 01/11/2018 at 18:15

Car buying advice - SLO76
I’d tend to steer him away from diesel at this money as they’re much more complex and far more likely to go expensively wrong. If it’s big enough I’d be looking at a petrol supermini, something like a Mazda 2, Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta 1.25/1.4, Toyota Yaris or Suzuki Swift. All make excellent first cars and all will do 50mpg on a run with care while also avoiding the risk of the potential crippling repair costs of a diesel.

If they’re not big enough then the size up Focus, Civic, Toyota Auris and Mazda 3 all make excellent cheap small family sized cars but economy won’t match the superminis and insurance will be dearer. He’ll need to get a few quotes to see what is viable.

Where roughly does he live and I’ll look at what’s available locally to suggest a few?

Edited by SLO76 on 01/11/2018 at 20:48

Car buying advice - Cesc

He leaves down the South coast between Portsmouth and souhamSouth

Car buying advice - SLO76
Spotted this, a belter of a wee car if it's as nice as described. A hoot to drive and it’ll easily do 40mpg on a run. There’s a white 1.3 on an 11 plate not far away too for £4495 but this has a full dealer history and the Sport is a good model. Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20180926089...2



These are good news too.
Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20180919064...8


Rarely goes wrong...

Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20180903010...2



Bit dearer but very cheap to run and very practical.

Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20181010136...6


These are the sort of cars he should be looking at on such a tight budget. Forget complex turbo diesels and anything prestige or performance. Cars like this are where the smart money goes. Of course I haven’t personally looked at any of these so don’t tell him to buy without checking them over properly but these all have great reputations for reliability.

Edited by SLO76 on 02/11/2018 at 19:02

Car buying advice - Cesc

Thank you very much for that. I've suggested some of these to him too. Hopefully he gets the right one for him.

Thank you all for your help.

 

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