Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

Last weekend I was all set for one of my life’s greatest pleasures, car shopping with someone else’s money. My wife’s aunt decided that due to health issues and a little knock of her confidence that she’d like to change the 16 plate Mini Countryman that I told her not to buy last year for a small automatic.

Great thought I, I get to tour showrooms on someone else’s cash. But how wrong could that be.
I made a wee shortlist of all the available small automatics that I’d recommend and expected an easy deal on a nearby 67 plate Jazz Auto at £9995 or a facelift 66 plate Peugeot 2008 Allure 1.2 Auto at £10,800. Both low mileage and both very tidy.

The Jazz was instantly swatted aside by auntie who decided it wasn’t high enough, this despite having no mobility issues what so ever and the car being maybe an inch shorter than the Mini she drives now and has decided is too bulky for her?? Front runner down.

The Kia Venga is again passed by for its styling, he wouldn’t even sit in it. The related Hyundai was also ignored. I’m fast running out of options. No to the Yaris, no to the Mazda 2 and no to the gorgeous Suzuki Swift I found.

Next up the Peugeot 2008 which at last drew a smile. It’s the right size, it’s comfy, it looks good to her eye and it uses a simple and well regarded engine and a robust torque converter gearbox. All is well. Having done my homework I know the Mini she paid £11,000 for last year is worth around £8400 in part exchange so into the showroom we go and spend time (too much of it, it turns out) talking to the salesman who has returned from valuing it or rather not. After much time wasting he announces its worth £7000, this despite a near exact car being sat on his lot at £9995! Our contempt unhidden, we stormed out. It seems this big mostly Scottish national chain doesn’t want to deal or they’ve lost the knack of valuing cars in this new world of PCP and contract lease.

I’m now at a loss. The Mini is too valuable to sell from the drive for the right money and buying services like WBAC aren’t offering strong money right now as auctions are quiet. It seems we’re in a strange place of high retail but low trade prices right now thanks in part to Covid and in part to exploding new car prices.

She won’t accept any sensible supermini autos and a larger diesel MPV is unsuitable due to the typical pensioner usage of shops and back then to the sisters 200 metres away. A small SUV/MPV is required and she’s has now horror of horrors got her eye on the God awful Ford Ecosport with the fragile 1.0 Ecoboost and the even more temperamental Powershift gearbox. She’d need a lot more money to get a post 2018 example with the newer torque converter gearbox, even at that I won’t recommend one.

I can get £8300 for her car by selling to another local dealer but she doesn’t want to put in much if any money. She’s refused all sensible options and a Pug 2008 auto cant be had in budget unless it’s a pre facelifted example with the horrid jerky single clutch automated manual which she won’t be able to drive properly.

I’ve suggested three options to her.
1- Keep the Mini. It’s done 17,000 miles and it’s as new. I’m no fan but it’s a good example.

2- Add at least £2500 to get a 2008 facelift auto. I like these but it’ll cost her.

3- Accept that her budget is only enough to buy a conventional automatic supermini like a Jazz or a Yaris. Both will be easy to drive and utterly reliable.

Any suggestions from the regulars? Hide under the blankets and refuse all calls? Currently I’m just using distraction tactics and hoping she’ll forget all about it.

Edited by SLO76 on 01/09/2020 at 22:51

Shopping for auntie dear. - concrete

Any suggestions from the regulars? Hide under the blankets and refuse all calls? Currently I’m just using distraction tactics and hoping she’ll forget all about it.

Have you tried that old Scottish remedy/ Whisky!!! I feel your pain SLO, very frustrating. Best of luck.

Concrete

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

Any suggestions from the regulars? Hide under the blankets and refuse all calls? Currently I’m just using distraction tactics and hoping she’ll forget all about it.

Have you tried that old Scottish remedy/ Whisky!!! I feel your pain SLO, very frustrating. Best of luck.

Concrete

Wise words indeed, whisky cures all ills, til the morn anyway.

Edited by SLO76 on 01/09/2020 at 23:45

Shopping for auntie dear. - barney100

I feel your pain, only done this once and that was for my daughter's first car so just negotiated a price when she found one that fitted the bill. I've only just changed my own car and what a hassle never mind factoring in someone else's needs.

Shopping for auntie dear. - Avant

Auntie needs to follow the advice that you as much as any of us give on here - to list what her needs are first, then think about the car that will meet them.

Do I gather that the Mini Countryman is too big for her and also a manual? So what would be wrong with an automatic Mini hatch? OK, I wouldn't normally advise anyone to buy a secondhand Mini, but if she likes Minis but not much else....

You'll have to persuade her that even a small SUV isn't going to be much smaller than the Countryman. Nissan Juke? A 2008 from somewhere other than the dealer whose name we can guess? Swap for an automatic Countryman?

Ultimately if she doesn't want to put money in to a deal, she's going to end up with an older, probably less reliable car.

Shopping for auntie dear. - jc2

Many years ago,I was asked to look out for a car for my wife's aunts-however in the meantime,they bought a most unsuitable car-on their milkman's recommendation.

Shopping for auntie dear. - Alby Back
So often people don't buy what they need, but instead what they want. A friend of mine is a drummer, and needs something to transport the kit to gigs. He drives a Z4 BMW...
Shopping for auntie dear. - barney100

Worked with lots of drummers and they are experts at getting the kit into the most unsuitable cars....I could get my clarinets on the back of a motorbike in days gone by.

Shopping for auntie dear. - badbusdriver

Honestly SLO, i think you are just going to have to leave her to make her own decisions. If she is not going to listen to your advice and use your knowledge then there is little point in your involvment in the process.

Regarding the Ecosport, while they are unquestionably a below average car, the engine and gearbox combo can't all be bad. The sheer numbers on the road mean there must be plenty who give no trouble at all, she may get lucky. I have a customer who, for the last 5 years (maybe more) has had a B-Max auto (powershift). As far as i know, he hasn't had any trouble with it. OK, it is the 1.6 rather than the Ecoboost, but shows that they don't all fail.

My only suggestion is the Mokka, ideally the facelifted Mokka X (i think this was around 2016) which addressed some of the criticisms of the earlier car. Probably more reliable overall than the Ecosport.

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

Honestly SLO, i think you are just going to have to leave her to make her own decisions. If she is not going to listen to your advice and use your knowledge then there is little point in your involvment in the process.

Regarding the Ecosport, while they are unquestionably a below average car, the engine and gearbox combo can't all be bad. The sheer numbers on the road mean there must be plenty who give no trouble at all, she may get lucky. I have a customer who, for the last 5 years (maybe more) has had a B-Max auto (powershift). As far as i know, he hasn't had any trouble with it. OK, it is the 1.6 rather than the Ecoboost, but shows that they don't all fail.

My only suggestion is the Mokka, ideally the facelifted Mokka X (i think this was around 2016) which addressed some of the criticisms of the earlier car. Probably more reliable overall than the Ecosport.

Even with the most unreliable of cars most owners will be unaffected but the risks are much higher and to double whammy that risk by taking a car with a fragile engine and gearbox is too much to recommend. The later post 2018 uses a torque converter box and apparently all issues with the engine are now sorted, but then they would say that. She won’t stump up the cash for a newer model. The Mokka is a bit bulky and ugly but nothing much to deter regards reliability. I’ll find an auto and see if she’ll take if she starts talking about it again. I’m hoping she’ll just forget about it.

Edited by SLO76 on 02/09/2020 at 22:21

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

Auntie needs to follow the advice that you as much as any of us give on here - to list what her needs are first, then think about the car that will meet them.

Do I gather that the Mini Countryman is too big for her and also a manual? So what would be wrong with an automatic Mini hatch? OK, I wouldn't normally advise anyone to buy a secondhand Mini, but if she likes Minis but not much else....

You'll have to persuade her that even a small SUV isn't going to be much smaller than the Countryman. Nissan Juke? A 2008 from somewhere other than the dealer whose name we can guess? Swap for an automatic Countryman?

Ultimately if she doesn't want to put money in to a deal, she's going to end up with an older, probably less reliable car.

Another Countryman with an auto is too much money, the Juke auto uses a gearbox made from cheese and a normal Mini is apparently too low now. I’m at a loss and I’ve recommended she just keeps her old car until it is really a problem. I’ve tried to talk her into something sensible but style overrules sense in this case.
Shopping for auntie dear. - nellyjak

The only thing I could add to your onerous plight...is ...my sympathy.!!

Shopping for auntie dear. - Alby Back
My wife "needs" an Aygo or at most a Yaris, but she wants a Qashqai. I know I'll never win that argument, so I don't even try...
;-)
Shopping for auntie dear. - Avant

Good thinking Alby. In a sense you have won the argument, as she keeps the Qashqai that she has, and saves the money. Cashcow indeed.

When it finally claps out, then you can steer her towards something that you'll both enjoy driving.

Shopping for auntie dear. - Engineer Andy

Mazda CX-3 2.0 auto SE or SE-L (Nav or not). Nicely kitted out (especially the SE-L, with cilmate control), high up seat position desite being visually identical to the Mazda2 inside, reasonable ride on the 205/60 R16 tyres (unlike the Sport on 18in rims).

Unfortunately for you, you're far more More likely to find an Sport Auto as they are considered too firm a ride and appear to be returned to dealers in around 1-3 years. The SE and SE-L models seem to be more favoured by owners who hang on to them.

Nice smooth 6-speed auto box, simple laid out controls, 350L boot. Just make sure it's got the optional (£395) space saver spare kit that fits, but does raise up the boot line a bit and thus reduces the space available accordingly.

Would a KIA Soul, Stonic / Hyundai Kona be of use? Admitedly all of the are likely to have a DCT, but it appears to be far more robust / reliable than other brands in that regard.

Would a Vauxhall Crossland X be even worth a look? They normally go cheap due to Vauxhall's rep - they might be better given this is a Pug-tie-up offering.

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76
I like the CX-3 but again it’s too much money, the Kia Soul I’d forgotten so I’ll show her a picture. No doubt it’ll be too quirky.
Shopping for auntie dear. - Engineer Andy
I like the CX-3 but again it’s too much money, the Kia Soul I’d forgotten so I’ll show her a picture. No doubt it’ll be too quirky.

Maybe a nice bus pass holder will be in order... :-)

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76
“ Maybe a nice bus pass holder will be in order... :-)”

Be safer for all concerned.
Shopping for auntie dear. - bathtub tom
She won’t accept any sensible supermini autos and a larger diesel MPV is unsuitable due to the typical pensioner usage of shops and back then to the sisters 200 metres away.

Mobility scooter? I suggested this to a relly, who snorted in derision, but as she did fewer than 1K a year, what else were the options?

Shopping for auntie dear. - Trilogy.

If a Jazz isn't high enough how about a HR-V or a Suzuki Jimny?

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

If a Jazz isn't high enough how about a HR-V or a Suzuki Jimny?

Too much money and the older Jimny is too rough to drive. Wants 5drs too.
Shopping for auntie dear. - Andrew-T

<< Mobility scooter? I suggested this to a relly, who snorted in derision, but as she did fewer than 1K a year, what else were the options? >>

Taxi I should think. Just count up the savings.

Shopping for auntie dear. - _ORB_

I have a neighbour who had her car written off while parked on the street outside where she lives and has given up driving completely..Walks to work, which she did before, get home delivery for shopping, lives opposite a bus stop where there are 30 minute interval services weekdays, and is happy as harriet nowadays.

Takes the odd taxi when essential and saving the £250 a month the car was costing.

Edited by _ORB_ on 02/09/2020 at 17:41

Shopping for auntie dear. - Trilogy.

Re-reading this thread, as BBD has said let her get on with it herself from now on. You can lead a horse/aunt to water but you can't always make either of them drink. Let her go and look on her her own, if she finds something suitable and requires your expertise in negotiating a good deal she knows where you are

Shopping for auntie dear. - John F

My belated two penn'orth........the more I drive SWMBO's 2008, the more I like it. So persuade her to cough up the extra (option 2). If you are lucky, the salesman might contact you to reopen the negotiation. Remind her she can't take it with her, (unless you are a legatee ;-)

Shopping for auntie dear. - gordonbennet

It can be extremely frustrating trying to find cars for people, too often they don't actually want your suggestions they want you to approve and endorse their choice even if its completely wrong, and when it goes pear shaped you inevitably feel partly to blame.

Don't give in, if they insist on buying something you would advise against i would have nothing whatsoever to do with the deal, nor would i inspect the car because again you will feel responsible when the thing goes wrong, you can inspect an automated manual till you're blue in the face, silk purse sows ear etc.

If they won't choose from your short list you should go missing, it will be less painful in the long run because you can't take any blame when the problems start.

I'm very lucky with daughter, she negotiated and bought her own brand new Honda with no input from me at all, but all her used cars she has me research and usually find for her, when we go look at one if i say no she might be initially disappointed but always agrees, inevitably we find the right one not long after.

Edited by gordonbennet on 02/09/2020 at 19:08

Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

My belated two penn'orth........the more I drive SWMBO's 2008, the more I like it. So persuade her to cough up the extra (option 2). If you are lucky, the salesman might contact you to reopen the negotiation. Remind her she can't take it with her, (unless you are a legatee ;-)

It’s a car she likes and I rate. Comfy yet relatively practical and it uses a well regarded engine and gearbox. I’m set in mind that I’ll tell her this is her only option bar keeping the Mini. Several lads at work have them and none speak ill of them.
Shopping for auntie dear. - SLO76

My belated two penn'orth........the more I drive SWMBO's 2008, the more I like it. So persuade her to cough up the extra (option 2). If you are lucky, the salesman might contact you to reopen the negotiation. Remind her she can't take it with her, (unless you are a legatee ;-)

He’ll have a way to go after undervaluing her retail ready Mini that books at £8400. Only £1400 more than he offered.
 

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