Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

Hi guys,

I'm looking to buy my first car here in the UK. I'm 29 years old and had my driving licence since I was 18 (issued in my home country, Romania) and although I've been living in the UK since 2013, I haven't driven here at all yet.

I've been looking on autotrader and I'm considering the following:

www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202009023242239?y...1

My budget is very little £2.5-3k and (needlessly to say) I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to buying cars, what to look for in a first car, etc.

Also, back home (when I was 18-20 years old) I was a decent driver but it's been quite a long time since I've driven so I'm wondering what would be the best option for me; pick up some lessons here? A small concern is also that I will be driving on the other side of the road, stirring wheel on the other side, etc.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks,

Florin

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Ethan Edwards

I suggest you get a quote for car insurance before buying. As I guess the cost of that will also be coming out if the 2.5 to 3k. Colleagues of mine have young offspring getting their first policy and they are spending about 2k on insurance alone.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

I've been looking and the cheapest I can get (based on comparethemarket quotes) is around £650-£700 a year for the comprehensive type. This is without the breakdown cover or motor legal protection which looks like a £70 extra add on. Is it worth adding them as well? I'm inclined to do so.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - SLO76
Forget prestige brands, turbo diesels or performance models until your means match your ambitions. At this money stick with simple mass market petrol engined models like the Toyota Yaris/Auris, Honda Jazz/Civic, Mazda 2/3, Suzuki Swift 1.2 and Ford Fiesta 1.25/1.4 - don’t buy the 1.0 Ecoboost. Above all keep it simple.
Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

You're absolutely right and that was something that I was partly thinking as well. I would like to go for an Audi (which I will at some point in the future) but for now until I get some driving experience here, I shall look at the cars you've suggested.

I'm thinking a Honda Civic, for example:

www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202007171338782?o...2

What do you think about this?

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - bathtub tom
I'm 29 years old and had my driving licence since I was 18 (issued in my home country, Romania) and although I've been living in the UK since 2013, I haven't driven here at all yet.

I believe that first of all that as you've been living in this country for some years, you have to convert your licence to a UK one. Then I'd strongly suggest you get some lessons before you take to the roads solo.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

I already have converted it to a UK one earlier this year. Now I have to see where I can book some lessons as well. I was thinking to do some theory practice tests as well to refresh my memory or signage, rules, etc. before going for the practice lessons.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - catsdad

Florin ,welcome to the site.

i see you are considering a Civic too. The 1.4 will be slow compared to the 1.8 but will be cheaper to insure. Also be sure you don’t mind the spoiler and lack of rear wiper restricting the rear view. It doesn’t concern most owners but some people dislike it.

i have no experience of the first dealer but, purely by looking at their website and car descriptions, they look OK.

With any dealer at the lower end of the price range you need to examine any car carefully. Don’t take on trust statements like “full service history“. Before you view a car check online what the service intervals are and check the service paperwork when you visit the dealer. At this age don’t expect perfect history but beware of very long gaps in time or miles between services. The government online MOT history checker is a very good way to check mileages and past or current faults.

I am sure you will soon adapt to driving on the left but you a couple of refresher lessons and reading the Highway Code is a good idea.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - John F

M-F B, you give the impression of being a cautious responsible person, so I think you would probably be wasting your money on driving lessons. Nothing beats actual driving experience for avoiding trouble on the road. Tens of thousands of Brits happily drive on the highways and byways of mainland Europe in rental left hand drive cars without any thought of needing 'lessons'. But mugging up on the UK Highway Code would be a good idea and costs nothing.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

First of all, I would like to thank everybody for taking their time and provide me with great feedback and advice.

Based on the above I have decided to reconsider the A3 for now and at the moment, I am deciding between a Honda Civic (2009-2010) or a Ford Fiesta (maybe 2010-2011). Any advice regarding these two would be greatly appreciated!

Another thing is that I am considering to have the car delivered to my home (in Cumbria) as opposed to me travelling to the garage due to being still a bit anxious about having to (potentially) drive hundreds of miles back home; and driving a car for the first time in 5-6 years in the UK. Any pointers about this option? Obviously, in normal conditions i would be reticent as I won't have the possibility to drive test the car before buying so I'm taking a risk here. Is it worth it? I'm still debating what to do but thought this could be an option.

Again, thanks all for contributing.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - catsdad

Neither of these are rare cars and at this price you need to examine them in person to reduce the risk of buying a faulty car.

Buying a car from a distance away can be OK but if anything goes wrong (that the dealer is responsible for) means the car has to be taken back to them at your expense.

BuyIng locally would be far better. Also at your budget a delivery charge is a big % to add on.

Edited by catsdad on 17/09/2020 at 14:03

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

Thanks for the message again.

Taking into consideration your advice I found the below, 72 miles away from my home and they can deliver.

www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202009053366895?y...1

What do you think about this car? Is it worth it? Is it good value for money?

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - nellyjak

Thanks for the message again.

Taking into consideration your advice I found the below, 72 miles away from my home and they can deliver.

www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202009053366895?y...1

What do you think about this car? Is it worth it? Is it good value for money?

But it's a diesel.?..and I wouldn't buy any car I couldn't physically see/drive before purchase.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - catsdad

For a common car like this I would look much more locally. Both my last cars were nearly new but even then still required remedial work by Honda and VW dealers. This involved dropping the cars off for repair and then collecting them. In your case that’s 4 x 72 miles if you need anything done.

Also the dealer reviews for the Fiesta include a one star. Every story has two sides and the buyer sounds a bit unreasonable but I note in his response that the dealer operates on a non-refundable deposit system. Not what you want if you are buying unseen.

Are there no small local family dealers near to you who have a good local reputation? Or you might get recommendations from a local online noticeboard group.

By going to a dealer you are paying a good £1000 over the private sale price so don’t rule out buying privately and locally when looking for a car in this price range.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

It makes sense to have a look somewhere locally, you're right. I shall text a couple of friends who are from the (tiny) town where I currently live (Whitehaven) and see what they say. They should be able to recommended me a few local family dealers, as you said.

Would you please give me a couple of pointers that I should be watching when I go and see a car for the first time, before buying?

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - catsdad

I see your problem. Putting in a postcode for Whitehaven into Autotrader brings up only a handful of unsuitable cars in your price bracket. So you might indeed have to go further than normal but it’s still best to see before you buy. You might try Gumtree too?

As for pointers try the Advice tab on HJ home page. Lots of info there.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Mihai-Florin Bora

Thanks for all your help, really appreciate it. One last question (I promise), at a first glance what do you think of the car below? It looks appealing to me and ticks most of the boxes.

www.gumtree.com/p/ford/ford-fiesta-st-/1383242851

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - bathtub tom

Before you even consider something like that, have you checked the insurance premium?

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - catsdad

Wednesday’s post from SLO says it all. Stick with simple cars. This is a performance car and as Tom suggest insurance will be an issue.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Ethan Edwards

Given the Audi A3 is a Golf in a party frock. Why wouldn't you get a Golf, or a Seat Leon or Skoda. All use the same enginees etc. Its just styling isn't it. Personally I find it a bit puzzling. But if the OP wants an A3...its a free country.

Audi A3 - Audi A3 - Buying a high mileage A3 - advice needed - Avant

Agreed. The A3 is a good one to buy new, as Audis hold their value. But for that very reason it's hard to see a good reason for buying one used, when for the same price you could have a younger SEAT or Skoda.

 

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