Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
Help desperately needed!
My husband and I are at odds over how to progress with our
daughter who is learning to drive. I'll try and be as brief as I can, but give you the facts of the problem.

She needs to drive a car which has this list of priorities
1. Size and suitability for a 5'2" petite young lady
2. Reliability and safety
3. All round value for money - purchase price and insurance
plus running costs.

Neither of our cars are at all suitable for her as they are both
large automatics. He has a company car but commutes by train.
I have a car and do less than 10,000 miles pa - so our costs are already quite high, and our cars get little use.

She is a 19 year old, unemployed student, who will be commuting by train for at least a year from September, so her mileage will be extremely low.
I think she needs a reliable car to practice for her test,
and to keep her hand in afterwards.

We don't have room to garage the car though, and it's hard to say what her driving situation will be in 18 months time.
Our dilemma just seems to get more complicated on all fronts.

I think a second hand car (about £4 - 5k) is a sensible option,
purchasing one now, so that she gets hours on the road under her belt, and can let it sit on the drive building up to some No Claims Bonus (hopefully) and depreciating less than a brand new vehicle (which he would prefer)

Neither of us know anything about cars, and we are at loggerheads.
So far it's stalemate, and I don't think this will help her to pass her test. We feel we need to spend about that much to get something that will fit the criteria and keep Dad happy.

I need to come up with the right car at the right price to persuade him to buy now!

What could you recommend please, given that he wont go for a really cheap and cheerful option?
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
PS I forgot to say that on her lessons so far, she's driven a Colt, a Fiesta and a Punto, and of all those, found that the Punto suited her best of all (my other half is a bit anti-Punto for some reason?)

Think I've given you all the criteria I can now, so I'll just sit back and wait for the views to roll in!

Small car, really sensible advice needed - Rosanbo
I was going to suggest a Toyota Yaris or a Mitsubishi Colt, but then I saw that she may not have liked the Colt, well there you go!

Yaris is especially economical, especially safe too. not cheap but do hold their value. and there are now some Yaris which are over four years old so their price should be within your reach.

Just to let you know also, I have discovered car auctions as the best way to buy a new car. The following criteria have to be met though:

*You have all the money available within 24 hours with a 500 deposit on the day.

*You have to be confident that you or someone with you knows something about being able to quickly assess whether a car is good or not. Be with the car when the man starts it up, and look under the bonnet and inside it, you only have a few minutes to decide.

*You live near an auction house.

I usually buy 3-4 year old cars, there's not a lot wrong with them at that age. Mostly high mileage but I don't see much wrong with that.

For example a year ago I bought a 2 year old, yr2000 W reg Colt 1.3 with Air con, 70,000 on the clock, full service history, for 3000 pounds, weve had it one year now and it's had nothing wrong with it, we've put about 9,000 miles onto it over the year. It is now three years old and needs an MOT. This car had a 3 year unlimited milage manufacturers warranty also so it was still under gaurantee for a whole year! The auctioneer says at the beginning of the sale for each car how many stamps are in the service record.

The way I look at it is this, if there is nothing wrong with it you're in luck, but if you're unfortunate enough to develop a problem, then the amount of money you have just saved in buying from an auction can be used to get the problem fixed.

If you are going to consider auctions, then you have to choose one or two models that you are going to look out for, get to know the different specifications (added extras l,lx, sdi, tdi etc) and know how much it is worth with a parkers guide for example. and know how much you would have to pay if you went to a car salesman, then you will know how much you are prepared to pay for that car.

Small car, really sensible advice needed - Rosanbo
and don't forget the Yaris is insurance group 2 !!!!
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Obsolete
Auctions can be good but take care. A colleaugue has bought two excellent cars from auction at Blackbushe. The latest was a 1.0 Micra 2 years old for £3K compared with £4.5K in the dealers. Another colleague bought a 3 year old Daewoo from auction. The first service required so much doing that a) he has ended up paying as much as the dealer would have charged and b) the clock has obviously been wound back by perhaps as much as 100,000 miles. You have to be able to spot the signs of an old car: wear on seats bodywork, tyres, brakes etc.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
Tricky one really. My gut feeling as the mileage is so low is that she'd be better off going for something cheap'n'cheerful. There are many 5-7 year old cars that are perfectly safe and economical, and will cost far less to buy than something even a few years newer.

Also, if treated well cars are usually fairly reliable, plus a 'banger' will often cost less to repair, and if something major goes wrong then scrap it and buy another one. In a situation where mileage will be low and costs need to be kept down it seems to make sense not to spend all you have available right now. Also consider that first time insurance could be heading towards £1k for a learner, even a female one!

The Punto is a very nice car and you can get ones nice and cheap. However, Fiat build quality can be very hit and miss. Some never miss a beat, some have lots of niggles. Other possibilities would be things like a Micra (cheap insurance plus very reliable), a Hyundai Accent (depreciate highly when new so can get a fairly good one cheap and built well) or a Clio.

If you are determined to pay the £4-5k, then you can get a V or W plate Yaris in the lower trim levels (S or GS - aim for the GS if possible).
Small car, really sensible advice needed - budu
New style Puntos seem excellent. 3-door versions are very easy to get in and out but the wide doors could be a problem in car parks. For a small woman, the Peugeot 106 is a lively little car but the pedal box may be too small for your husband, if he wants to borrow it!
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Hugo {P}
Personally If I were in your position, I would probably look at something that you could insure third party fire and theft, because, I'm sorry to say, her insurance is really going to hurt.

When she's got some NCD under her belt then that is the time to up the vlue of the car

We are possibly talking £1200 tpft for an old banger for her first year anyway.

Get rough quotes for the following 93 to 96 base model cars, Parkers guide will help you identify them.

Metro/Rover 111
Fiesta 950 or 1.1
Vauxhall Corsa
Citroen AX
Renault Clio
Peugeot 205 or 106
VW Golf or Polo

Parkers will give you some idea as to how much the cars should cost, but the fact is that privately you may get a good deal for £1,000 or so. On the other hand, if you need the extra assurance that a dealer can give you an N reg AX with sensible mileage should cost you about £2,000 tops. Minimal depreciation here.

On the other hand I sold a J reg metro 1.1c for my aunt about a year ago for £500. The car had 59,000 miles and a full service history. Apparently I did quite well to get that for it.

Use the other £2 to 3K to pay for her first few years insurance!

But hey, that's a bloke's view!

Small car, really sensible advice needed - leatherpatches
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
Small car, really sensible advice needed - KB.

Realistically I\'d make the, less than common, suggestion of the Toyota Starlet - the model which preceded the Yaris. Sensible is the word to describe but competent and not entirely unattractive and being a Toyota, it\'ll not give too much trouble. Try the usual publications or ring round Toyota dealers for one (especially South coast dealers i.e. Bournemouth and Eastbourne - it\'s a car that may well have been a \"one elderly lady\" proposition.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
More realistically I\'d make the, less than common, suggestion of
the Toyota Starlet - the model which preceded the Yaris.

While it\'s a good car, you rarely seem to see them all that cheap. I\'d say you are more likely to get a Corolla of a decent age in that budget range. FOW have an 01 1.4 GS for £6k, and I\'ve seen some in the T or V reg range for around £4k. Not sure how the insurance will pan out, but the Corolla is more common so may not be that much more.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - james_60

>>>>>>>Fiesta 950 or 1.1

Whats a Fiesta 950 they stopped making those in the first part of 89 the engines are as follows

1.0 HCS 1.1HCS 1.1CFI 1.3HCS 1.3CFI 1.4cvh 1.6cvh

J Stephenson
Small car, really sensible advice needed - TrevP
leatherpatches - very good. I see you are developing a sense of humour.

Serious suggestion - Skoda Felicia.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
Blimey - quite taken aback by all the replies so soon. Thanks v much all.

Not sure about building ourselves - we had too much trouble with a B&Q hammock the other week. Like I say this family knows *NOTHING* about cars, and no helpful friends locally either :(

She likes the idea of careful old lady owners! (and we live in Sussex) infact was tempted the other day by an unlocked Golf GTI (silver) left in our local village by a woman she swears looked about 90!!!! (what a waste she said - shall we follow her home?)

Seriously some good ideas to chew over. Have looked on a good site for sample insurance quotes (young lady driver) which nearly all come out about the £1,500 mark, but will do 6 months cover for exactly half, and allow you then to claim some NCD on renewal.

Like I say - her father wont accept the most obviously sensible solution for an older a friend has the offer of a Corsa 1.7 Diesel Comfort (Elegance?) in September for about £5,700 - a year's insurance is quoted (first quote) at £1,447 with daughter and two parents to drive fully comp (£100 xs)
Car will be one year old.

What do we think of that? (put yourself in her place - no comments about hairdressers and girlies pl cos frankly, she's no hairdresser, but is def a girlie)
(btw tallest in family is 5'7")

(please remember how clueless we are about cars/mechanical things - we always have to go to a garage for the least little thing! and buying from someone we trust would be worth a bit to us)

Thanks again
ps currently own two Hondas (have also had two different models previously)and never had a single problem with any of them, that's the kind of motoring I like :)
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
If you're set on a newish car, look for ones that include free insurance. Your example of the Corsa will cost over £7k in the first year. I don't know if the offer will cover someone that young (a lot are over 21 only) but you can get a new Yaris T2 for about £7k with a year's free insurance. Ford, Nissan and Vauxhall often seem to do free insurance offers so look around.

Personally, I still think a much older car would be more sensible - less loss if she scrapes or dents it due to inexperience and will give you much more spare cash to play with.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Carmad 10000
I would buy a toyota yaris in your situation. They are cheap to insure, economical to run, and they have a VVC engine. Also, the rear seat bench slides so you can either have leg room in the back with no boot or vice versa - cool feature i think.

The fact that she is 19 though means you may be able to find a free insurance deal somewhere? I.e. if you spend slightly more on something like a New Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 sxi or a VW lupo, etc.

Good luck though on whatever you decide to buy
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SprinterJK
With insurance for young drivers, you really have to be careful about mandatory excesses. I've been looking for insurance as a 22 year old and found that most insurers seem to demand an extra few hundred quids worth of excess for anyone under 25. It's important to check this, for example Direct Line insist on an extra £400 excess for drivers under 21, and £250 for drivers 21 - 24. Then, on top of this add the Voluntary Excess. Can reach up to £600 with Direct Line! The best quotes I've found have come from Direct Line, Tesco, Admiral, and Elephant, although I doubt you'll be able to get much better than around £1400. It's also might be worth finding a new car that offers free insurance, as it could potentially save money longterm.

Someone previously mentioned Toyota Corollas as a possibility, though IIRC they have high insurance rates, around group 7 or more. A Yaris is probably a better choice. I was looking at small, newish cars with low insurance about two years ago, and eventually decided on a 2001 Nissan Micra 1.0 S. Well built, reliable, and an extremely easy to drive car. Not particularly interesting, but cheap to buy and run. You could easily pick up a 1 or 2 year old Micra with about 10,000 miles for £4500.

Personally, I would avoid the Peugeot 106 and Citroen Saxo. They are tinny and just don't seem well built. Also, not all models come with Power Steering. Every friend who owns one has broken down at least once. I'd stick to something Japanese. Anyway, good luck!
Small car, really sensible advice needed - king arthur
Some rather bizaare advice coming through here.

I couldn't possibly recommend that you buy your car at an auction. Auctions are for the canny buyer who knows his cars, knows what faults to watch for, and doesn't mind tidying up small faults on the car that usually come as part of the package with auction cars.

At your price range you should be looking to buy something less than five years old. You also, from an insurance point of view, will want nothing over 1.2 litres. I would recommend you look at: Punto, since you've already mentioned that, Renault Clio 1.2, Peugeot 206 1.1, VW Polo 1.0, Fiesta 1.25 (try one of the later ones, Ford improved them several times), Toyota Yaris.

Buy from a reputable dealer, that way if anything goes wrong you can take it back and get it fixed, not so with auctions or buying privately.

Have you thought about selling your own car, since you say you don't use it much, and sharing a car with your daughter?
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Mark (RLBS)
Those of you impressed with your remarkable sarcastic/ironic/whatever wit failed to impress me. This is a sensible thread, with a sensible question. Therefore I deleted the reply and a couple of other things which referred to it.

Keep your style of wit where it is appreciated, might I suggest the nearest secondary school, but not here.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
Someone previously mentioned Toyota Corollas as a possibility,
though IIRC they have high insurance rates, around group 7 or

This is true, but for a driver of that age the grouping seems to have very little difference, so if you can get a newer car for the same money, it's worth considering. I think I was quoted with £50 for all cars from a group 2 Micra to the group 8 Tipo I eventually bought.

The old-style Micra was running out at about £6k a while back so I agree that you should be able to easily get a fairly recent one within the budget. Only slight concern is that as HJ points out, they aren't quite a crash-worthy as newer designs.

Agree about avoiding Citroen / Peugeot - heard nothing but bad about the smaller models.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - bugged {P}
when i started learning to drive my dad was the same, didnt want my driving about in an old wreck, we looked and looked and looked some more and finally i got a brand new nissan micra, dad persuaded them to give my three years FREE insurance, at the time to be insured on a 1.0 micra was over 1000 a year, i think we paid roughly 8k for it so basically i could have had a 5k car and paid an extra 1k per year for insurance or pay all 8k up front hich is what we did.

That micra was the best car i had from all of them, it never never ever let me down once always started first time and the dealers were helpful and nice and understanding that i was a new driver. I had two accidents in it im afraid to say and it looked after me both times.

I would strongly recommend the old shape micra to anyone, it may
not be the coolest car on the road but it was cheap and reliable.
Also by chance my driving instructor had exactly the same car so i didnt have to get used to driving differnt ones!!!!

My sister had a new yaris when she learnt to drive and still has it, its brilliant and the same as the micra never any trouble. the only thing i would say is that even if she had wanted to she couldnt take her test in the yaris due to the dials being digital and angled towards the driver. The examiner needs to be able to see the speed you're doing so if your daughter is taking her test in her own car, thats something to consider.
A normal dialled car means you can keep an eye on her speed if you go out with her as well!
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Claude
Why spend so much ? Is it because you hope that will buy reliability ? I bought one of my daughters (also 5feet 2 ins) a Fiesta for £400. It never broke down in four years and in that time the only items apart from regular service were new tyres. I bought my other daughter a Fiesta costing £1500 and thats needed nothing in three years except tyres and a battery. I bought my wife an eight month old Fiesta in 1992 and thats still used every day and has never broken down and the only major service item has been a new clutch at six years. Regular service items are simple and cheap and so is insurance.To my mind there is little point in spending a lot on money on a car which will be a first car used mainly for short journeys. But change the oil at much shorter intervals, preferably every six months no matter what the mileage is.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
Sprinter - if you look in here again, I wonder if you are looking for a 22 year old girl's insurance? as I found the site I have been using excellent. Not sure if I'm allowed to promote it on here but basically it's young lady driver dot etc. (uk) - asks very few questions so is quick to use and you can play around with makes/models easily. Top excess is £150 if that helps, and like I said you can do 6 months for exactly half the full cost and then re-insure which seemed a good idea to me. This seemed to be the site to beat. I think there is a companion site for 'young men' ? but I have connection with them, just a find from google.

My daughter's not worried about having a fun or interesting car to drive - just a car! We just want her to be safe and sound, so build quality is important.

I'll be printing off all the replies and making a short list to confront my other half with!

Thanks again.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Hugo {P}
Just before you print off the replies, may I just add one?

A friend of mine was looking at a deal with the base model Saxo (Citroen) with a years free insurance. You'll need to check this out but he says £6000. He is looking at this for his son when he passes his test.

Some of these free insurance deals exclude under 21s but he doesn't think this one does.

Small car, really sensible advice needed - KB.
I'm not alone in saying that the Saxo (and the very similar Peugeot 106) are not good cars to have an accident in. Not a lot better than a Metro, which is definitely a most unwise choice regarding passenger safety.

Given the requirements here I would still say buy something smallish from a Japanese maker. The price will determine whether it's a Yaris or not - but if funds do permit then it would be the most sensible choice by a decent margin, given the availability of them plus the running costs plus the reliability plus the safety plus the.........well almost everything except boot space.

I still say the Starlet would be a good second choice, but agree there are few about - but then you're not buying a dozen, you just need one decent one. I'm on my sixth Yaris so I suppose I would say that wouldn't I?

Check the insurance on the Corolla, otherwise another excellent one to go for - try to get a decent private one or use a dealer and do all the checks and take someone canny and clever with you to sort through any waffle the dealer may offer.
Stick to the smaller engined versions.

Take an Advanced driving course and test (or Pass Plus) to reduce premiums. Always remember the seat belt - a friends teenage daughter was recently in the back of a car that was rolled over by a young thug who drove in to the side of the car and who drove off (but arrested later).....and she received only minor injuries having been strapped in place and not thrown all over the place.

Good luck and safe motoring.

Small car, really sensible advice needed - Burnout2
If you can stretch to £6k, what about the brand new Daihatsu Charade? Japanese reliability, good warranty, exceptional spec and safety for the money (including ABS, EBD and twin-airbags) and near 60mpg economy. Dunno about insurance, but bound to be very low. Apparently, it even drives well.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
Daren't print yet as the replies are still coming (thanks again)

To answer a couple of questions ? only reason we?re thinking of spending more as we are hoping for trouble free motoring, like I say we are both useless and don't do anything to our own cars - always go to the garage. My other half is especially cautious, and tbh possibly a bit of a ?car snob? regarding manufacturers etc. We have totally trouble free
experience of Honda and Toyota, but that?s about the extent of our knowledge - except having prob's with an XR2i.

I suppose though, it's not going to be the end of the world if we got a car and need to get rid again pretty swiftly . We've just never been in to this kind of thing, hence all the questions. Couldn't possibly tackle an Auction!!!

Don't want to sell mine and share a smaller car on three counts really

1. Mine is 6 years old this August and I have taken the big hit on the price. It's worth more to me than to anyone else I think (it's a Honda CRV ES Auto, and I love it to bits)

2. Other half will either begin using his company car again this Autumn (in which case I wont have use of it any more) or the company will discontinue the car policy, and he'll lose it - in which case my car is still ok for our family car, he and I would share, and the company would have to hire one for him if necessary for his work.

3. I didn't want to put her on my policy, which has a 9 year No Claims Bonus on it at present.

Our local paper has a Starlet for sale as follows:
1995 N 1.3CD 5 doorPAS, elec win's, sunroof etc. That's £3,595.

Same garage has a W (00) Yaris 1.0S 3 door 16,000 at £4,995

There?s a private sale of a Saxo LX 1.1 1999 V reg 26k miles FSH MOT/Tax in vgc with fsh ? they want £2,950

Based on all of those prices, I think Dad would rather stump up some extra for new.

There?s a Daihatsu Charade new EL 3 door from £5995 with ps,abs,dual airbags, central locking, elec front windows, cd tuner and height adjustable steering wheel. (0-60 = 12.2 gives
58.9mpg combined) ? metallic is extra.. Inc 3 yrs warranty and roadside assistance.

At that price would it be a good buy to look after and keep for the younger daughter to inherit ? (she?s 15)

I can also see a limited edition (think that means awful colour) Punto Active 3 door with cd, free insurance (can?t see restrictions) and 3 year warranty at £6,595 ? ad doesn?t give any technical details though.

OR, of course, there is the Corsa that I mentioned first off ? about £5,700/£5,8000
1.7Diesel with extras, metallic, balance of warranty ? only about 8k miles, and just about a year old, but has been used as a courtesy car. Would be coming through someone we
trust though.

I know I sound unsure (that?s cos I am) but given that spending £3k or less, or up to £6/7k isn?t really much of an issue, so much as getting the right car, at the best deal,
I want to have done plenty of homework before working on the other half ;) (sssh you are sworn to secrecy right!)
There's nothing like being clued up before you start a 'serious' discussion, right?
Small car, really sensible advice needed - KB.
It's obvious you're giving this issue your best shot and that's excellent. It sounds to me that you're not going to be happy with 'second best' if 'best' can be had at on reasonable terms. It also seems that as you're happy with Toyota that could be half the battle. The new Daihatsu has to be worth looking at and driving before purchase. Is there a Daihatsu dealer near you? There aren't as many of them as some other makes.

If you can get free insurance on a Yaris (and they are offering it at present, but check the dealer to ensure age limits)then I think you would be best off with one of those. Check the brokers who deal in UK supplied vehicles (not imports).... there are several. See mention of them on this site or if you can't find them ask here and you'll get the details. Check Carfile for a quote (Type CARFILE in to Google).

Armed with all that then try your local dealer to see if you're happy there, if not get the best price from a broker and go with them.

From what I gather from your posts here I reckon you'll be pleased as punch and will have made the right move.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
KB - cheers, you're right, I would go for more cheap and cheerful if needs be, but my other half isn't a 'settle for' kind of a chap really - even though this is all about our daughter, rather than us (meaning a 'main' family car)

Strangely enough, although we live in the sticks, there is a main Daihatsu dealer about 6 miles away, they advertise the Charade, and also say 'offer the largest selection of pre-owned Daihatsus in the south east'
Going there would have the advantage of establishing a relationship with the garage who would look after the car - which is what we have always done before.

SO, she and I will toddle off there and torment them tomorrow, and meanwhile I will follow the other advice and research the Yaris, both over the net and locally.

Much obliged.

Small car, really sensible advice needed - leatherpatches
"leatherpatches - very good. I see you are developing a sense of humour."

I'm not sure everyone is, though.

My serious suggestion is you take a look at the cars that driving instructors use. They are sure to have thought long and hard about their choice of vehicle, although they may be too new to fit within your price range. They often have small diesels, that are hard to stall etc. Don't buy an ex instruction car, though...
Small car, really sensible advice needed - OldOiler
See my Clasified add re Corsa!!! Wiltshire location SN15
Small car, really sensible advice needed - khwalker
I know you have had many replies but wanted to add my comments...

I was in the same dilemma 3 years ago but from the daughter perspective! I wanted to purchase a vehicle in my second year of university but had no idea what to get. Being my first car there are so many options and offers that you never know where to turn.

I looked at cheap second hand cars but my parents were not happy with this due to the reliability, brakes etc. I then looked at new vehicles and also at pre-registered ones. I considered the Saxo but felt it was 'too plastic' and also the VW Polo but this was too expensive. I then fell in love with the Fiat Punto but when I suggested this to my Dad he wasn't impressed. He decided to take me to test drive the Seat Ibiza, has many VW parts and is based on the chassis of the VW Golf. I was hooked, it is an ideal 1st car, low maintenance/running costs and I have had no problems with it within the 3 years I have had the vehicle, and it is also solid and safe. It is basically the VW with a Seat badge - a great choice if I do say so myself!

Anyway I don't know if you would be interested but it is now up for sale as I have decided to be reckless and buy a sports car (although the parents are not impressed as not the most sensible choice). Give me a call if you as my ad is in the classified section.

Small car, really sensible advice needed - DavidHM
Immediate thought is Corsa Active, brand new, for £6995. A little more than you were thinking but you know you're not going to be taken for a ride in terms of the car's history, you get to choose the colour, it's well specced, the chain cam engine will last well and the free insurance could be worth £1k ish as well.

The Charade is likely to be very reliable, but very, very small and buzzy and difficult to sell on even if your younger daughter inherits it.

Puntos aren't known for their reliability or the quality of service from the dealers - neither are Vauxhalls particularly but I reckon the extra £400 is money well spent as the Corsa will hold its value better and there are more Vauxhall dealers to get beligerent with if anything goes wrong.

Used, probably a Yaris, but you won't have a huge choice and you'll be looking at a car three years older than the Corsa but only £1.5k cheaper if you take insurance into account.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
Unfortunately no one wants to include free insurance without a full driving licence - so no good for my learner daughter, therefore, the benefit is reduced.

Am totally confused today after visiting two Vauxhall garages, Honda (no second hand cars) and Fiat.

We liked the Fiat Punto Active Sports (new) and the Corsa Active (priced up at £8,500 though plus the extras you would want if buying brand new) - a lot of haggling would need to be done there then (am checking the net incase we need to increase the budget for this)

Is it not true that Vauxhall are bringing out new models/updated engines this Autumn though? which would knock the value of their current new cars?

Not at all sure about the residuals of a new Fiat either. We saw there £5,000 flat price offer of a Seicento (?) but would rather spend £5k on a better second hand car - so that probably rules out the Charade too on that basis.

Saw a 4 yr old Corsa with 14,000 on the clock all extras and 1.2 engine at about £4,400, must be some scope in that - but again will be outdated quickly.

Tomorrow am trying to track down Micra, Toyota and Seat just to see what we think of the cars.

Not yet heard anything bad about a Yaris (except wide doors on 3 door) IT'S SO CONFUSING!!!!!

ps will bear the classifieds in mind - thanks
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
The Seicento (no, I'm not sure either!) drops like a stone in value - most Fiats do. I've seen year old examples for £3.5k, so it would be a good car for the budget, not sure how much I'd like to let someone loose in one outside town. You get a lot of Fiat for your money, but also potentially a lot of trouble. When they are good they are very good though.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - teabelly
I would be wary of the seicento for one reason, crash test results. It isn't very good. The punto on the other hand is a 4 star I think for the newer shape ones (w reg and later) so would be a lot better. An ex demonstrator would be a good buy as you usually get more options and enough knocked off the price to make the first year's depreciation seem less frightening. The daihatsu charade is also a encap 4 star car with standard abs and ebd and has combined economy of high fifties mpg (it is listed as doing 47 around town!) so would be incredibly economical. They start at 5995 new. Daihatsu dealers control the supply more than other models and there probably won't be that many of them about so the depreciation may be less because of these factors. A car this fuel efficient will prove to be popular on the second hand market so you should have no trouble selling it if you have to.

Manufacturers are usually updating their models. The punto has just been facelifted so it has a more rounded front (check you were looking at that version not the older one). You can expect most new cars to be worth around half of what you paid within a couple of years. But a 6k car only loses a few grand so in the scheme of things it is not huge.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - DavidHM
The Corsa's up for a facelift as well, but I've seen the pics and it's pretty minor. The difference in value will be far less than the extra you can haggle off an old one compared to a new one. Oh and the price I gave above is for a net deal - if you missed it it's

If she still deosn't have a full driving licence then why not buy her a disposable car to learn in, £400 with six months' MoT or whatever, and then get something decent with free insurance as soon as she passes.

By the way, do not buy a car on mileage rather than age. A 2 year old Corsa with 40k has much more left in it, as well as being safer and generally better, than a 4 year old with 14k. £4400 seems well overpriced for that.

If I were in your position financially I wouldn't be looking at anything that is not currently in production and wouldn't consider a second hand car unless it offered at least a 20% saving over three years.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - T Lucas
For me you can't beat the Japanese brands,Yaris,Jazz,Micra etc,but for just over £5000 you can still buy a brand new Ka from a supermarket,thats got to be good value.(for the same money you can also buy a new Punto)i don't think thats such good value.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
Luckily we have a large industrial estate that houses many main dealers, and other main dealers not too far away. We have been to Dhiatsu; Fiat; Honda; Nissan; Peugot; Toyota; Vauxhall and VW (couldn't find a Seat dealer)

We've looked at new; pre registered, demonstrators and second hand. Got all the brochures and the price lists.

She is now going to embark on making a huge chart giving all the necessary information, and making highlights of the favoured few.

This will then save Dad doing all that legwork - he likes it when we "cut to the chase" Of course he'll have his own opinions, and it remains to be seen if we all agree LOL

One thing I don't have to worry about is parting with the cash - he drives a hard bargain, but never minds paying the price for the right thing.

Of course, when the decision is made, then he'll get me to get the very best deal going - and then he'll try and hassle some more!

You are welcome to have a small wager on the top five options that'll be highlighted on the list, if you have nothing better to do :-D
Small car, really sensible advice needed - Nortones2
Very thorough approach - I like the decision tree idea. You'll soon know more factually than the dealers - stay on top!
Small car, really sensible advice needed - KB.
hootie, Despite all I said about Japanese cars, I do have a very good friend who has just bought a new Ford Fusion and is consequently selling his Ford KA. It's about a year old and is as good as new - but he's been offered £3,800 and turned it down.....he insists on £4000. Compare this to a brand new one at about £5,500 and if you think it's worth considering reply her to that effect (otherwise ignore it completely and carry on regardless). It's in the London end of Essex.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - SteveH42
Fords do seem to get good reliability ratings, although they seem to have low MPG and high insurance for what they are. Also don't forget the Ka needs regular servicing otherwise it can be problematic later on.

As I've suggested before and others also have, seriously consider a cheap car to get her through her test and for the first 6 months or so until she knows just what she wants. You'll loose very little on depreciation - often dealers will give generous trade-ins if you are spending a fair bit - and if you choose carefully you are unlikely to have any major problems for a year or two.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - DavidHM
If you are after a Ka, new they're £5.5k from supermarkets or some dealers. I doubt there are any old ones with the 60 bhp engine out there but new ones have a better performing, more econmomical 70 bhp one so unless very cheap (and £4k is very cheap for an 02 Ka) I'd get a new one. No need to go for an import though, you might save £200 but it's not worth the hassle over a broker car or a good haggle.

As for insurance being high - no way. Ka is group 2, okay the Corsa is group 1 but not much else is, apart from a Seicento and the less said about that the better. Probably a Micra would crash better though.
Small car, really sensible advice needed - KB.
David, Sensible thoughts on the happens that the fella selling the KA referred to above has access to Fords employee discount scheme therefore bought it cheaper than usually possible - hence selling it at a fair price. His new Fusion was a good bit cheaper than list too. (Wouldn't mind access to it myself - but mustn't get greedy).
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
As an aside - my friend's husband is a driving instructor and he has just ordered an Corsa diesel top spec from DC Cook direct which is working out cheaper than his brother in law could get through their friends and family scheme,

Unfortunately daughter didn't like the Ka, and D C Cook not offering the Toyota atm :(

We have decided on the car we want and are pursuing the best deal, rather than finding the best deals and choosing the car we like best from them - if you see what I mean.

Thanks for everyone's help
Small car, really sensible advice needed - hootie
OK - you can relax now everyone :) lol

After a tiring week on the internet meeting all of you, listening to facts and opinions, and searching sites, asking friends, reading reviews and trudging round garages, I am now in possession of a wealth of facts and a pile of paperwork decorating the house!

We have interrogated salesmen, adjusted seats and looked under bonnets and considered both styling, features and technical information. We have checked out the second hand values of everything that appealed.

As someone would say we have digested and cogitated - whatever that is. Thereby managing just to "cut to the chase" with Mr H and that is what he likes.

Daughter has stressed that she'll just be happy to get a car!

Mr H has taken the decision that we shouldn't even approach him with a car older than a 2000 model. That is his perogative.

SO - taking absolutely everything into account, we are going back to the Toyota garage on Saturday to test drive the 1.0, 3 door Toyota Yaris. This will be either a Colour Collection spec., or the T3 - the same car, with different bits and bobs.

I hope to goodness we all like it, or otherwise it's back to the kitchen table and off we go again LOL

Hope you don't mind if I start a new thread and take my further questions there.


Value my car