First time buyer but 30! - blinky
Okay some info to get you going.....

I'm a 30 year old male, driving licence for just over 2 years and I've been a named driver on a car for that time.

It's time to get my own car. Main use will be travelling to and from work travelling from Newcastle to Sunderland via A69/A1/A1231. Some travelling to clients and leisure use. I reckon probably 10k miles or so a year.

I'm looking for a car in either Supermini (Corsa, Fiesta, Polo) or Small Family (Focus / Escort, Astra (urgh), Golf) size. Maximum budget is £1000. Ideally low insurance while I build up my no claims.

I do have a contact at a local dealership who will let me have first refusals at any trade in's :)

I know of two at the moment

1) Vauxhall Corsa 1.2LS 5 Door L Reg (93/94) (Ins Group 2)
75k miles, MOT July '04. £750

My contact hasn't actually seen it - one of the other sales did the deal to take it in and it hasn't been actually traded-in. Initially, it seems to sit my needs but I wonder if it has enough grunt. My main concern however is servicing and running costs. I know it would be due a major service at 80k miles and I should factor that in. Any ideas to the cost.

2) Ford Fiesta 1.8D Azura , Diesel, 1995 M Reg , Petrol Blue Metallic, Hatchback, 59,000 miles , 3 Doors. Full Service History, Immobiliser, Driver Air Bag.Multilock Two Owners Very Clean Economical Car. £800 (his advertised price £1300)

Never been a fan of oil burners and it's a relatively high insurance group for the size of car - group 7. I also know that in general diesels only become more economical over 10k miles. However, I don't know about service intervals and cost for this car.

Posting on another forum some people thought the Fiesta was the better car....

Any and all comments appreciated.
First time buyer but 30! - DavidHM
Probably the Corsa but neither of them is great. It is slow, but so is a diesel Fiesta - and it's cheaper to insure, not much worse on petrol, and probably about as pleasant to drive. If the Fiesta were a new 'fish face' shape I'd say go for that, but it's not - and that would be over budget.

If you can get access to dealer trade ins, you'll find that they don't offer much more (and probably less) for larger cars that will cope with the use.

Some people specifically want a smaller car because it's easy to park, or cheap to insure - but at 30, your main problem is your lack of no claims, rather than the insurance group, and even a larger car wouldn't hurt too badly. That Corsa will most likely only give low 40s mpg against maybe 35 for a Mondeo, more on longer runs, and the whole driving experience would be much, much more pleasant.
First time buyer but 30! - StuW
I drive a little old nova 1.2i, the same engine in the corsa and i can vouch it has been very reliable and not needed any work to to it yet (touch wood!) and so far has done 112,000 miles but i think you'd get rather more than low 40 mpg. I did an mpg test according to honest john's method while doing a lot of long fast runs and i worked out i was getting 52mpg! On the next mpg test i got 49mpg. The engine is very economical and although is not the fastest car on the road i don't think you'll have any problems keeping up with traffic especially if your going to do a lot of urban driving, i have certainly had no problems with it in this respect although i'm not the fastest driver in the world.
Although at this price i think you'd be better off buying whichever one is the in better condition, has fsh, etc.
First time buyer but 30! - Blue {P}
Personally I would wait until a bigger trade in comes along, such as an Escort, but that's only because I have a liking for larger cars! I think they're more comfortable, and they inspire me with more confidence than a small car does.

First time buyer but 30! - Hugo {P}
I agree,

Find out about insurance for larger cars such as the Citroen ZX or Astra, Escort.

Out of the tw you've mentioned I would go for the Fiesta Diesel, but see if they'll come down a hundred or two. If you can get along to a local auction to see what cars go for there, it may be an eye opener!

Your contact a the dealer may be doing the dealer a favour by shifting the cars privately, I suspect the dealer could look at £200 less for each of them at auction, then you've got to take the auction fee into account, so your Fiesta, which is asking £800 may only net a dealer £550 at auction.

First time buyer but 30! - blinky
Would be interested in Escort sized cars. I'll give him a ring in a few days.

Wouldn't be interested in anything bigger though. Mainly due to the difficulty of parking in our street :(

They keep the trade-ins for a little while then pack them off to auction. I don't know if there was any more room to bargain, given they've already knocked off a substantial amount (around £400 off the Fiesta).

As for higher insurance groups - it depends on the car. I wasn't prepared to pay the extra for the Fiesta Oil Burner but for something else possibly.

Any idea of the servicing cost of a 80k (40k) service for the Corsa 1.2?


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