Best automatic small car for £3000? - jamiev
hi, my mum is on the lookout for a small automatic car, budget £3000.
any ideas on what she could get?
anything to look out for or to stay away from?
any with low insurance (she has just passed!)?

Best automatic small car for £3000? - Aprilia
Something Japanese that is a standard autobox (i.e. not a 'CVT' automatic).
Best automatic small car for £3000? - expat
Honda use a CVT in the Jazz. I got the impression that it had the usual high Honda reliability standards. Can you tell us a bit more about any problems with the Jazz CVT box? I rather fancied getting an auto Jazz for the missus in a couple of years when the Mazda gets past it. I know that in theory the CVT shouldn't be as reliable as a conventional auto but how is it turning out in practice with the Hondas?
Best automatic small car for £3000? - GregSwain
Agree with Aprilia - if you decide to buy European though, don't buy a Renault or a Ford because the autoboxes are utter carp. Hyundai Accent would be the best bet IMO - has got a Mitsubishi-based autobox which should outlast the car. Zero image, so they're cheap to buy and insure too.
Best automatic small car for £3000? - Chad.R
Previous model Toyota Yaris.
Best automatic small car for £3000? - Happy Blue!
Loads of options: -

Suzuki Wagon R+
Hyundai Getz
Diahatsu Charade
Toyota Yaris
Honda Jazz
Nissan Micra

so many to choose from. Just avoid anything European!
Best automatic small car for £3000? - Mapmaker
Not all will agree, but:

1. 3k is a silly sum to spend on a car - the car won't be any 'better' /more reliable than if you spend £1k. Double your budget and see a benefit, otherwise I wouldn't waste my money.

2. 3k is rather a lot for a new driver to spend. There will almost inevitably be a meeting of metal and something in the early stages.
Best automatic small car for £3000? - Mapmaker
OH yes, and I assume that she only has an automatic licence. If she has a manual one, then she MUST get a manual at least for the first few years.
Best automatic small car for £3000? - GregSwain
Mapmaker, not sure I agree with point 1, but point 2 is certainly a good one.

Espada, I daresay I couldn't find a decent example of those models with an autobox for £3k, not even at auction. Far more realistic to set budget under £3k and get an Accent/Almera/anything else cheap and automatic. Insurance without any no-claims will be pricey whatever the group of the car, so allow yourself up to a 1.6 litre engine. Much below this will feel sluggish with an autobox.
Best automatic small car for £3000? - normd2
good grief! I agree with Mapmaker on both counts.... :)
Best automatic small car for £3000? - jamiev
thanks, all, i can see your point about spending 3k, and she might aswell just spend 1k. so for 1k what would you recommend?
Best automatic small car for £3000? - GregSwain

For £1k you'll get a R-reg (old model) Hyundai Accent 1.3 Auto. The one that's just popped up on Autotrader has only covered 50k with FSH, so plenty of life left in both engine and gearbox. The good point about buying older automatics is they've often been owned and cared for by elderly people, so haven't covered huge mileages.

Can also get a P-reg Almera 1.6 auto, or R-reg Peugeot 106 1.4 auto etc. Basically you're looking at a car around 10 years old. Only buy one with some evidence that it's been maintained, and maybe get the ATF changed to freshen the gearbox up. Of the 3 I've mentioned my personal choice for a new driver would be the Hyundai (not all of these had PAS, so watch out). Small engine = cheap tax (£115/yr) and insurance.
Best automatic small car for £3000? - Mapmaker
And your 1k car should last two years, following which the risk of a prang is much reduced.

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