2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
Hi all,

Was looking new a couple of weeks ago, the gf job is looking a little insecure so we have decided to go for a second hand car rather than a new/nearly new.

Looking for:
-Small car
-Low insurance (we are 24&23 so want to keep the cost down)
-Economic
-Cheap to run etc.

I am thinking of a 2002-2004 model with 40-60 on the clock. At the moment I am thinking it will be the choice out of the following.. Ka, Fiesta, Panda, Punto, 206 as they would match the above.

Anyone want to throw any more into the mix or have any general advice, it would be appreciated.

Regards
Ben
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - rtj70
Some various sizes of cars there as I'm sure you'll know. Fiesta/Punto/206 will be similar sizes with the Panda a little smaller and the Ka the smallest.

I would suggest reading Honest John's Car by Car Breakdown on each, e.g. the Ka is know to rust. It is also a 12 year old design, e.g. for the Ka 1996-2008:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/index.htm?md=106

Edited by rtj70 on 21/12/2008 at 20:32

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
yes indeed, i must admit i quiet like the look of the panda, its a bit... well different!

As you say the Ka design/engine etc is similar to my 96 Fiesta so isnt really a step forward.

need something that will give me 2-3 years of trouble free motoring, will be doing about 8k per annum in it
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - rtj70
"As you say the Ka design/engine etc is similar to my 96 Fiesta"

Apart from them changing the engine used in 2003, the Ka is based on the chassis used in your Fiesta. It is not similar but the same underneath. Sold well though.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - captain chaos
Hi benbfc,
Personally I'd go for a Panda or a Punto, if they're anything like an Uno I had once they're a fine, much underrated and overlooked car, the dealers leave a lot to be desired though in my experience.
BTW is bfc blackpool or burnley? Just wondered... :-)
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
burnley. Not a donkey lasher ;-)
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - captain chaos
;-)
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Hector Brocklebank
I'd go for something a bit bigger and more unpopular for value's sake.

Superminis are holding their value in a way that is disproportionate to the realities of only slightly lower running costs in comparison to a small family hatch.

£2.5k would get you a good previous gen. astra (cheap & plentiful parts, low running costs for 1.4 & 1.6, cheap insurance) and would be more civilised to drive than a crude Ka or panda. Alternatively, go for a Hyundai Getz. Again, poor residuals & so-so image will play into your favour.

In any case, astra-size is still small but you don't have as many compromises adnd you would be getting a lot more for your money. Try Korean manufacturers too, the combination of low used values and excellent reliability should favour a buyer like you. My general advice, don't just look at the most popular models and your £2.5k could go a lot further.

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
Yeah they are fair points about the larger car. The only issue is that is my small parking space and insurance really. I have driven an astra before, not a bad car at all.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - yorkiebar
Generally, medium sized cars will give a better ride than smaller !

Less sought after too and so can generally be a better value buy.

Is a family on the horizon? Consider that on the size of car espeically if not looking to change again in the near or not too distant future?
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - LondonBus
I'm in a similar position to you, only I'm on a budget of £4k - £5k and am a little older (14 years...)

Endorse comments re supermini; the small family cars offer better value in the current market.

I'm now looking at small family cars (Dr Plymouth-Kingston, other half,is now warming to an Astra).


Not sure if you could get a 3 year old vehicle for £2.5k. Astras and Almeras do seem to offer good value for money at the £4-£4.5k mark - what does Autotrader offer at 2.5k?
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
Yes an astra 2004, under 60k with a 1.6 engine for 2.5 so not a bad shout.

Insurance group 6 though - £800 a year! For 2 sensible drivers with 0 points! grrrr
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - captain chaos
Go for a Panda or Punto, low insurance group and the Punto is like a Tardis inside. Try to get one with fsh though
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Hector Brocklebank
Have a look at everything available privately on Autotrader between £2k-£3k with 1.4-1.6 engine size. A spot of light haggling could land you a decent focus or 307, far superior to any of the cars on your list. I'm sure you could land a small hatch with a lower insurance group than 6, so long as you go for the base model!
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - davidh
I'm not sure that the 307 is all that reliable though. I think its been plagued with electrical problems.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - stunorthants26
>>the Punto is like a Tardis inside<<

The Tardis must have shrunk recently - I cleaned a Grande Punto today and I thought it was very average for space, almost pokey in the back and didnt seem to make good use of its large footprint. Felt far more clastrophobic than our Sirion.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - LondonBus
What about the Almera? A quick google indicates insurance is in groups 4-7.

Also, what about a 1.4 petrol Astra. 1.4 is a wee bit sluggish so should be good for insurance - group 4 again?
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
Yes that 1.4 is a group 4 might well come down. Was suprised to see a punto come in at £670 a year for insurance last night.

Cheaper insurance options include the Panda (which I still like the look of!) and a Skoda Fabia. The 206 always looked pretty good to drive (a friend has one) and is about the right size. Again not seen much of an Almera, maybe a little large considering there will be a max of 2 people in the car for 99% of time we have it.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Hector Brocklebank
Almera maybe a little large considering there will be a max of 2 people in the car for 99%
of time we have it.


The advantages of owning a larger car go far beyond the increase in passenger space. I'm sure the panda is a great car for what it is, but the Almera will ride better, have more grip, more equipment, bigger boot, better seats, better safety, more power and longer gears to complement superior long distance comfort.

Never forget that the panda is a pared-to-the-bone £6k city car which won its plaudits when compared to similar cars. The Almera/Astra/Focus are all £10k-£12k family cars and as such offer so much more. When you consider that you can have one at 3-5 years old at 10% of list price, it looks like the better value option.

Of course, there are even bigger bargains to be had as you move up to Mondeo/Vectra size but I respect that you must make concessions for size and running costs!
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - NowWheels
>> Almera maybe a little large considering there will be a max of 2 people
>> in the car for 99% of time we have it.


Compare the external dimensions. There's not actually that much difference.
I'm sure the panda is a great car for what it is but the Almera
will ride better have more grip more equipment bigger boot better seats better safety more
power and longer gears to complement superior long distance comfort.


As an Almera driver, I agree on all those points, except ride. The Almera is a much-misunderestimated * car, but its ride is not good, unless you like very hard. Fine on the open road, but harsh around town.

* deliberate Bushism
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - oldnotbold
"Almera maybe a little large considering there will be a max of 2 people in the car for 99% of time we have it."

I should think that applies to a huge number of cars. My dad had a company Cavalier many years ago, by which time my sister and I were grown up. It was nearly three years before anyone sat in the back seat!

When you need rear space, you really need it - trips to the tip, or that free tumble dryer from a friend, or stuff from Ikea - you get the picture. That's why very few people drive a Smart - two seater.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
>>you really need it - trips to the tip, or that free tumble dryer from a friend, or stuff
>>from Ikea - you get the picture. That's why very few people drive a Smart - two seater.

Which is why, standing in front of a gorgeous looking XJS, with a generous trade-in offered for my car, and a very sensible price, all I could think of was my next washing machine, and how I was(n't) going to get bamboo canes into the car...
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
I like the idea of a focus now! I should just have bought a panda!

No seriously, the advice is welcomed. An Astra is not a bad shout and is not a bad car at all. Both are larger than anything I was considering.

Any views on a Fabia hatchback?

Edited by Webmaster on 28/12/2008 at 21:15

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - madf
Pegeot 106/Saxos are cheap and with a folding rear seat.
We have got a large deep freeze and a washing machine in the rear with not much difficulty.
Insurance group 3 or 4.
Lots of low mileage ones sub 30k for under your guide price. cheap spares and good fuel consumption.


No street cred now so basically unwanted.

Very reliable. our family own 3.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
Reckon spending 2.5k is an awkward amount to spend. In current climate (where used cars are worth pennies, and even I'm thinking of buying something a lot shinier than my usual hack), there doesn't seem much point in putting more than 1k into a car - on the grounds that will get you a 6 year old car; to spend 2.5 times that on a 4 year old car - that then requires fully comp insurance etc. etc., seems like a lot of extra cash.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - b308
Any views on a Fabia hatchback?



As good as anything else mentioned, and better than some, certainly more roomy than the likes of the 106/saxo/ka... if you can get a decent estate you'll have more room in the back than the Focus!

Getz or Rio? May be able to get one with some warranty left??

Trouble with this type of request is that you'll just get recomended people's pet car/maker, which doesn't mean that it will be the best car for you as the local ones in your area could just as easilly be dogs...

TBH if you have no real preferences then its all about which car you see is the best mechanically and body-wise and suits your requirements... check out the local ads and when you find one take along a decent mechanic with you to check it over or get a RAC or AA report done... money well spent for this sort of motor...
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - madf
Agree with b308
Choose the best local at the right price.
I found Autotrader's search facilities ideal for buying cars.. Just search by distance, price , mileage,age, and fuel and see what comes up.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - lordwoody
"No street cred now so basically unwanted."

Not sure this is true-these are pretty popular cars with young drivers around here due to cheap running costs, Saxo's are particularly popular.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - LondonBus
£2.5k is a really difficult sum. too much for a banger, but not quite enough for a newish car.

Incidentally, our Nissan Almera Tino (52 plate 1.8SE, bought 3 years ago for £6k) would have a value of about £2.5k now. But its much bigger than you'd want. And insurance group is 5. Too high?


(We're not selling the Tino. Its our 1997 Polo we're selling. But Autotrader is quite useful for looking stuff up....)
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Andrew-T
>At the moment I am thinking it will be the choice out of the following.. Ka, Fiesta, Panda, Punto, 206

If you are looking to save money, an obsolete rather than a current model should be cheaper. Ka and Panda will seem small inside compared to Punto. Before buying 206 make sure you have space for your feet in the pedal-box, which is tight. 206s are also popular so may not be cheap - I say that as a Peugeot man who swopped a 206 for a 306, which is much better. You should easily find a late 306 HDi diesel (gp.5) in your price range - if it has been looked after, go for that.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Hector Brocklebank
How about a Chevrolet Lacetti? Your budget would just about get you into a 3-4 year old, 1 owner example with FSH. They come in hatch or estate body styles and most are packed with kit. Again, more expensive to run than a city car but do the sums before you buy and it may be a price worth paying to avoid the misery of a crude, noisy and poorly specified supermini.

Other Korean cars such as the Hyundai Getz & Kia Rio/Cerato offer exceptional value to a buyer with your budget. Savage depreciation due to poor image insure this much.

It is true that you can do well for £1k. At this money the model of car should be less important, find something local that has been cared for with plenty of history and a good reliability record. The best bets at this price are probably cars like the Nissan Primera and Mazda 323/626. They are certain to be more hardy propositions than a similarly priced Saxo/106/Punto.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Avant
I used to agree wholeheartedly with those who said 'don't spend £2k-£3k - just as much of a gamble as spending £1k'. But London Bus's six-year-old Tino makes me think: this is a sound, serviceable car which is by no means a banger. If that's worth only £2,500 now there should be a good choice available for Ben.

I'd go for a Fabia - preferably the 1.4 100 bhp petrol engine. A bit more room than the superminis but good to drive and no more expensive to run.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - NowWheels
I used to agree wholeheartedly with those who said 'don't spend £2k-£3k - just as
much of a gamble as spending £1k'.


The logic used to be good, but crashing s/h prices have changed the game.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
>>The logic used to be good, but crashing s/h prices have changed the game.

Not at all. Just because your 1k will buy you a much nicer car, it still doesn't mean that a 1.5k* bill for a DMF or something looks like good value on a 2k car.

2k is a really bad sum to spend on a car. Easy* to have a bill big enough to write it off. And then where are you? Who was posting on here the other day about a ?Honda? diesel that he'd taken into ?Nationwide Autocentres? and had ended up with a bill of over 2k. On a car with a trade-in value of a similar sort of value.


The logic remains exactly the same.


______________________________________________________
*unlikely, yes, but perfectly possible.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - oldnotbold
"The logic used to be good, but crashing s/h prices have changed the game"

Crashing s/h prices have in fact reinforced the logic. You now get so much for £1,000 that spending 150% more gets you far more added risk than added benefit. All you get is a later plate, and a big headache if it all goes pear-shaped.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - M.M
This often mentioned "don't buy a £2k car" has little basis in fact. The problem of repair costs vs value is a factor right across the price ranges and not specifically at this price point.

There are some staggering bargains at all price points these days and they all have the threat of an unexpected large bill so just get the best value at the time of buying whatever the price range.

Note I've said before though never to buy a £1k car at £2k just because a back street dealer has polished it nicely.

David
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - oldnotbold
"The problem of repair costs vs value is a factor right across the price ranges and not specifically at this price point"

True, but with labour rates of £700/hour and parts prices it's not hard to get a bill of £1500-£2000 - much less common to get a bill of £5,000 odd, and the £5,000 or more car may well come with a twelve month warranty.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
>>This often mentioned "don't buy a £2k car" has little basis in fact. The problem of
>>repair costs vs value is a factor right across the price ranges and not specifically at this price point.


Lots of basis in fact.

If you can afford to run a 10k car, you can afford a 5k bill. Not least because you probably bought some warranty too. (If you cannot afford that bill, you cannot afford to run the 10k car.)

However, if you can only really afford a 1k car, but can just borrow enough to reach a 2k car (cos to be honest most people can scrape an extra 1k together), then a 1.5k bill will destroy you and the car. It will destroy a 0.5k or 1k car too, but at least you have not borrowed/thrown away every last penny you have.

The other thing about a 1k car is that you can afford third party cover. An insurance claim for under 1k isn't generally worth it - once you've lost NCB and suffered loaded premiums.



2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - LondonBus
The Tino is a particularly unloved vehicle which is tarred the brush from its sister, the Almera.

Tinos are very cheap because:
* no longer in production
* Almera is a very weak car in terms of its image; not well designed (although engineering is excellent); Tino is a better car but suffers..
* Obscure car.
* Nissan isn't an aspirational brand.

The price range of £2.5k is based on what I've seen on Autotrader.

£2.5k would get you a 6 year old vehicle with up to 60k miles.


I'm very happy with our car. Our plan is to run into the ground (with love and care - just booked it in for its annual service at West London Nissan - taking advantage of their "all brands" fixed price servicing for cars over three years old).

Note that I'm probably going to spend £4.5k - £5k to replace our Polo. I want a 3 year old vehicle.


Our Tino at 6 years has been looked after; if you're going to buy a 6 year old vehicle suggest that this is a critical factor in buying....

Edited by LondonBus on 23/12/2008 at 10:40

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - M.M
>>Lots of basis in fact.

No its basis is your opinion.

>>If you can afford to run a 10k car, you can afford a 5k bill

Oh come on... perhaps if you run a £40k car a £5k bill might be easy but I know a huge amount of ordinary families who run £10k cars because the *don't* want £5k bills.

>>if you can only really afford a 1k car, but can just borrow enough to reach a 2k car

That's an a point youy're bringing in to biase towards your arguement... Lets keep it a level playing field and assume people can afford the vehicles at all these price points.
other thing about a 1k car is that you can afford third party cover


That's a personal choice... I'm happy to self insure pretty waell every asdpect of ouir life where appropriate and happily cover our £2.3k car (£3k retail) for tpf&t.

David
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - b308
Quite honestly the difference between 1k/1.5k and 2k cars is very little... its the state of the car thats important... thats why i suggested you get it checked thoroughly which is far more important than what make or model it is... You can live with minor niggles but don't want anything costly, a decent check is the most important....

There are plenty of sites which give you general reliability of various models check them out as well before you buy.

Edited by b308 on 23/12/2008 at 11:12

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Andrew-T
>You can afford third party cover ..

I can't tell how much TPFT compared to Comp cover saves other people, but I have found it saves me very little. We are talking about cars with little residual value, so most of the risk is with third-party claims anyway, as it is usually not worth claiming for bills under £1K (for reasons cited above).

At the sub-£1K level, the outlay on the car is just a splash in the large pond of running cost. The main saving is on depreciation, so spend some time (and if needed, cash) in looking for a good one. There are some out there - but perhaps owners are keeping them for longer these days?
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
>>>If you can afford to run a 10k car, you can afford a 5k bill

>Oh come on... perhaps if you run a £40k car a £5k bill might be easy but I know a
>huge amount of ordinary families who run £10k cars because the *don't* want £5k bills.

That is EXACTLY my point. It is perfectly possible to pay 10k for a virtually new "25k list" ordinary car, a new engine for which would cost you what? certainly the better part of 5k. If these "ordinary families" cannot afford that risk, then they cannot afford to run a 10k car. Not in any sensible sense of the word "afford".

>>TPF&T

I too am happy to self-insure most aspects of my life. My point is that the first 1k of risk is virtually uninsurable. So all drivers have to self-insure about that much; so a 1k car neatly fits into that sector.

If you're prepared to self-insure your 3k car, the 5k bill I mention earlier is scarcely any different.

>>Lets keep it a level playing field and assume people can afford the vehicles at all these price points.

Fine. Lots of cash, spend lots on a car, you can afford a new BMW. A bit of cash, spend 5k, can afford to keep it running, you accept it might cost you a few thousand in repairs.

But 2k is a horrid amount to sink into a vehicle as it can be dwarfed by a single repair bill. If you can only afford a 2k car, you cannot actually afford to run it - in any sensible sense of the word "afford".

If you can only afford a 1k car, you cannot afford to run it either, on the same basis as above. However your financial exposure is limited to 1k, therefore in fact your maximum risk is the cost of the car, and you can afford to scrap it instead. (And you'll probably get £500 for it on eBay anyway.)


Anybody who thinks "I have £x in cash in the bank account therefore I can afford to run a £x car," is wrong. He may well be able to afford to buy it, but he cannot afford to run it.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
I went to t.drive a panda this morning that was up at 2,695 just to see what it was like, got it 200 yards and it wouldnt go into gear! haha. nightmare.

Tino looks too big for my needs I would think. Although the spec of one you can get for 2,500-3k is amazing.

As the debate is on here I could just stump up 1k for a Ford Ka 2000 ish and hope to get a few years cheap wear out of it. Not the best car for comfort etc but reliability, fuel consumption, insurance costs are key!
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - LondonBus
Ben, sounds like a reasonable approach. I suppose the key thing for your 1k KA is to check it for rust and that its been properly maintained.


And budget for repairs.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
Not sure I have ever read a good word about a Ka on here?
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - benbfc
This is true.

I am going to a garage just after xmas that have in stock at present -
-05 Panda, 60k 2800
-04 Punto, 50 2500
-03 Fusion 80k 2500
-03 Punto 25k 2400
-03 Kalos 21k 2400
-03 Fabia 60k 2400
-03 Ka 53k 2300
-01 Almera 42k 1700
-00 Fiesta 82k 1400
-02 Lanos 57k 1300
-00 Lupo 62k 1300
-00 Megane 74k 999

All at about the right price, milage, size etc. Will give me a better idea of what to go for. All have FSH and 2 owners max. Be interesting.

Any views on any, too expensive, etc etc advice would be good! Going to go boxing day!

(if not then it might be Ebay for a £700 KA! haha)
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - madf
beb
From your list I would ignore anything over £2000.
Why?
Always leave a bit for the odd repair/something going wrong.
£500 seems about right.

There is one car that stands out: the Almera: reliable.

.
Avoid Renaults of that age and mileage like the plague or a very nasty virus: they can be money pits.
As can hi-mileage cars which have not been maintained.

If you are not mechanically experienced, choose your car but get a written report first or take an experienced friend.

Takes longer, saves lots of grief later.

Edited by madf on 23/12/2008 at 16:44

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Alby Back
On the contrary, I really like my wife's wee Ka to drive and so does she. Great fun. Like a road legal go-kart. In fairness though I probably wouldn't want one as the main car. It would be far too small for me anyway as a daily car and might be restricting for others too. I quite like the basic trim level. You only get what you need and no more. Ours is nearly 5 years old and has never given any bother apart from a 1p sized rust bubble under a door which was easily fixed about a year ago. Mechanically it has been faultless and for town/city work it's ideal. Quite good fun to throw down country lanes too.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - stunorthants26
Im no Ford fan, but if I was spending £2.5k, the Ka would be my choice unless I had kids or lots of people to carry. Ford didnt sell them for so long unaltered because it was a bad car - they managed to design a car that had mass appeal right for the start.
Also heaps of choice.

Yes some of them rust, but unless you want to keep it for 5+ years, thats unlikely to be anything more than cosmetic and you can treat it - at the prices they sell for, its a small price to pay.

Just a note - a friend of mine who has a baby can fit her bulky pushchair in her Ka's boot but it simply wont fit in a Grande Punto she tried - progress huh?
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - M.M
I think from previous posts of yours I've noticed Mapmaker you have a very specific way of financing and running your cars. It may be sensible and prudent for you but you can't force the majority to do the same.

You also seem to base much of the argument on the "inevitable" £5k disaster. In my wide experience of repair costs over many years I've never known anyone have to spend out anything like that on a failure. £250 frequently, £500 maybe, £1000 as a disaster but £5k... well that only happens in HJ forum land not in the real life I've seen.

As I said your argument can be scaled at any price point you like. For example I might happily choose to buy my £2.3k car rather than a £5k car with all the same arguments you give for £1k vs £2k.... others may pick £8k vs £18k.

David
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
>>"inevitable"

You put words into my mouth. I have used words like "risk" and "unlikely". Perfectly possible. I have never suggested any inevitability, I hope.

For most, the car is their biggest or second biggest asset (and the house may well have negative "worth") in life. If it goes wrong, they HAVE to sort it, no matter what their financial situation. The RISK of a hefty repair bill for somebody with little spare cash who has sunk 2.5k into a "new" car is too great for many.

The chances are small, which is why you only read about them here, however even a 0.001% annual chance of such a bill of similar magnitude to your expenditure is far too high a level of risk if you are that short of spare cash.

>>As I said your argument can be scaled at any price point you like.

I know, and I disagree with you very strongly. As somebody posted above, with a 1k car, the capital/depreciation cost fades into insignificance compared to general running costs. As your car gets more expensive, the capital cost of the car begins to be more material. I don't think you can argue that 2.3k is immaterial compared to other running costs until you are doing about 50k miles p.a.

If you can afford to spend cash on a brand new motor, then fine. Otherwise many are playing with fire and not realising it.

The more you spend on a car, the more you are (have to be) prepared to spend on repairs. 2.5k is a horrid amount to spend on a car.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - MVP
Always look on the bright side of life, duh dum, der dum der dum...
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Hector Brocklebank
many are playing with fire and not realising it.


Oh, come on. I think the OP is being very sensible in spending £2.5k when he said he was once considering buying new. In his case £2.5k is probably a relatively small amount of capital to sink into a car and if he chooses wisely, it should buy him something much better and more reliable than a £1k shunter.
The more you spend on a car the more you are (have to be) prepared
to spend on repairs.


In my experience, the opposite is true. I think £2.5k is a great amount to spend on a car, you may well be more exposed to rare big bills but in all likelihood less so to frequent small ones. This is the problem with sub £1k cars, they often need regular work on expensive consumables (clutches, brake pipes, suspension components). A 3-5 yr old sub 60k car is far less likely to be a money pit than an 8-10 yr old 100k car. Sure, you could end up with a nasty shock if major work needs doing, but choose wisely and this is just one of life's minor risks. Stop looking at everything as if it were a risk assessment form, you pays your money and takes your chance.
2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - Mapmaker
>>A 3-5 yr old sub 60k car is far less likely to be a money pit than an 8-10 yr old 100k car.

Possibly. But not than a 6-8 year 100k car.

Edited by Mapmaker on 23/12/2008 at 16:51

2.5k Used Car Opinions.. - FocusDriver
Ben, get the Panda! If you can live with that dash. I drive a '99 Focus Ghia which is brilliant. You could get a newer '00/'01 Focus for your money.

Anyway, all this talk of the Almera's got me interested...

At Cargiant, you can get a '55 plate 1.5 SVE with 26,000 miles for £4,699

For that, you get:
Climate Control, Sun Roof (electric), Satellite Navigation, 16" Alloy wheels, Radio with CD-Player, Parking Sensors, Electric Windows (front and rear), Electric Mirrors, Central Locking, Power-Steering, ABS brakes, Airbags (multiple), Multi Function Steering Wheel, Rear Head-Rests

Incredible!

It's not going to impress any pretty girls or boys on the pavement though.

Contrast with:

VW Golf '55 1.6 FSi 5Dr 6-Speed £7,999

It's unlikely that the Almera will suffer any more faults (probably far fewer) and you don't get CC, sunroof, satnav or sensors.

You'd need to be pretty image-conscious to get the Golf, wouldn't you?

 

Value my car