I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Wee Willie Winkie
Evening all,

My good lady wife is in the final stages of a PGCE course and is expected to take up her first teaching post in September. With the expectation of having a goodly commute, we have decided her 1970 Beetle (pink!) will not be up to the task, especially as the pitter patter of tiny Dieselboy feet will follow in a year or two. So, with great regret, the Beetle will be replaced with a modern Euro (or Jap) box.

This is where we have no idea what we want, or need. I run an Alfa 156 2.4JTD Sportwagen, which I would expect to be able to cope with pushchairs etc. Initial thoughts were on a Grande Punto 5 door, probably in diesel form with a 30 mile each way commute in mind. It seems the budget of 5-6k would get a 2006/2007 model. However, I think we need something bigger, maybe Zafira sized. Autotrader tells me a 55 plate Zafira can be had for our budget., however this would be a 1.6 petrol My thinking is it's more bang for our buck than the Fiat.

I'm only musing really, but would welcome any thoughts. For example, should she run my Alfa and I potter about in a £200 banger (my commute is 5 miles each way)? Should I buy a bike?! Should I accept the laughter and pointing and potter about in her pink Beetle?!


I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Alby Back
re-spray ?
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - rtj70
The Alfa 156 might be too small to take all the push chairs etc. Depends on how long you want to keep it.

So sell the 156 to Humph and get a decent engined Zafira. Respray the Beetle and drive that yourself. Problem solved.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Pugugly
DO NOT SELL THE ALFA !!!! Resist the temptation
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Wee Willie Winkie
Should have mentioned - selling the Alfa isn't what I want to do!
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - PoloGirl
Hold off until she starts her first teaching job - lots of local authorities do good car leasing schemes.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Pugugly
Vauxhall do a huge discount (near enough 15%) for public sector workers.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - oldtoffee
15% off across the range is ok but not great considering brokers eg Drive the Deal are offering 32% off a 1.6 petrol Astra and 36% off diesel Zafiras.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - PR {P}
Check out the prices of used Bravo's. They are great cars. They have a large boot and plenty of kit for the money. We have a 1.9 Multijet Sport and its done 41k in 18 months and has been excellent (and I run a 156!)
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Happy Blue!
Why buy a large family car two years before children arrive. I understand the dilemma but I think you first suggestion is a reasonable one and a Grande Punto will accommodate your first child anyway, even with all the gubbins they need. My wife coped with a three door Golf III very well and we swapped to a Mitsubishi Spacewagon when child 2 arrived.

However, would an alternative to the Punto do better?

Suggestions - Jazz, Note, new Kia Rio, Hyundai i20 - all likely to be more reliable than the Fiat and just as economical.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - DP
The primary advantage of an MPV type vehicle comes when you lift a baby in and out of a typical modern child seat. The extra height makes things so much easier, and gives you a lot more room to play with. This is why so many new parents drive MPVs and 4x4s. It wasn't such an issue years ago, as we didn't use car seats.

A tall vehicle makes sense as soon as you have the first baby. You will also need boot space for a pram (they are *huge* nowadays), the big bag of baby paraphernalia you carry around, plus any toys or entertainment you want to take with you.

I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Mapmaker
I'm not quite sure how "wealthy" you are, which slightly clouds making a sensible observation. But:

Do nothing.

1. She will not start work for 6 months, so do nothing now.

2. When she starts work, swap cars. For your 5 mile commute, a pink Beetle is cool. Surely. (Unless you have doubts about your manliness.) Personally I'd bike it, provided it's a sensible route. But you don't currently, so you probably won't. (If you do, get a decent road bike with high gearing; not an ATB.)

3. For her to lease a new car - however good the deal - is a bonkers waste of cash. New??? For a newly qualified teacher??? She will look out of place in the school carpark.

4. Chickens need to hatch; don't count them too soon.

5. If you want to get rid fo the Beetle when the child eventually arrives, a 3 year old Almera is surely big enough for one child. By the time the second arrives, you're looking 4 years away, so time enough to change cars then.

I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - daveyjp
For commutes and the odd trip out with a baby any sized car will do - our Aygo has coped well and we've had it since our daughter was just 9 months old, even with a full sized pram. A friend had a smart and it was more than adequate for her, her son and a pram.

Not all prams are huge and if you get one which breaks into component parts you only need to carrry the chassis as the baby seat is removed and used in the car. The Aygo swallowed luggage for a week and all the baby gear including a pushchair for a trip to the airport.

For longer trips away we use the Audi as everything goes in the boot.

Agree with mapmaker on 4 - babies don't come to order.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Bagpuss
I would drive the Beetle on rainy days and use a push bike for the sunny days. A 5 mile cycle ride on a fresh sunny morning is a great way to start the working day.

If you have a Zafira sized thing when sproggs appear, bear in mind the associated risks of the grandparents wanting to accompany you on days out.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Happy Blue!
"Agree with mapmaker on 4 - babies don't come to order. "

How true. We were very lucky that our three arrived pretty well when we expected, although my wife is convinced that No 2 was conceived after a miscarriage after only a few days, the month before.

Plenty of friends have had to go to IVF, so don't plan a large family car until you have a large family.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - apm
We had our first son in August, found our 04 plate Avensis hatch plenty roomy enough. Since then we've changed to a Volvo S60 which is still more than big enough (huge boot). Doesn't HAVE to be an MPV type of car for 1 sprog. Agree with the opinion re height of seats & access, but we've really not found it to be a problem to be honest.

Could always get a scooter if you don't fancy cycling, for your 5 miler.

Hope this helps,

I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - ForumNeedsModerating
Concur strongly with Mapmaker.

Too many ifs, buts, maybe, probablys, expecteds: there are so many ways it can pan out, it would seem presumptious to plan now.

Eventual teaching job may be nearer than you think, job might not work out - there's a probationary period with new teachers, or she may not like, that uncle might say he's getting rid of the old Focus & offer it to you (made that one up!) etc. etc.

Worst case scenario with the 'do nothing' strategy is you might have to drive a pink beetle for a while, while partner takes the Alfa & baby gets induction into the pleasures of Italian
sporty cars.

I would wait - come back to BR in 8 months for definitve suggestions when we have more cold hard facts to play with!

I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - Wee Willie Winkie
Thanks for all the advice guys - much appreciated.

I quite like the suggestion of her using my Alfa (means that when it breaks down I can blame her!) and me using a pushbike or a scooter.

Thanks again.
I'm after inspiration for a new (to us) car - mlj
Some good advice already here...
For what it's worth shelve the Punto idea; ours fell apart after three years. The Mazda 2 that replaced it has been 100% reliable, now five years old. We are both teachers, if it helps - (no, it doesn't I hear you all say) and our main car is a berlingo. One of four in the teachers' car park. It does what it says on the tin.