Cheap Reliable Cars - andyb

In January I need to buy a cheap reliable car (up to £1000) and since I know nothing about cars I was wondering if anyone out there could give me advice on the models I could probably get for this price that are known to be fairly reliable and the ones I maybe should stay clear of.

Thanks in advance for your help

Cheap Reliable Cars - T Lucas
Anything with a Japanese or far east brand name will be ok,subject to the usual checks.
Cheap Reliable Cars - TrevorP
Nissan Micra has to be on the short list.
Cheap Reliable Cars - Big John
The last of the old model polo's are now very cheap - up to K/L reg are very relible and cheap and easy to maintain - no PAS though.
Cheap Reliable Cars - dave18
The old Polos are very reliable and cheap if maintained well. Mine was a shed. It was half killed by the mechanic who sold me it and gave it 2yrs of short runs with zero maintenance. The car had previously been in the family for several years and looked after well, so I naively thought it would be ok. It cost £1000 in the space of a year - I was caught in a trap of being unable to afford something newer and unable to do without the car at the time.
Cheap Reliable Cars - memyself-aye

If you want something cheap and reliable try a Mazda 323, I have one for sale: brand new MOT, Full service history, 1993 hatch model, 65k miles, in Red - £675. 01827 711071 (was waiting till after christmas to asvertise it.
Cheap Reliable Cars - Hugo {P}
Yep - you can actually get a lot of car for a grand these days.

Now or after Christmas is a good time to buy.

I often contact main dealers to see what they may be putting up for auction when I need a car. If you can get a look at Glasses guide (a friend in the trade may be able to help) or go on the internet and search for glasses guide, you'll get an idea.

In Saltash for example M reg Rover 200s (Jap derived) £400 to £500 with reasonable S\H and condition. A garage owning friend of mine picked up an N reg Xantia for £875. Suggest you check out your local auction and have a look now before Christmas if you can, so you can go after to buy.

Another useful tip, look through Auto Trader at cars up to £1300, You'll be surprised what people will take. I just bought an N reg Trafic van priced at £1000 for £750 (its worth the grand as well). It didn't take much haggling either, especially at this time of year.

Cars to go for - Pugs, Smaller Citroens, Escorts, Fiestas, Mondeos (yes there are a few of the K,L,M reg ones for this money maybe later at auction) Rovers (but avoid the metros or 100s), Astras, cavaliers Any Japanese around 8 yrs old.

Cars to proceed with caution -

Citroen Xantia, fine if they've been looked after, check all the electric plugs are in place, especially the ABS ECU. Mine wasn't and I found there was a reason for this, ECU was faulty, needed an exchange unit only £80 S/H thank heavens.

Renaults Parts can be pricy - if you'll need many of them that is. My old renault 11 was quite simply the best car I ever had.

Cars to avoid - For this money don't be temted to go for anything too complicated, such as 4x4s, there are a few Trojan Horses around, these sound very tempting if your on a budjet.

The great thing is that cars are so much more reliable these days, so unless you're very unlucky, your fustration is going to be routine maintenance rather than repairs.

If you're budget really is tight, you may want to consider keeping cash spare for unplanned maintenance (EG my ECU case).

Good luck
Cheap Reliable Cars - andyb

Thanks so much for all your advice, I took a quick peek at Autotrader yesterday and found quite a few nice sounding cards for under a grand. One that I really did quite fancy was a Nissan Primera, really good spec (PAS, EW etc etc) for less than a 1000 and if they are as reliable as you guys say then it sounds great to me...some were even 1994 models which I assume will have a high mileage but if they are well looked after what is the problem?

I am thinking Micra's maybe just a tad small for me, what about Toyota's as there seem to be quite a few of those for under a grand also...any model recommendations

Is it better to buy trade or privately?


Cheap Reliable Cars - lezebre
There's a 96N Primera on Ebay currently, situated in Luton, previously bought from Nissan dealer and with fsh, and the bidding is currently just under £1k. It appears to have air, which is very unusual on a pre-facelift 1.6.
With older Primeras check for rust, and that the change into 2nd gear isn't too crunchy. You don't want the chain to be rattling at idle either. Watch for clocking.
Cheap Reliable Cars - JamesH
Many Primeras are used as minicabs so look carefully at the history. That said, the fact that they make good cabs must owe to their reliability.

Cheap Reliable Cars - Big Cat
Wouldn't recommend an old Polo. Reliability is too varied, parts too expensive. Mine's been awful.

Best to go for something Japanese or an older model Rover with the Honda running gear. Early Rover 600's are dipping below the £1000 level now if bought privately or at auction. Just make sure it's got the Honda engine (all except the Turbo models do) and hasn't been used as a cab.


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