vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - tking91

OK, so i'm 21, I passed my test just over a month ago and I'm looking for a car. My price is max 2500 and it has to be diesel.
I've narrowed it down to a 2004 Ford Focus 1.8 TDCi, a 2002 Polo 1.4 TDI sport and a 2004 Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI.

Which is best? I have a feeling the Focus will be more reliable and cheaper to fix but the insurance is better for the Polo and Fabia (300 more for the Focus though my thinking is that if someone were to go wrong on the ones that are cheaper to insure I would have that extra 300 available towards the cost of repair). I don't want to go any bigger than a Focus.
I've tralled through review websites but I can't make up my mind.

I would consider other similar cars such as ones in the VAG group but these are the cars that are available now to buy.

Any thoughts?

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - oldtoffee

I'd lose the Polo off your list as the Fabia is IMO just as good but doesn't have the alleged kudos of the VW badge - tosh! The Focus engine is a bit old tech and gruff but generally considered reliable if looked after and of course it is a size up on the Fabia so if you're going to be driving your mates around space will be a bonus. I'd also consider the 1.9 PD engine in the Fabia as they have a good reputation for longevity and reliability. My son has had a Passat 1.9 PD for 4 years from 20 years old and it was cheaper to insure than a Corsa or his now departed Clio (both 1.2s) If you think you're going to enjoy a car that handles well then choose the Focus as the Fabia is not set up to entertain in that regard. I don't think a Fabia will be any more expensive to maintain and fix than a Focus, there are plenty of good independents around to choose from. Most important when choosing a car of that age will be its condition and a full and verifiable service history with cam belts and water pumps changed on time.

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - TeeCee

(300 more for the Focus though my thinking is that if someone were to go wrong on the ones that are cheaper to insure I would have that extra 300 available towards the cost of repair).

You have to remember that's every year. 300 quid a year buys an awful lot of fixage over time. That 2004 Fabia looks awfully tempting in that set......

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - Bobbin Threadbare

I'd go with the Fabia. The cheaper insurance is a good idea at this stage. They're generally reliable and Skoda have a good reputation with diesels overall. Road tax is a little lower on the Fabia too. They're roomy enough for passengers. Skip the Polo - too small and you're paying for badge.

Your main concern, at 21, is the insurance cost.

As an aside, I had a Focus but it was a 1.6. Insurance wasn't bad for a new driver.

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - Avant

I too would go for a Fabia but I'd look for one with a 1.9 engine. If your annual mileage is going to be less tha 15,000, condide a petrol: the best engine in the Mark 1 Fabia was the 1.4 100 bhp petrol, which for no obvious reason Skoda ditched for the Mark 2.

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - tking91

Thanks for the advice.

I really wanted to go for the Fabia, but alas it wasn't sounding too great, high pitched squeak/whine from engine and sounded like the starter motor may also have been on the way out. The owner had only had it since July which was a bit fishy. For the price the guy wanted I wasn't prepared to buy something I'd have to work on. Still looking for one but low mileage diesel used fabias seem to be very rare in the Scottish neck of the woods.
Not going for the Polo anymore as indeed it would be a bit small and doesn't appear to have been well looked after (incomplete service history)

The Focus didn't start until the 5th try but had been sitting for a while, everything else appeared to be fine so it has made it to a shortlist.
Currently looking at a 1.9 tdi golf y reg, with under 70k on the clock. Like the idea of this one as it's not too new so reliability should still be good (from reviews VAG reliability has declined on newer models). this one is just 1750 which is 400 less than the other cars and insurance is similar to that of the Focus. hoping that cambelt has already been done but will have to wait and see.

I'm very indecisive and fussy but definately wanting a diesel as I find them easier to drive, better reliability and mpg.

The search continues...

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - saluja

Well done, for passing your test. To save money and keep you safe I'd urge you to take either a PassPlus or BTEC course with a qualified ADI - or approach IAM or RoSPA (both are keen to bring in new drivers). Get your driving skills above the average young driver and you'll get better mpg, whatever you drive. More importantly, you'll be far less likely to have a crash, get a conviction etc -- all very expensive. Get some no claims bonus under your belt, too.

As for the cars, try the Suzuki Swift (diesels are available on autotrader etc). Good reliability, nice car. I've just bought one, fairly new, but partly because the older ones look in such good condition.

As for insurance, investigate 'black box' insurances. Proved to reduce accidents, because only decent drivers will tend to go for them so will tend to crash/claim less. Some charge you more/less depending on time of day/night you are driving, whilst others actually monitor acceleration, braking and cornering forces to build up a risk-profile of your driving. Drive better, crash less, save money. It's a no-brainer.

Good luck

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - tking91

I am looking into pass plus with the instructor I passed with (Very good instructor from the LDC company) but will need to save up a bit more before I can afford to pay for it. Although my instructor has offered one off lessons on the elements of pass plus as well as a snow lesson when that hits, mainly for piece of mind.

Suzuki swifts are on my 'watch out for list' but again not many out there and even less tick all the boxes for mileage, condition etc.

As for black boxes I am of the opinion that I would not like to be monitored 24/7. I know a fair few people that think this is an element of big brother and would prefer not to be monitored. But I do see the attraction of reduced premiums.

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - BenG

1.9 turbodiesel Fabia (for engine reliability & decent performance), or else Focus will handle better and be more fun to drive - I enjoyed mine - and is also very spacious for carrying people / stuff.

The 1.8TDCi responds very well to a remap by Celtic Tuning (no plug intended - just my own experience) and the basic ECU apparently means such a map is undetectable, even to Ford dealers....

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - oldtoffee

>>>Currently looking at a 1.9 tdi golf y reg, with under 70k on the clock.

Check carefully that the mileage is ok ie backed up by lots of MOT certificates and if possible some service/repair bills. Just that 70k on a diesel car that old is very low so worth a few minutes to verify it is genuine.

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - tking91

Yeah it drove well but the seller seemed a bit dodgy, it had 5 previous owners, there was damp in the footwells and some paintwork issues. Seemed like perhaps it had been in an accident and fixed up or something. Just didn't have a good feeling about it. Was a bit too good to be true I suppose. Going back to the drawing bored and seeking out 1.9TDIs. the Focus is still available for now if I get tired of looking for other cars haha.

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - ILTMABOOF

I'd steer well clear of a TDCi Focus that doesn't fire up until the 5th try! It's relatively mild at the moment, so it should fire up pretty easily, regardless of whether you wait for the glowplugs to do their stuff and the little yellow coil light to go out.

Assuming you did let the glowplugs pre-heat before you cranked the engine, it should have sprung into life at the first attempt. Could be air getting into the fuel lines or fuel filter and causing it need to some cranking to fire up?

vw polo/ford focus/skoda fabia - decision time! Focus, Polo, Fabia - Leif

Why do you want a diesel? I would work out the costs if I were you. You know the premium you pay for the engine, the more expensive fuel, and the extra servicing costs, so you can calculate the extra costs if any given your mileage. A petrol engine might work out cheaper.

 

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