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First Car Run Around Ideas?


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#1 bucko

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 11:01 PM

Hi there, now I have had 7 lessons I'm really liking the idea of buying my own car, I want to buy it local (not on Ebay or AutoTrader but there good for browsing) or through a second hand car dealership.

I'm 21 years of age so hopefully my UK insurance wont be to bad, i work 2 days a week but I may work 3 if I need more money to run the car (price of petrol round here is VERY expensive).

I'm looking at a hatch-back type car 1.0 if possible but I think anything over 1.3 or 1.4 will increase my insurance. I can spend my budget on either all of the car, the car & the insurance. I'm looking at the later.

Cars I like so far,

Volkswagen Polo (the older style red ones look awesome)
Renault 5
Renault Clio
Nissan (although I heard the Micra's are unreliable)
Ford Fiesta

Anything I haven't looked at please link me to a model, my mate has just passed the 2 years or what ever it is to become a Provisional instructor so we could go on little run abouts. Ill prob buy it after I do my theory test so I can put it into good practise for my final test. I'm looking at a petrol car (diesel is well expensive) probably something before 1996. And only really old if it's really reliable.

Cheers for the feedback, by the way we have a small garage so preferably something I can fit in that in case I can't get it on the road just yet.

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...1QQcmdZViewItem

I was looking at this last night, looks awesome, ancient but awesome (was made 2 years after I was born lol) any ideas though cheers guys.



#2 grim_d

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:45 AM

When buying any old car for that kind of money you need to just watch out for lemons.

personally ive had experience in some way or another with all cars on that list

Polo, ive only heard good things about the polo, seem a good little first car

i would try to steer you away from renault 5's, as much as i love them, i've had 2 (breifly :lol), they are old buggers now and whilst not necesarrily unreliable, as said, they are getn on a bit now and you could get something much better for the money. But parts are everywhere for them (most mk1 clio bits fit). good thing about smaller engine renault 5's are that they are generally well looked after, by old ladies. But look out for ones that have been abused.

The mk1 clios are great little cars, based on the renault 5 chassis, but they are much more common with young boy drivers so alot have been razzed to within an inch of their life.

The little micras are great little cars, massivly reliable when it comes to the engine & gearbox etc, but like with many old japanese cars watch out for the deadly rust on important areas like sills, arches etc

What id do mate is find a little car you really like the look of and then just do your reasearch on it (nearly all models of cars have some sort of owners club with forum). Find out what their weak points are, find a buyers guide, know what to look for and be aware of what the common points for maintenance are, find out how much parts cost and the availability of them etc.

At the end of the day, as far as im concerned, ALL cars are crap and something breaks or needs replacing when you least expect/can afford it, theres no way around it, you just have to hope they dont force you to come to a halt in the middle of nowhere.

FWIW and you may already know i have a nissan sunny, not the most stylish car but it's absolutly bombproof, never, not once in my 4 years of ownership has it been badly enough broken that i couldnt drive it, so i can personally vouch for small nissans.

Maybe Dano2k0 will chip in as he has owned a MK1 clio and can give you some feedback for them.





#3 bucko

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for the advise, I'm gonna start looking in our Post Office window everytime I go by because they put car adverts in there locally (as well as other things).

Ya I've heard really good things about Polo, my mate's mum has one to. That was the first time I tried a car, stalled it a million times but it felt like a well built car to last.

Another question I have though, since I'm provisinal at the moment, do you think I will need break down cover? Norwich Union do it for about £70 a year, probably worth it if I get an oldish car. But I wont be making far distance journeys just yet but I dunno they can break down any time.

#4 grim_d

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 06:04 PM

id say breakdown cover is good even just for peace of mind, i mean you may never need it but its handy to be able to get your vehicle towed home should the worst happen, also alot of them can usually fix it by the side of the road if its something small.

i have breakdown but ive never used it, but its good to know i dont have to arse around trying to get a lift should i break down so for that sense id say it was worth it.

btw, insurance wise you should defo look into elephant, they are by far the cheapest for young drivers, and they allow modifications (should you choose to get some alloys or what not).

#5 rms2001

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 11:12 PM

The Polo is a great little car. We rented one on a trip back to London. Wasn’t really the car I wanted, I would have preferred a car I couldn’t reach across the open the passenger door… Any way, the on we had was a diesel and it got some insane MPG. 65MPG or better if I remember right. It also had plenty of go once the turbo was spooled up and the car being such little weight.

It was great for running around the city and did well on the highway. We never took it to mainland Europe though. Once we crossed the channel we ended up getting a Benz. I dint want get run over by some thing much bigger while being in the Polo.

I saw them all over the place, so finding one cheap shouldn’t be to hard.

#6 twistedsymphony

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:50 PM

I 2nd everything grim_d has said...

I can't comment on any of those cars specifically since they don't many any of them state side (save the Fiesta, and I've never really payed attention to those).

Buying a used car keep a few things in mind
1. The person is selling the car for a reason if they're not moving or recently come into money then there is something about the car that has pushed them to get rid of it
2. Every car has something wrong with it, and if it doesn't the seller is probably looking for a boat load of money... the key is figuring out whats wrong with it and if it's something that you can either live with or don't mind fixing.
3. ask about regular maintenance items... most people typically neglect to have the timing chain/belt replaced at ~60K miles as recommended by the manufacturer... if it's a higher mileage car this will give you good insight as to how well it was taken care of. check the oil too, most sellers neglect to change it and dirty oil can tell you a lot about how well an engine is running (milky = coolant leak, low oil/dark oil = burns oil, tiny metal bits = run away) take your hands off the wheel while drive to see if the car pulls, slam on the brakes with your hands off the wheel to see if the car pulls or vibrates, check the tires for uneven wear, etc. While little things like these are a breeze to fix it will speak volumes about how the owner has treated the car througout it's life...

buying from a dealer is mostly useless they offer a warranty or they have the exact car you want.. I usually shop on craigslist (not sure if they have that round your parts) also find a local enthusiast forum for the kinds of cars your looking for, in general you can find a car in much better condition and at lower prices through the BSTs there...

#7 grim_d

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:11 AM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Jun 17 2008, 09:26 PM) View Post

buying from a dealer is mostly useless they offer a warranty or they have the exact car you want.. I usually shop on craigslist (not sure if they have that round your parts) also find a local enthusiast forum for the kinds of cars your looking for, in general you can find a car in much better condition and at lower prices through the BSTs there...


we have a cracking website called www.pistonheads.co.uk, its a motoring enthusiasts website and has a great classifieds section.

i would defo recommend looking on there bucko, but because of the type of website you just have to look out for cars that have been ragged or abused.

certianly no shortage of all the cars you mentioned on there, well apart from renault 5's (unless you want a gt-turbo)

#8 dpbmt

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:51 AM

IPB Image

think of the pussy you'll pull in that rolleyes.gif

seriously, i would look round for a MK3/4 fiesta , the older the car the better when it comes to your 1st car/insurance wise.
Stay clear of any boy ra type cars i.e saxos, puntos etc.


#9 grim_d

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:23 PM

QUOTE(dpbmt @ Jun 18 2008, 02:27 AM) View Post

seriously, i would look round for a MK3/4 fiesta , the older the car the better when it comes to your 1st car/insurance wise.
Stay clear of any boy ra type cars i.e saxos, puntos etc.


not true, new cars are far far cheaper to insure. as well as tax.

either way the goverment robs you.

#10 hamwbone

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:32 PM

does it rain there alot? what about a motor cycle?

#11 Chancer

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 02:11 PM

QUOTE(hamwbone @ Jun 18 2008, 01:08 PM) View Post

does it rain there alot?

It doesn't do anything else.


#12 Dano2k0

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 02:30 PM

Ive been meaning to reply to this thread for a couple of days now, but haven't got round to it so here i am.

As Grim said, yeah i used to have a Clio, it was one with one of the bigger engines in the 1.8, was a fast little nice car in general, however due to the age of the car (was on a J plate) there was problem after problem, personally i don't think Renault helped with their wiring loom in the car in general, it looked like an 8 year old made it at home and bodged it in, not that it had ever been messed with either they are all the same. The car cost a small fortune to keep right and on the road, and everything it needed was always done correctly.

My personal advice would be to be spending at least a minimum of £1000, if you can afford £1500 then do it, the more you can spend on a car in the first place the better for you. You'll soon get the benefit of having a nicer, newer car without having to spend a small fortune on replacement parts all the time.

The owners of alot of older cars usually say thousands spent in the last couple of years keeping it right, in my opinion it says the car has been looked after, but if they have been spending so much on it, it basically tells me its been looked after to an extent, but the owner(s) are obviously fed up of spending on it all the time and want something newer and more reliable.

You can get horrible problems with second hand cars in general, new and old, but the odds of getting a car with alot of problems would deffinatly be an old car.

Grim and TS have given you some good advice, i'd consider everyones opinions very carefully aswell.

Oh and i appreciate why your considering a 1.0 engine, but seriously i think after a few months you'd be really fed up with it, in a small car i'd want a deffinatly minimum of a 1.2 16v if possible i'd always go for a 16v engine over an 8v (engines size for size tend to be more powerfull when using 16 valves)

Also even if you spend up to £1500 on a car, third party insurance will be your best option, probably better if you can cover yourself against fire and theft due to the facts older cars tend to get stollen often as their security on alot of them is almost next to none.

Although this isn't directly related to buying a car, i'd also recommend you buy a good steering lock. I'd never leave my car without the steering lock in place, it will really help when it comes down to car theft.

Oh and as for car recommendations, the fiesta MK5 is a nice little car, you should be able to pick up a reasonable example for not too much cash. I'd recommend you look at the 1.25 zetec model wink.gif but of course there are a few different models to choose from.

I know Grim in particular isn't too keen on these, but the Vauxhall Corsa B is a cracking little car, the 1.2 SXI is a great little run about, though the SXI badge does tend to affect the insurance a little. Still, its a great car and has a few nice features. The Corsa C i personally don't think looks as nice, but isn't a bad car none the less. I can vouche 100% for Vauxhall, they are a great company and make great cars, currently me, my brother and my dad all have Vauxhall cars, my brother and my dad have had Vauxhalls for years now and they are without doubt (within reason obviously) some of the most reliable cars ive ever seeen.

VW isn't such a bad company either, they have a nice few small cars, the polo has been one some young drivers seem to go for, so might be worth looking into, though i can't comment too much on them as ive never owned one, though ive dealt with them before.

Just to also note, as Grim mentioned, pistonheads is a great website, deffinatly worth your while doing alot of research on it so you have a rough idea of what your getting for your money. Also deffinatly remember, virtually every car thats for sale if you ask people about them they all reckon they are in great condition in and out, however usually i find it very dissapointing when i arrive to view the car.

Remember well what TS also advised you on, remove the oil filler cap and have a look in there, if there is any sort of gunk and its not nice and clean stay well clear. I'd also check the dip stick and see if the sump is full of oil, if its looking low i'd want to know where its gone.

If you do a test drive, i'd like to rev it well out while on the move in 1st and quickly shift into second and put my foot straight back down, at this point look in the rear view mirror for a swirl of blue smoke or smillar, this will give a good idea as to wether or not its burning much oil.

If the car has ABS, be sure to check the brakes and make sure that is all working correctly.

In the event the car has air-con check that and make sure it gets nice and cold, as on older cars they tend to need a re-gas on an older car i wouldn't expect it to work properly unless its had a service and most of them don't. This can of course be a good haggling point if the air-con doesn't work.

Be sure to check in the boot, lift the boot carpet and make sure there are no creases or odd looking repairs in there. If the boot floor is creased i'd walk away at that point.

I know there are alot of older cars that have had minor accidents, or have been wrote off then repaired, i'd try and keep clear of any repaired write offs alot of them can be dangerous, or possibly full of problems. Always try and check the history of the car before buying, there are services online where you can pay, enter a reg number and it'll tell you the history of the car. On this note also watch out for cars that could possibly still be on finance, you don't want to buy a car someone is still paying for, if they stop paying for it the company will come and collect the car from you and you'll have lost your money.

I think these points and the ones others have mentioned should get you well on your way, TS put some good check points out aswell about un-even tyre wear etc, if the tracking is out i'd like to know why as its probably suffered a good shock or wear.

Sorry for the slightly long post, i'm sure there is more i could add, but for now i'll leave it at that smile.gif

Cheers beerchug.gif

#13 bucko

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:30 PM

Thanks for the advice ill check out the links and what not to cheers.

#14 mysticrider92

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 03:32 AM

How about something really unique, like an old VW Bug? Decent drivable examples can easily be found for $1500-$3000 here in the US (about 750-1500 GBP). The 1600cc Beetle's (late 60s-70s, earlier models had smaller engines) will get ~30mpg if you aren't to hard on the throttle. Plus, they are small, reliable, easy to fix, simple, cheap to insure, and almost everyone born in the 50's and 60's has had one (and a story to go along with it smile.gif ). Just a suggestion.

BTW, good luck on your drivers tests. I will be doing the US equivalent of them fairly soon (got to go through 14 hours of drivers ed first), and they are making me kinda nervous.


#15 bucko

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 02:15 PM

Ya I like the bug and beetle's but I've been advised not to get them, my friend at work she has a beattle and I think she had to repair the whole floor her self. Although I do like old classic cars I'm not so sure it's a good idea as a first car.




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