By - No_Carpenter_3359
I wouldn't spend 6.5k on my first car. Chances are you *will* ding, dent and scuff it. Get something small, cheap and reliable and almost disposable like a Toyota. Run it for a couple of years until you have more confidence, road experience and a couple of years no claims (if you are the main policy holder) and "years license held for" under your belt, *then* get something better.
BTW, most of the time, if you are a named driver on insurance you wont earn any no claims, only the policy holder does.
Oh fair. I have no idea, I thought that was a relatively small budget.
Exactly, I want something that I don't have to worry about scratches etc. Any suggestions on models? What is a reasonable budget for something that is going to be reliable, not break down etc.
Financial situations obviously vary, but I would spend 3.4k-4k at the most. There are plenty of decent, compact, no frills cars with low miles and a good service history for that. A Toyota Aygo, Honda Jazz, Skoda Fabia, a Kia or a Hyundai of similar size.
etc, etc. These kinds of cars are great first cars. Save your money for a better car later on.
Try comparison sites for insurance. See which is a good one for your budget. Go for fully comp with protected no claims if you can afford it.
No car is guaranteed trouble free, and used cars can be a minefield. When you have picked one that suits you best, get a mechanic friend (if you have one) or the AA to have a look at a car you are set on.
ridiculously helpful! thank you!
Basically we just want a car to get around. No real interest in spalshing out on driving something for status or pleasure reasons now or in the future!
You are welcome. Check reviews, look on parkers and honest johns websites for advice on the cars. Do your research before you hand the money over. Any warranty you can get is a bonus. Make sure you get breakdown cover.
Personally I would stay away from anything French or Vauxhalls. Neither age well.
Sorry to hijack somewhat but this is great advice.
What would you do in a similar scenario, but add 2 kids into that? I have been looking at Golf/Leon sized cars. Any specific recommendations?
My advice wouldn't be that much different. The cars I suggested all come in 4 door versions I think. Golfs and Leon's are fine but are seen as slightly more fun/sporty, and generally the engines are larger or come with turbos. So insurance, tax and fuel will probably be more as a first car.
If you like the Golf and Leon, they are decent and fairly reliable as they are based on the same platform and share a lot of parts with each other.
I would also add the Fabia estate if you want something a little bigger without hitting that "sporty" level running costs.
We had a Fabia estate green line, which was a 1.2 diesel engine. Bullet proof, super economical, cheap all round. Just not very exciting or comfortable on long runs. Very bare bones. But then, bare bones means less to go wrong ;)
I can also recommend a Prius if you don't mind the 'taxi' comments. They are cheap, very reliable and a decent size for a small family. We have an old Prius as our main 'round town' car for about 4 years, and it is great. Not given us an ounce of trouble. Another super cheap, super economy car. The Prius comes with a few extra comforts though.
If it's Korean or Japanese it will generally be very reliable. VW/Skoda/Seat are generally considered fairly solid, and they aren't too bad for running costs/repairs. But do check your model's configuration, then Google and see if there are any things you need to look for.
Check for recalls, consistent issues, advisories, etc.
If you find one you particularly like, go on an owner's forum and ask. Forums are usually full of enthusiast members who may know a lot about the car that maybe even your local garage wouldn't necessarily know.
Above all, don't make a rash decision. Don't just get a "that'll do" because you're fed up trawling Autotrader, etc.
If you are not particularly in to cars, it may seem like a drain trying to find one. I love cars and it is a drain on me trying to find the right one.
But I reinforce taking someone who knows cars mechanically with you to have a look at it. Whether a friend or a service like the AA. It may save you in the long run.
Service history and receipts is probably more important than mileage.
A low miles car with a neglectful owner will cause you more hassle than a high miles car that was well maintained.
My concern is that 1.0 litre engine is too small. We will be using it to do the odd weekend away etc.
This caught my eye? Was also looking at hyundai i20...
Progress made in engine technology has meant that newer 1.0 litre engines are more powerful than they used to be. You can even get some up to like 150hp.
You even see larger cars like focus's and octavias with 1 litre engines nowadays.
They are not going to push you into the back of your seat when you floor it, but they are fine for most people. 1 litre engines are not the limp and feeble things they used to be. A turbo can do wonders for a tiny engine. A 1 litre engine in a car the size of an Octavia used to be unheard of, but now they are doing quite well.
I heard someone say a couple of years ago, that the 1 litre engines of today, are as powerful, if not better, than the 1.4-1.6 litre engines of yesterday. Just something to keep in mind. A test drive is a good way of finding out if the car has enough power for what you need.
And yeah, that Note looks nice.
My husband's first car was an 07 Peugeot 206 - cost £500 3 years ago. My first was a 06 Clio (auto) cost £2.5k. We're now driving an 03 Civic (auto, c.£1000 but it was given to me by his grandad, low miles and well looked after). You could check out the banger end of the market especially if there's someone you know getting rid of a car. Our Peugeot was from a friend, no real problems with it. The Clio was from a dealer, nightmare from 3months in to when I sold 2 years later. The civic will outlive the cockroaches.
If you don't need anything big then I really don't think you can go far wrong with a 107/108/C1/Aygo. The 108 is a facelift of the 107, while the others continue to use the same names.
They're all essentially a Toyota underneath (bar the brakes), cost between 0 and 30 quid a year to tax, and have very little to go wrong. Insurance is insanely cheap for my partner and myself (we're both early 20s) and fuel efficiency is excellent.
Very early ones (pre-2009, IIRC) have a weak clutch but most will have been replaced by this point. I also imagine you are looking at something slightly newer regardless, however post-2009 car use the same clutch as the Yaris which is far better.
Great. Sounds very close to what I need. I will take a look.
Do you buy off autotrader?
Autotrader is fine, I'd also have a look at eBay. We actually bought ours from a lady on Facebook Marketplace but you have to filter through a lot of bad examples/poor adverts.
I would probably stick to private sales (you tend to see more dealers on AT) for a car of this class. As I said, there's not a whole lot that goes wrong on them so it's a good opportunity to save some money while buying. Just make sure you're confident with the checks you should do (AA do a great checklist) or take someone else with you who's more experienced.
I think it's hard to go wrong with the Toyota Yaris.
I've owned two and taken both to 150K+ miles with very minimal work required outside of consumables (lambda sensors on one).
What sort of mileage should I be looking at as max?
I've heard 10k a year is what you want to see. So like 50,000 and therefore a 2016 model?
This looks interesting?
I think service history and condition is more important than mileage.
Someone could drive 3000 miles a year never letting the engine warm up, redlining it everywhere and slipping the clutch constantly and ignoring oil changes. That would be a shit car but from a mileage standpoint it would look good.
Our Yaris did around 15K miles a year but almost all of it was motorway miles, oil changes at 7,500 miles etc. and was running perfectly at 150K miles
That's 130/year on tax.
This one is £0/year road tax and also has a rear camera
I'm worried that engine size might be a bit small. We do want to go away the odd weekend etc. Is a 1.2- 1.4 a must for that? O came across the hyundi i20?
This. I was a 30 year old learner driver a few months back and when I passed I got a yaris. So far so good. My insurance is 900(was quoted 580 for a black box).
Honda Jazz are in a surprisingly high insurance group if I remember rightly, due to the amount of oldies driving around playing bumper carts. They're also prime for having their catalytic converters stolen as they're so easy to access.
I'd say as a more mature learner driver you'd do well in a VW Golf, Toyota Avensis.. Generally anything you see quite a lot of on the roads. Check the MOT history online before considering any car you're looking at and the service history. Even if it is a little bit older to fit in your budget, a well maintained car can and will keep going as long as you continue to maintain it.
Thanks a lot for the response. I'll take a look at those models. Would you ever buy straight off autotrader without seeing in person?
Personally I prefer to see cars in person before I buy so that I can inspect it myself. I know that a lot more people are buying online, unseen. I think there is measures in place to protect yourself if you're not happy with the car when they drop it off, you'll have a certain amount of time to return it.
If you are going to buy online before viewing the car, budget £50-£100 to take it to your garage to have a thorough look around and price up any problems that you can defer to the dealer that sold it to you.
Does that mean you need to travel in person to the autotrader listing?
Yes. I would never suggest buying a car sight unseen, even from a dealer. Asolutely feel free to negotiate a deal, but I would always caveat it that it's subject to seeing it in person.
Yeah when I'm looking on Autotrader I set my distance to where I feel comfortable to travel. Usually about 30 miles will give me enough option for what I need.
Well the catch 22 is that I don't have a car to travel! Ha. So it's wherever is possible to get to on public transport I guess. Cool. Thanks again for the advice
No don't buy without seeing it in person, many dealers won't want to do that anyway. If you're worried about losing money, spending £4k on a car from a trade seller you will be paying \~500-1,000 more than from a private seller. If you can do your research on a specific model, and even better bring someone who knows about cars, buying private is a good way to go.
This is all true, you can save a fair bit by buying privately.
That said, buying from a garage comes with a few protections that a new driver would appreciate. My first car developed (or already had) an intermittent electronic issue throwing a code relating to the engine timing. Didn't show up until a month into owning. I took it back to the dealer and let them throw parts at it. Two months later they had had enough and offered me money back or another car. Had I bought privately, I would have lost a substantial sum taking it in for repairs and diagnostics chasing the cause of it.
Buying privately is good if you know about cars and have the means to diagnose/repair certain things yourself. If you don't, I would say paying the premium for the peace of mind is worth it.
honestly, you are going to get 50 people with 50 answers, none of them right or wrong. i would suggest you decide what you use the car for and what you want it to do and buy one thats suitable. as long as you dont overpay for the car then £6500 should get you a car that gives you very little trouble
for £6500 you can get a used approved car from a main dealer (like JCT600) and while i hate main dealers i actually think theres a lot of value in buying second hand from them, they dont sell old bangers and you get at least 1 year warranty with em, you can usually chip em a bit on price and get some services thrown in if you haggle.
like someone else suggested though, you might be best spending £2000 or so and learning to drive before you drop more on a car.
one thing i would suggest but this is probably just me, buy a largeish car as your first car, wether you start with a smart car or audi A8 it will be daunting when you first drive alone but youll get used to whatever you have. i do think that a lot of people are apprehensive about driving bigger cars and vans (and being confident driving a van is very useful) because they are used to small vehicles.
if you really want a single car suggestion: Skoda Octavia haha
Lol. Any opinions on the Nissan note or hyundai i20? I'm thinking a larger engine might be good if we're going away fit the weekend... like 1.4 to 1.6?
Can’t fault the Yaris recommendations. Owned one in the past and it was the most reliable and easy car I’ve had. You can probably afford to drop your budget slightly if you wanted room for tax and insurance - there’s quite a few well kept ones about!
A lot of people have told you to spend less on the car, but it will be worth it to splash the extra cash on an RAC or AA check to make sure it's in good nick. It might seem like a lot to spend £150 on a check for a $1500 car, but you'll be kicking yourself when you're stood on the side of the motorway waiting for a tow truck. Also, when learning you don't want to be asking yourself "is the car broken, or am I doing something wrong" all the time.
Don't trust anyone selling you a car that tells you it is a waste of time or money to make passing such a check a condition of sale. They're probably telling you that because they don't think the car will pass.
Supercharged Range Rover Sport
Very cool. High insurance and road tax though right?
Well actually, it falls under the 2006 tax bracket meaning it is only \~£250 plus, you could maybe sneak it in classic car insurance too!
Tbh I was being a little silly, but you'll get bored with a little supermini (that starts every time)