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Need to buy a car..

neebneeb Posts: 4,397
edited December 2014 in The cake stop
I was abroad for 9 years and didn't need a car there - now I'm back in the UK I need one, but I hardly know anything about them (and am not interested enough to want to become an expert). The only car I've ever owned (sent to the scrap yard 10 years ago) was an ancient Peugeot 309... :)

Basically, I want something utilitarian suitable for non-daily use (trips at weekends, errands, occasional work-related use, visiting family etc). Theoretically I could afford a new small car, but I'd rather not spend any more money than I have to. But I don't want to spend money and time worrying about repairs and passing MOTs..

So a couple of hours googling suggests I might be best off with something like a 3 or 4 year old Ford Fiesta from a dealer.. Or am I wrong?

Unlikely to have more than one passenger often. Need to be able to fit a road bike in the back with the rear seat down...

To my untrained eye the prices of 3-4 year old used cars seem quite high, e.g. about £5000 - 6000 for a Fiesta, when you can get a brand new one for about 8000 or 9000 if you shop around.

Or would I be better off just getting something older and much cheaper and taking a gamble on it being troublesome/expensive to maintain?

Or at the other end of the scale, would buying new make sense if I planned on owning it for as long as it was economical to do so? (i.e. years & years).

Posts

  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I used to have 309 and three of us used to take it mountaining biking round the country.

    Roughly speaking a three year old car should cost about half its original retail price even when buying from a franchised dealer. My last car was 2 years old and I bought it from a dealer for half its original price. The sticker price was higher than this. Just research prices, take printout's of the same car cheaper into dealerships and tell them you are only interested in the price. Be polite but firm and walk away if it is going nowhere.

    I got my mothers car second hand for £7,750 which was £1,000 less than the local dealer was trying to sell it for. Just had to drive 2 hours to the dealer selling the car to do the deal. Well worth it for the saving.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,586
    Consider looking at Motorpoint - http://www.motorpoint.co.uk

    AFAIK they are selling nearly new cars that the dealers needed to offload at prices less than a dealer would charge.
    Still with manufacturer's warranty.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Only one option that fits your criteria.

    Get a lease car.

    https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk/car-lea ... Ht814uG7FI

    I use centralvehicleleasing.co.uk who do the very best deals but for some reason the site is offline but they do the Up by VW for £59/month with £450 down.
    I just put my son into one and its a steal.
    Living MY dream.
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    VTech wrote:
    Only one option that fits your criteria.

    Get a lease car.

    https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk/car-lea ... Ht814uG7FI

    I use centralvehicleleasing.co.uk who do the very best deals but for some reason the site is offline but they do the Up by VW for £59/month with £450 down.
    I just put my son into one and its a steal.


    I am tempted to go the leasing route for my next vehicle, but always worried about what's going to happen when I hand it back with the inevitable scratches and scrapes from having bikes inside and leant on the outside occasionally. Do you end up paying big charges for damage?
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Spend a grand or two on an older but quality car, like a BMW Audi, Merc, Volvo or something Japanese. Virtually no depreciation which more than makes up for the odd extra item needing replacement at a service.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    A Honda Civic from 2006-2009 would do the job well. Excellent reliability and enough space for a road bike with the rear seats folded flat without even taking a wheel off. The 2.2 diesel is a great engine and very economical but probably not worth the premium if it'll only get occasional use.
  • t4tomo wrote:
    Spend a grand or two on an older but quality car, like a BMW Audi, Merc, Volvo or something Japanese. Virtually no depreciation which more than makes up for the odd extra item needing replacement at a service.

    Personally I would avoid BMW etc as I think you'll pay over the odds for what far too many people think is a 'premium' brand, not to mention iffy reliability and high service/ repair costs.

    Get something made by a Japanese manufacturer.

    Don't spend more than you spent on your best bike.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,586
    cedargreen wrote:
    Don't spend more than you spent on your best bike.
    Ooooooooo!!!!
    Another N+1 excuse.
    Must get a more expensive bike. :P
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    JackPozzi wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Only one option that fits your criteria.

    Get a lease car.

    https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk/car-lea ... Ht814uG7FI

    I use centralvehicleleasing.co.uk who do the very best deals but for some reason the site is offline but they do the Up by VW for £59/month with £450 down.
    I just put my son into one and its a steal.


    I am tempted to go the leasing route for my next vehicle, but always worried about what's going to happen when I hand it back with the inevitable scratches and scrapes from having bikes inside and leant on the outside occasionally. Do you end up paying big charges for damage?

    No, we have never paid anything to them, there are fly-by-night operators but if you use a good place you won't have this issue.
    http://www.centralukvehicleleasing.co.u ... p_3dr.html

    This is the best deal in the country and you get a brand new car with full warranty.
    If you want zero hassles and the best deal, this is it.
    Living MY dream.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,567
    I'd get a simple petrol engined car of a non desirable make and model maybe a year or two old. I don't know if some manufacturers provide longer warranties than 3 years but that would give you some peace of mind if you can get that - a couple of mates have had multi thousand pound repair bills on relatively young vehicles that were just outside of warranty, a BMW diesel and Vauxhall Vivaro van respectively.

    You will always pay good money for a fiesta but then if you are keeping it for years maybe they are worth it.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,397
    Thanks for all of the advice - all very interesting!

    I'd never considered leasing (didn't even know it was an option). An interesting possibility... I like the idea of not needing to worry about MOTs and reselling.

    But let's say I got an "almost new" car, e.g. from Motorpoint - I guess one of the reasons you pay less is that it will be up for MOT sooner, if it was registered some time ago?

    There's also the road tax thing - I see that some new cars with low emissions are now exempt? That's a not inconsiderable saving.

    How do the warranties on new cars compare with the sort of thing you might be able to get if you bought a 2 or 3 year old used car from a dealership?

    Sorry, lots of questions I could probably research myself, answering is completely optional... :wink:
  • I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, although I wanted a bigger car for family / bikes.

    Was looking second hand but ended up buying a new Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 for £11k (all in- on the road).
    Why? Lifetime warranty for first purchaser, 'only' about £2k more than 3 year old similar models were going for (and they seemed to have cosmetic issues) with miles on the clock. The 1.6 petrol does what we want - mainly round town family trips and occasional long runs to family / holiday. It is not exciting, but it is comfortable and I plan on keeping it until it dies - so 15 years at least I reckon (largely dependent on the wife not crashing it!)

    An advantage buying new is the free breakdown (and reduced price in year 2) plus no MOT or consumables required for the first few years ownership (dependent on mileage). Insurance is cheaper than I'd have expected too.

    My previous car was a 10 year old golf that was costing £500 a year in repairs and was more to insure TPFT than the Zafira Fully comp :(

    The zafira offer is not as good anymore but there are other offers available:
    http://www.govauxhall.co.uk/offers/hot- ... y-mileage/
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,890
    neeb wrote:
    I was abroad for 9 years and didn't need a car there - now I'm back in the UK I need one, but I hardly know anything about them (and am not interested enough to want to become an expert). The only car I've ever owned (sent to the scrap yard 10 years ago) was an ancient Peugeot 309... :)

    Basically, I want something utilitarian suitable for non-daily use (trips at weekends, errands, occasional work-related use, visiting family etc). Theoretically I could afford a new small car, but I'd rather not spend any more money than I have to. But I don't want to spend money and time worrying about repairs and passing MOTs..

    So a couple of hours googling suggests I might be best off with something like a 3 or 4 year old Ford Fiesta from a dealer.. Or am I wrong?

    Unlikely to have more than one passenger often. Need to be able to fit a road bike in the back with the rear seat down...

    To my untrained eye the prices of 3-4 year old used cars seem quite high, e.g. about £5000 - 6000 for a Fiesta, when you can get a brand new one for about 8000 or 9000 if you shop around.

    Or would I be better off just getting something older and much cheaper and taking a gamble on it being troublesome/expensive to maintain?

    Or at the other end of the scale, would buying new make sense if I planned on owning it for as long as it was economical to do so? (i.e. years & years).
    welcome back, you haven't missed much, the UK is still a bit $hit .....
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    I can't understand why anyone would look further than a brand new car on the drive for 50 quid. ?
    £600 a year, cheapest insurance in europe (group 1) my son is 19 with one accident and fully comp is £570 for me it was £190.
    Living MY dream.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    For the price of a second hand Fiesta-type car you can also look at brand new city cars like the Hyundai i10 etc. Time it right and you can pick up a new one for about £6k and have no MOTs to worry about for 3 years, £30 or zero VED and a five or even seven year warranty . Watch out for servicing costs eating into the low price, and don't use the manufacturers' MPG figures as anything other than a comparison between cars.

    An i10 will easily swallow a road bike with the seats down & the wheels off. The downside is that they're not great on long journeys and residuals are on the floor after a few years use.
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    CiB wrote:
    For the price of a second hand Fiesta-type car you can also look at brand new city cars like the Hyundai i10 etc. Time it right and you can pick up a new one for about £6k and have no MOTs to worry about for 3 years, £30 or zero VED and a five or even seven year warranty . Watch out for servicing costs eating into the low price, and don't use the manufacturers' MPG figures as anything other than a comparison between cars.

    An i10 will easily swallow a road bike with the seats down & the wheels off. The downside is that they're not great on long journeys and residuals are on the floor after a few years use.


    The thing is, after a few years (lets say 4) you have saved so much more than you would have spent on a second hand car that you could just take the hit on resale value and buy another.
    BTW, I love the i10 and last month they had it on central vehicle leasing for £65/month.
    Living MY dream.
  • ProssPross Posts: 26,124
    A car starts requiring an annual MOT when it is 3 years old so it is unlikely you'll get a second hand car that you'll never need to put through one. Having had company cars for the last 15 years the thought of owning again scares me (it's a possibility in the short to medium term). The lease companies (well, Leaseplan anyway) do tend to go over the return vehicles with a fine-tooth comb - they send them direct to an auction house where the inspection is done forensically - but there's a fair wear and tear policy and you just have to quote that back to them when they try to ask you to pay for minor blemishes. It's best to get a thorough examination of the car before you hand it back though as it's cheaper to put things right yourself. Also, I've argued in the past that if something wasn't picked up when the car is collected from me then it must have happened after I handed it over.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,388
    We went for a three or four year old Fiesta from a local dealer for my wife's car. Shopping around, there are some decent deals. Ours was a former Motability car which are sold off after 30,000 miles with full service history. It was significantly cheaper than book price but needed a bit of work to sort out the air con.

    Fiestas are a good secondhand buy because they are a good car to start with, they drive as well or better than anything in the class, are pretty reliable and big enough to get one or even two bikes in the back. Spares are cheap compared with most other makes and they are easy to service and repair by non-franchised workshops, such as our local village garage. This is our third privately owned Fiesta and all have been great secondhand buys for long life and cheap bills. I also had a Fiesta for several years as a company car. Our work mechanics really liked them. They much preferred them to the Clios and Meganes which replaced them.
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