So what's a good cheap car?

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  • RyanDS 15 Aug 2011 15:36:49 9,727 posts
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    I'm finding my Rover 75 a bit expensive to run, with £40 a week petrol and it's getting a little creaky.

    So I want a new car, but I have no idea what to look for. I know you push the pedals and that makes the wheels turn, that genuinely is my limit of car knowledge.

    What I want is:
    Cheap to buy
    Economical
    Possibly electric?

    I don't care about looks or appearences. Just safe (we are trying for kids, so I want something I'd be happy to drive a baby around in and economical.) Anyone got any suggestions? 90% of use would be a commute through windy back roads in Surrey, with the odd 5 hour trip to visit the folks.

    I'd be tempted for something new, if it makes sense long term, and I'm willing to pay more now, to save money later.

    Cheers in advance

    Ryan
  • JuanKerr 15 Aug 2011 15:38:16 36,422 posts
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    If you want something cheap, you can forget about an electric car.
  • Dolly 15 Aug 2011 15:40:18 3,255 posts
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    I keep seeing loads of these around. They look really good on safety.
  • shamblemonkee 15 Aug 2011 15:40:56 14,593 posts
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    what sort of budget are you on?
  • Ryze 15 Aug 2011 15:40:56 3,147 posts
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    Well - I always recommend VW for reliability, but they're not always the cheapest to buy with low mileage.

    If you don't care bout the looks, then check out Toyota Yaris and Nissan Micra. These cars generally don't break down, and are small, light and fuel efficient.

    I'd personally never buy either because I hate them in terms of their Noddy car image and their 'typical old dear' crap drivers.

    Best of luck.
  • RyanDS 15 Aug 2011 15:41:19 9,727 posts
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    JuanKerr wrote:
    If you want something cheap, you can forget about an electric car.

    I thought I'd heard about offers on hybrid / electrics that make them decently cheap?

    But as I say, I know fuck all about cars, hence why i am asking people who know more than me. (ie anyone.)
  • RyanDS 15 Aug 2011 15:42:43 9,727 posts
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    shamblemonkee wrote:
    what sort of budget are you on?

    Whatever is needed really. I figure I'd be saving well over a grand a year just on petrol by downgrading, so that gives me some breathing room to at least avoid a £300 fiesta.
  • shamblemonkee 15 Aug 2011 15:43:43 14,593 posts
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    a 1.2litre fiesta, corsa, polo, stilo and anything of it's ilk sounds like it's what you are after, you can get as low as £35 tax and as much as 50mpg out of them.

    4 doors if you need to ferry people around or want easy access to a childs seat and that's aobut as complicated as it gets for your requirments it seems.
  • andytheadequate 15 Aug 2011 15:43:51 8,322 posts
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    VW Polo is meant to be good on both accounts (safety and MPG)
  • Ryze 15 Aug 2011 15:45:30 3,147 posts
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    Do consider a Toyota hybrid, to (Prius, Auris), but don't expect them to be cheap.

    You'll have to investigate the government cashback schemes, and definitely factor in the bonus that you'll save LOADS on petrol, as the engine stays off at the times when petrol cars idle during stop/start + cruising / braking etc.
  • shamblemonkee 15 Aug 2011 15:46:39 14,593 posts
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    mmm, just remember that spending 10k on a new economical car even if you get 4k for your old less economical one will take years to break even and actually save you money especially if you're forking out finance each month.

    Wouldn't bother with hybrids.

    my mrs picked up a 1.6 '07 clio for just over 3k, seems a decent little run about.
  • Dolly 15 Aug 2011 15:47:42 3,255 posts
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    I've got a new Fiesta and they're massive now. They're bigger than what an escort used to be back in the day. All very safe, comfy and runs cheap, but as others have said, not much between that and Polos etc really.
  • billythekid 15 Aug 2011 15:48:08 11,324 posts
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    VW Polo Blue Motion. Getting on for 75mpg.


  • Ryze 15 Aug 2011 15:50:16 3,147 posts
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    Don't buy Fiat or Citroen (even though that little F500 gets good reviews). Don't buy a Daewoo Matiz.

    Fiats are notorious for being unreliable heaps of CRAP. I guess the rules change when you're buying brand new due to warranties and zero mileage, but I wouldn't trust a Fiat unless I was planning to sell it as soon as the warranty was up. even then, I wouldn't expect it to hold value like a VW / Audi or Toyota / Honda.

    If you want to keep it for a long time, then go for a German or Japanese car. The rules change if you're buying new and not keeping forever, as some of the other options like Vauxhall and Peugeot are cheaper and more than adequate.
  • Zomoniac 15 Aug 2011 15:50:16 7,908 posts
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    ryandsimmons wrote:
    JuanKerr wrote:
    If you want something cheap, you can forget about an electric car.

    I thought I'd heard about offers on hybrid / electrics that make them decently cheap?

    But as I say, I know fuck all about cars, hence why i am asking people who know more than me. (ie anyone.)

    If you're planning on running it for 20 years then maybe. The 'deals' you'll have heard about probably relate to company cars, hybrids get loads of tax breaks so for companies getting these cars in that are being taxed as income then it's much cheaper. Also if you live in London they're congestion charge exempt. Unless there's some government incentive for private buyers that I've not heard about, which is quite possible.
  • preacherman69 15 Aug 2011 15:51:43 177 posts
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    Small cars are out lads having a baby and trying to dig a pram out of a small boot in a busy car park is a ballache. Ford focus is good, skoda octavia, vw golf or a CitroŽn c4 take your pick.

    Get a diesel electric at the mo is a bag of shit if you buy one your talking nearly 30 k and the government grant is 5k
  • richarddavies 15 Aug 2011 15:52:29 2,841 posts
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    Buy a pedal bike. You'll save load son petrol. My man servant takes me everywhere on a bike with me in the front basket.
  • boo 15 Aug 2011 15:53:13 11,897 posts
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    If you want a solid runabout, we bought a new Hyundai i10 in Sept '09, and it's been great.
    £35/year tax, reasonable economy, nippy around town.
    Don't know whether I'd want to do 5 hours on a motorway in it though.

    It's got leather steering wheel / gearshift, electric sunroof, aircon, MP3 jack, heated seats...

    Should have been £8,500, but we got it for £6.5k thanks to the scrappage scheme.
    We looked at a VW Fox at the same time, but for £9k, all you got was seats an a steering wheel - everything else was a cost option.

    If you can find a copy of this Saturday's Telegraph (Aug 13th), have a look at the motoring section. There's an interesting article about why VW's aren't terribly good value. (Good cars though.)

    In all seriousness, if you want an almost-VW-quality hatchback for not-VW-money, take a look at the Skoda Fabia.

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • Ryze 15 Aug 2011 15:53:34 3,147 posts
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    Again, I'd advise against the Citroen.

    Both Skoda and Seat are now VW cars, but with better price tags. Also consider these.
  • Deleted user 15 August 2011 15:53:46
    I would not get a French or Italian car (Citreon or Fiat). Unreliable and expensive to fix.

    German or American every time.
  • shamblemonkee 15 Aug 2011 15:54:08 14,593 posts
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    mmm, family cars rahter than small hatches would be:

    audi a3
    seat leon/ibiza
    ford focus
    vw golf
    citroen c4
    honda jazz
    honda civic
    clio
  • RyanDS 15 Aug 2011 15:56:19 9,727 posts
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    Cheers guys, loads of good info. Also worth buying new or should I aim for second hand?
  • Ryze 15 Aug 2011 15:56:35 3,147 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    I would not get a French or Italian car (Citreon or Fiat). Unreliable and expensive to fix.

    German or American every time.

    Except not American for the same reason. Try Jap.
  • Deleted user 15 August 2011 15:57:22
    Don't touch a hybrid, seriously. Horrible cars and green types will spit on you.

    I can recommend the Peugeot 206/7SW - 206 sized but with an estate boot. Drives great, is fine on motorways (but LOVES country roads) but merely sips at the petrol
  • JuanKerr 15 Aug 2011 15:58:02 36,422 posts
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    A new car is always nice, but will depreciate massively the instant you drive it out of the showroom. Display models are worth considering.

    Make sure you barter though - car dealerships need the custom, so you should be able to get decent deals if you are a bit ruthless.
  • Ryze 15 Aug 2011 15:58:24 3,147 posts
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    New cars come with warranties and other perks, but they cost a LOT more than even a car with 1000 miles on the clock.

    Check Autotrader.co.uk, and compare the prices on low mileage cars with brand new prices from the dealer's websites.

  • Kilters 15 Aug 2011 15:58:39 579 posts
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    Diesel Passat or Skoda Octavia.

    Safe and economical.
  • Deleted user 15 August 2011 15:58:41
    Ryze wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    I would not get a French or Italian car (Citreon or Fiat). Unreliable and expensive to fix.

    German or American every time.

    Except not American for the same reason. Try Jap.

    By American I mean Ford. Cheapest cars in the word to fix and very reliable indeed.

    Japanese cars are also great though yeah. Avoid Korean.
  • neilka 15 Aug 2011 15:59:46 16,466 posts
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    JuanKerr wrote:
    A new car is always nice, but will depreciate massively the instant you drive it out of the showroom. Display models are worth considering.
    Or try to work out an arrangement whereby you live and work in different parts of the showroom and commute between the two.

    BAAANG!!!!! EXPLOTION!!!!!

  • Alastair 15 Aug 2011 16:02:55 16,278 posts
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    New cars depreciate massively. Let someone else take the hit and buy something a couple of years old. Places like Cargiant sell of 3y/o ex-fleet cars pretty cheaply.

    Remember that Seat and Skoda are essentially VW/Audi with a cheaper badge.

    Diesel cars are generally more fuel econimical, but the fuel itself is more expensive and they can cost more to buy and maintain.
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