to turn down this free car and offend the giver?

(185 Posts)
tygertygerburningbright Sun 20-Oct-13 18:12:54

I genuinely have no idea if I'm being a spoilt brat about this or not, so I welcome opinions!

I have taken about 20 driving lessons, I'm in my late twenties, and I'm fairly confident I'll pass my test before Christmas. I'm a lone parent and a student so don't have much money. My grandmother is paying for my driving lessons. Today she told me she would give me her car when I pass my test. Which of course is lovely! And I am most grateful for the offer. But... I'll try to list my hesitations..

It's a petrol, and I have learned in a diesel (had a few lessons in a petrol and honestly drove crap because I couldn't really get the hang of the whole needing the gas pedal to do manouvers etc when in a diesel its loads easier because you can just lift the clutch and go.) I know I may very well get used to a petrol in no time, but I am worried about it.

It's teeny tiny, like smaller than a Micra, smaller than any car other than a smart car I think. And I am 6 foot. There will be zero leg room in the back seat behind me. And I am training to work in a trade so I need a fair amount of room for tools etc, which there is none in this car.

It's not very nice... This is the crappiest reason ever not to want it, but basically I hate it and would never choose it in a million years.

All that said, I know it's very very nice of her to offer, and I do think maybe I'm being a bit ungrateful about it. A free car is a free car, and I don't think many people's first car is their dream car really. Also, she would be hugely offended if I said no.

I haven't said anything to my grandmother of course, because I think deep down even I know I'm being horrible...

ThankGodItsTuesday Sun 20-Oct-13 18:15:59

Can you afford to turn it down though?
Also I had no idea it was vastly different to drive petrol or diesel.
I've owned both and not noticed any difference.

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 18:16:11

YABU think of your insurance!

TippiShagpile Sun 20-Oct-13 18:16:55

Can you afford to buy a car yourself?

TBH, I'd take it and see it for what is - a means of getting from a to b.

A car is a car is a car.

tygertygerburningbright Sun 20-Oct-13 18:17:55

I have a feeling if I take the car she will pay my insurance for the first year at least anyway...

I could probably save a grand for a car of my own. But then of course she definitely not pay my insurance..

TippiShagpile Sun 20-Oct-13 18:19:52

A grand for a car?.

Good luck with that. Have a look on line and see what you get for a grand.

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 18:19:54

I don't think you can afford to turn it down!

Stop being a spoilt brat smile

Sirzy Sun 20-Oct-13 18:21:17

Seems rather daft to turn it down to me. So what if its not the perfect car, it's a free car and with possible free insurance which sounds pretty perfect to me!

cardibach Sun 20-Oct-13 18:21:57

I have a diesel and have always had petrol before. I think diesel is marginally harder to manage, clutch pedal wise.
Take the car! WIth only you in it there will be room for tools etc.

Isabelonatricycle Sun 20-Oct-13 18:22:13

I think the height issue is your only valid (as in acceptable to her) reason to turn it down. Petrol v diesel you will get used to, and the fact you don't like it is I think minor compared to it being free, and as you say, dream car for a first car is unlikely.

Perhaps if you show her the height issue (ie get in the driving seat, move it to where you need it to be and demonstrate) and also talk about room for tools etc, she might see the problem? Especially if you make sure you thank her very much for the offer.

To be honest, though, unless the height issue is clearly restrictive, I think you say thank you very much, very kind of you, etc and then in due course buy your own car when this one has died.

ilovecolinfirth Sun 20-Oct-13 18:22:21

It's not difficult to get the hang of a petrol car. It's a lovely offer, accept graciously smile

5Foot5 Sun 20-Oct-13 18:22:30

Take it! Especially if you think she will throw in the first year's insurance.

I really don't think you will notice much difference between petrol and diesel for long. We have had an hired both and I can't say I have noticed.

So it's not your dream car? So what! It will keep you going for a bit and enable you to save up and afford something more suitable in time. She sounds like a very, very generous lady.

duckyfuzz Sun 20-Oct-13 18:23:07

YABVU, never look a gift horse in the mouth! No difference between diesel/petrol to drive as far as I've ever noticed, have driven both over the 25 years since passing test

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 20-Oct-13 18:23:48

I would take the car.

When I passed my test 10 years ago I went on DP insurance it cost me around £1700 on insurance ( it was a 2.0 rover vitesse)

frustratedashell Sun 20-Oct-13 18:23:48

Can I have it then please? Lol
You do sound pretty ungrateful. I would be thrilled to bits. I think you should accept it. You can always get something more to your liking in the future

Sunshinenow Sun 20-Oct-13 18:24:27

There's hardly any difference in driving a diesel and petrol.

Do you mean an automatic? If so ypu would be better learning in a manual so you aren't limited.

Diesel used to be the cheaper fuel. It isn't any more.

If it's a Citroen C1 my 6ft 2 inch dh drives one. Loads of head room wink

You won't be driving anyone else (98% of journeys are made by a lone driver) so you can use the back seat for your tools - therefore it doesn't matter about leg room behind you.

You can always claim it's stopped working/become uneconomical after a few months if you really hate it

As you're a new driver you probably don't know how quickly you will become used to a new car - everyone who first learns always wants to buy the same car they learned in. It's an irrational fear that quickly passes. It really will take you a day to get used to it.

holidaysarenice Sun 20-Oct-13 18:25:40

Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Even if u keep it 6 months and then sell it for a better one with her permission.

Also a pro or con might be the insurance. As an old car it cud be more expensive than u expect. Conversely as a small car it cud be less than excpected and so get you over that expensive first year.

DragonMamma Sun 20-Oct-13 18:26:00

YABU and a bit childish. Take the car and ve grateful. Oh and a grand for insurance?? Mine was £1200 for TPFT on a Clio 14 years ago...

Heymacarena Sun 20-Oct-13 18:26:53

I have driven petrol and diesel cars and not noticed any difference in driving.

I would accept graciously - and drive it . When you have saved up enough to buy something larger then you can do so. Until then you will be without anyway if you don't have ready cash.

holidaysarenice Sun 20-Oct-13 18:27:53

My first years insurance in my dads name was 2200 pounds on a ford focus.

Good luck with your grand!!

Tuppenceinred Sun 20-Oct-13 18:28:13

You need to learn to be able to drive different cars anyway, and the difference between petrol and diesel shouldn't be an obstacle. After you pass your test why not see if you can borrow the car and go and drive a shedload of miles in it? You need to do a couple of 100 miles to get used to any car.
Bear in mind that you could buy exactly the same make and model car that you did your lessons in, and it could still feel very different in the clutch etc. Also - you won't be able to afford the same car as your driving school car will you? So you'll need to adapt.
Why not explain your reservations to your gran, particularly re your height, and ask if you can have that test period before making a final decision. But also go and do your homework re what you can get for £1k, and how much insurance will cost on various cars. If you buy a car for £1k take the advice of my OH who is a car mechanic - he says you'll need a reserve of at least £500 in your "bin" to be ready for repairs in the first 6 - 12 months.
I don't think you're being a spoiled brat, you're just very inexperienced when it comes to driving and owning cars.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Oct-13 18:28:25

I've been driving a long time - probably since about the time you were taking your first steps!! grin <sob>

There is very very very little difference in driving a diesel and a petrol fuelled car. The major difference is between manual & automatic - are you sure this isn't what you are talking about??

If you can only just scrape together £1k for a car you would be an absolute idiot to turn down this very kind offer. Stop behaving like a spoilt twat or let your lovely Gran give it to someone who will appreciate it.

itsametaphordaddy Sun 20-Oct-13 18:28:39

Very ungrateful.

TippiShagpile Sun 20-Oct-13 18:28:58

The grand is for the car, not the insurance...!

DontmindifIdo Sun 20-Oct-13 18:30:33

Take the car, you can't afford a dream car with only a grand saved!

It might not be your long term car, but it's a start. Take it, if after say, 12 months it's still hard to drive and you are finding the lack of space an issue, trade it in for something larger, you can explain to her that you needed a bigger car for your tools, but by that point it has been yours long enough for it not be offensive to trade it in.

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 18:32:02

yes I am confused about the petrol thing - yabu op - take the car

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 20-Oct-13 18:32:11

YABU, you would struggle to get anything decent for a grand.

It's your first car - even with the best will in the world chances are you will bump and scrape it during your first year or two of driving. Take it, run it into the ground, and then by the time it's ready for the scrap heap you will have had loads more experience, a couple of years no claims bonus (hopefully grin) and some money saved for your 'dream car'.

IAmNotAMindReader Sun 20-Oct-13 18:32:33

Any car you get will be different to drive than your instructors car.

Take the car. Its cheap to run, cheap to insure, cheap on repair and cheap on tax. Its not new so you won't mind getting a few dings on it, which are guaranteed in the first 18 months.You won't get a better deal anywhere else.

The only reasons I would turn down something like that if I was in your position would be if there were strings attached to the deal that were likely to strangle me.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UniS Sun 20-Oct-13 18:33:09

There is not that much difference in driving. I flit between a petrol large hatch back, a petrol tiny car ( an i-10) andf a diesel landrover, and a selection of vans. Once you are a more confident driver its just getting used to the controls and the size of a different car , teh fuel seems pretty unimportant.

I'd be tempted to accept the car, use it and keep on saving for the vehicle of your choice a year or two down the line. By which time you can tell granny that you want to go for a bigger car to make it easier to cart your work stuff about.

ps- if it is an i-10, the boot is lot bigger than it looks. I can fit my folding bike in.

Bosgrove Sun 20-Oct-13 18:33:54

My first car was a fiat cinquecento, the only reason I gave it away 8 years ago was that I couldn't fit a stage 0 car seat in the back. It wasn't my first choice of car but I only had £1k to put down (my parents paid the rest). The first person we offered when we got rid of it, turned it down, didn't want that type of car, we weren't offended, did think beggars can't be choosers, but no skin off our nose. The second person, a 20 something son of a work colleague just loved having a car any car, drove it for years, probably wasn't what he was looking for but he couldn't afford a to buy a car.

My one regret on the car front was that I turned down a car (friend of my Dad's car), because it was old and not what I was looking for - now looking back I can't believe I was so stupid to go just on what it looked like (it was also automatic and I wanted a manual)

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 18:33:56

If you put the rear seats down the boot will be more than big enough for your tool wink DH is 6' 3" and fits in the fiat seicento...

IAmNotAMindReader Sun 20-Oct-13 18:35:03

Its not impossible at all to stall a diesel. My dads is a diesel and we have both stalled it. It has a funny gear ratio which is massively fuel friendly but not so driver friendly.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 20-Oct-13 18:35:15

Am I being thick? My husband's car is petrol, mine is diesel, I drive both and have never noticed a difference!

Fakebook Sun 20-Oct-13 18:35:32

Is there really a difference between a petrol and diesel car? confused. I thought the only difference was pushing the accelarator pedal down to start the car. I learnt in a diesel and my petrol car was easier to control.

YABU. Take the car.

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 18:35:35

You so CAN stall a diesel - I stalled mine the other day - again you mean automatic

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 18:35:48

The best thing about small cars is you can nick those tiny parking spaces, I miss little car and it's low insurance and low running costs sad I'd love to get rid of my diesel tank - just need to get rid of at least half the dc first...

trixymalixy Sun 20-Oct-13 18:36:08

Take it if only to get a foothold on the insurance, as it will cost a LOT to begin with.

There's really hardly any difference between driving a petrol and diesel car, that's a very spurious reason to not take it.

Your grandma is being very generous and you should accept it graciously.


RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 18:36:52

I'm always stalling my diesel because you have to rev it so much to pull off and I like to be gentle...

Automatics drink fuel compared to manuals too.

LetTheBeatsRoll Sun 20-Oct-13 18:37:47

I hated a petrol over a diesel.
There lots for under a grand.

Id not take it yanbu

@LunaticFringe I so wish it was harder to stall a diesel! grin DH has had a diesel estate since May, and it's so flamin delicate we both manage to stall it regularly (and you can't bump start them, can you?)! Probably because it's the newest car we've ever had, and it way more sensitive than our usual rust-buckets!

lougle Sun 20-Oct-13 18:39:36

I can understand the petrol/diesel thing - when I first drove I had a diesel Vauxhall Corsa and I could pull away from a junction in third just by lifting the clutch. It won't take you long to get used to different cars though.

thenightsky Sun 20-Oct-13 18:40:12

Take the car! You'd be mad not to.

Can you tell us what model it is please? I know plenty of people over 6ft who whizz about in tiny Smart Roadsters - one is a 6ft 5in, 23st weight lifting champion!

sapfu Sun 20-Oct-13 18:41:19

Take the car. No difference ime between petrol and diesel.

Be prepared to give Granny a few lifts grin

Fakebook Sun 20-Oct-13 18:42:25

I stalled the diesel car during my test 3 times because I had to give it so much rev. The instructor didnt fail me though because I had an otherwise perfect test.

VeryStressedMum Sun 20-Oct-13 18:43:23

Ive driven both petrol and diesel and i have no idea what you mean about just lifting the clutch and go in a diesel??

HDEE Sun 20-Oct-13 18:43:38

I swap regularly between our large, diesel people carrier and small, petrol run-around and don't notice any difference due the the fuel they use. No two cars feel the same to drive and im surprised that with your 20 lessons experience that you can tell the difference.

Wish I had a granny like yours, you are very lucky.

WMittens Sun 20-Oct-13 18:48:03


Is there really a difference between a petrol and diesel car?

Not in normal everyday driving.

I thought the only difference was pushing the accelarator pedal down to start the car.

There shouldn't be a need to do that anyway. Some cars distinctly dislike you pressing the accelerator when trying to start them (Subaru Impreza for one). Some cars require you to press the clutch when starting.

tabulahrasa Sun 20-Oct-13 18:49:36

With some diesel cars you can do maneuvers without using the accelerator (but not all) - but unless you're going to manage to buy the same make and model as your instructor's car, whatever car you end up with will work differently.

Second hand diesels cost more as well.

I learnt in a diesel, makes no difference once you're driving other cars as they're all different anyway.

Take it, save up, when it dies buy something better.

Longdistance Sun 20-Oct-13 18:51:03

Since when is there a difference between driving a petrol and deisel car? This news to me.

I gave up driving a petrol car (NissaX-Trail) for a deisel (Vauxhall Insignia), and there is no difference (apart from my Insignia having more power than the Nissan tank). That in itself is a rubbish reason.

Accept the little car graciously, and learn your real driving experience in that. After a year of no claims, I'm sure your insurance will come down after that, and you can then choose something yourself.
When you finish your course and start work, you'll be earning money, and may invest your money wisely in a brand new car with free insurance. Sometimes they do deals. I did this a fair few years ago and my insurance went down after I had the year with the free insurance.

Aniseeda Sun 20-Oct-13 18:52:19

Your grandmother sounds awesome grin

Is she giving up driving herself? If so, it might be that there is an element of hoping you will take the car to save her the stress of selling (not unreasonable for an elderly lady). You could thank her, explain the reasons it isn't the best car for you and see if she'd mind you using it as part exchange to get one which suits you better.

WMittens Sun 20-Oct-13 18:52:50


With some diesel cars you can do maneuvers without using the accelerator

That applies to some petrol cars too.

Usernamegone Sun 20-Oct-13 18:53:13

Accept the car. I have just got a diesel car after 15 years of driving petrol cars and I didn't notice a difference. Each car feels different to drive and it is something you will need to get used to (just as all shoes feel different to drive in)

If you accept the car and you can save up in the next year to buy something nicer. Invariably, you will most likely have a ding in your first year of driving (most probably parking) so you probably won't have that car for very long anyway.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 20-Oct-13 18:55:34

Take the car!
I have had a sucession of cheap, shitty little cars (my current one was £700).

On the upside it means:
I pay peanuts for insurance (around £90/year).
I don't cry if I scratch it
I don't panic about leaving it overnight/in car parks,
& I use the money I've saved to go on exotic holidays.

Oriunda Sun 20-Oct-13 18:56:44

It does sound like you have learnt to drive an automatic can you clarify? If so, then you should learn to drive manual because it will be useful.

Your first year's insurance, as a just qualified driver, will be very expensive. Assuming your grandmother' scar is sound etc the insurance should be relatively cheap as it's a small car. I would take the car, get it insured under your own name (you need to build up no claims etc) and then once you have a year under your belt, hopefully the insurance for your next car won't be as expensive.

Theres no difference in what fuel the car uses. It's a matter of getting used to a different clutch pedal.

You've said yourself she will be hurt. Take the car.

Good luck with your test.

Take it, you won't get much for a grand! You also know the previous owner, which is a godsend when buying cars!

Love the username btw!

Blatherskite Sun 20-Oct-13 19:06:30

I don't think there is a in the way cars drive based on the fuel they use.

I drive a petrol car. DH drives a Diesel. I swap between the two without noticing and regularly drive both within a few hours of each other.

I think there used to be a difference but not in the past 10 years or so.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 20-Oct-13 19:07:19

I've got a diesel car and have never noticed a difference between it and my previous petrol cars.

Tallaween Sun 20-Oct-13 19:08:24

Take the car OP - if you really don't like it, keep it for a year whilst you save up (you need more than a grand believe me, I sold my old Corsa a few months ago, it didn't start, I got £700 for it)

As for pushing the pedal down to start it, I have to depress the clutch to start my current car, it's petrol but it has a starter button rather than a key ignition.

I have had both petrol and diesel cars, no real difference that I have noticed, my first car was a diesel Citroen and I used to have to wait a while after turning it on for it to 'warm up' because of the hydrolic suspension, but other than that I can't think of any differences that I couldn't put down to it being differences in the cars themselves not the fuel.

HairyGrotter Sun 20-Oct-13 19:08:42

I've always driven petrol cars, but DP's is diesel and I never knew there was a difference?! I've stalled it too!

Take the car, my first car was shit but it did the job!

froubylou Sun 20-Oct-13 19:08:50

A second class ride is always better than a first class walk!

And a years no claims will make a difference to your insurance.

Stop being a brat and accept the car graciously. Make sure you offer to take your gm shopping in ot once you are used to it. And get used to it by driving to the florist and buying her a huge bunch of thankyou flowers.

Headagainstwall Sun 20-Oct-13 19:09:47

I understand the petrol / diesel thing. I learnt in a diesel, then when I passed my test the only car I was allowed to drive was my dad's petrol car. I stalled & stalled, having not once done it when learning.

However I got used to it because I had no choice. Take the car, it'll take you about a day to get used to it. You can build up no claims in this banger, then when you get a nicer car your insurance will be cheaper.

tabulahrasa Sun 20-Oct-13 19:13:53

"That applies to some petrol cars too."

I wouldn't know, it's never occurred to me to try since passing my test, lol, what I more meant was that it's not every diesel car, so really it's not a reason for choosing diesel unless you know it will.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 19:17:35

I just passed my test so let me clarify on the petrol/diesel issue.
I learnt in a diesel and I was taught when pulling of to lift my foot slowly of the clutch completely before I started to accelerate which is why it takes learners ages to start lol. However now I drive a petrol and I find bite and accelerate at the same time. In a diesel if you can just use the clutch to do manoeuvres and only accelerate if you need to go slightly uphill.

anonacfr Sun 20-Oct-13 19:17:38

Headagainstwall I had the exact opposite experience. I learnt in a petrol and bought a diesel. The fist few months I stalled constantly. I found that if I let go of the clutch too fast (the way I'd learnt in a petrol) I stalled.
The fact that I live on a hill didn't help things. Specially when it came to parking. grin

It's definitely the car, not the fuel.

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 20-Oct-13 19:18:30

I switched over to a diesel last year and hadn't notice day difference.

If you'd be getting a years insurance I'd go for it. By the time you have to pay for your own you'd have built up some kind of no claims. Hopefully ;)

anonacfr Sun 20-Oct-13 19:19:14

Hellyeah that doesn't work at all in my diesel car. If I let go of the clutch before I accelerate I stall. I have to accelerate loads and let go of the clutch slowly as I'm accelerating.

DontmindifIdo Sun 20-Oct-13 19:21:21

Another thought, once you have passed your test, you could pay your instructor to do a lesson or two in the petrol car to help you get used to it. (much cheaper than buying and insuring and taxing a whole different car!)

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 19:21:55

Well that's what I was taught and same with all my friends so I'm guessing that is what the OP means. You have to let the clutch out super super slow though.

ImperialBlether Sun 20-Oct-13 19:22:00

OP, how many of us do you think drive our dream car?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 19:23:16

yes Hellyeah I still think you mean an automatic car - My diesel, and the one before it drove the same as my petrol car - I start, find the bite and go and I use the accelerator in the exact same way and I did in the 5 petrol cars I have had

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 19:24:26

Lunatic so you stand by your 'can't stall a diesel' idea then grin

specialsubject Sun 20-Oct-13 19:28:38

how long does this car have on its MoT? What will it need to pass the next MoT? Has grandma maintained it?

no-one has mentioned repair bills.

mmmuffins Sun 20-Oct-13 19:29:05

Like OP, I also did my lessons in a diesel, and after passing immediately bought a petrol car. The first few days in the petrol car were very frustrating because I did not understand why I kept stalling! In the diesel I could do clutch control easily, in my car the clutch almost always needs gas assistance.

OP after a few days I was fine. I now switch between the diesel and petrol very regularly and don't notice the difference anymore. I think you should take the car.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 19:29:54

I'm not stupid. It was a diesel, I learnt with gears and when I put fuel in I put in diesel. Out of interest how long ago did you learn to drive?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IHaveA Sun 20-Oct-13 19:31:09

I think we should be told what the make of car is? hmm

I think I would take the car and then save up to get something better in a couple of years.

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 19:31:14

erm I think that op is referring to it being impossible to stall a diesel you said it was impossible

FrightRider Sun 20-Oct-13 19:31:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 19:34:22

12 years ago - I get a new car every 2 years - some petrol some diesel - never noticed any difference between them

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 19:39:05

Oh for god sake. There is a difference. Of course there is or why would the majority of driving instructors all have diesel cars. I give up you are clearly being difficult on purpose.

gordyslovesheep Sun 20-Oct-13 19:41:01

OP take the car - if it really doesn't work for you trade it in smile

Snatchoo Sun 20-Oct-13 19:41:27

Take it.

And DON'T worry about it being a petrol car! I learnt in a diesel and then my first car was a petrol - with a choke!

If this is a car she already owns, have a go driving it and see how you fit in it. If you genuinely can't drive it because of the size, then you have a valid reason to decline.

ArabellaBeaumaris Sun 20-Oct-13 19:41:47

Your insurance is going to cost a fortune whatever you drive, so take the free car & count yourself lucky! Our car costs a grand, & insurance plus road tax cost a grand too - so £2k overall. We are late twenties/early thirties, have had a license for over 10 yrs but never owned a car before.

Blu Sun 20-Oct-13 19:43:27

How old is the car she plans to give you? Will she buy a new one for herself?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 20-Oct-13 19:46:29

Oh for god sake. There is a difference. Of course there is or why would the majority of driving instructors all have diesel cars. I give up you are clearly being difficult on purpose.

Diesel is usually cheaper to run if you do a lot of miles. I've just changed to a diesel from a petrol and I haven't noticed much other difference. Mind you it is a lot newer than my old car so I may have put it down to that.

I also need to press the clutch to start it. It has a start button which won't work unless the clutch is pressed.

FrightRider Sun 20-Oct-13 19:47:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 20-Oct-13 19:49:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tinlegs Sun 20-Oct-13 19:51:08

No difference between petrol and diesel. We had a succession of Ford Escorts, all petrol or diesel and no difference in driving at all. With a diesel you have to wait a second on some of them for a light to go out when the plugs heat up before starting the engine fully.

You are mad to even think of turning it down. No doubt, being a careful old lady (I am generalising here) she will have had the car serviced and cared for properly. You could spend 10,000 and still get a car with unknown problems. Once you can drive properly you can get used to any car very quickly - otherwise how would hire companies hire out so many cars?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 19:54:02

My 6'2" DS got a sturdy 1.0L petrol car for his birthday last Christmas. Not trendy, not fast, but strong and well made in the event of a teenage boy accident, not even a very nice colour. He was very very grateful, in fact he cried, and if he hadn't been he'd have had quite a few privileges withdrawn.

I think you need to grow up and be thankful for what you're being offered. I think I've heard it all now

frogspoon Sun 20-Oct-13 19:56:22

Have you tried out the car?

The only valid reason you have given is size. Take it for a test drive, with your work tools in the back, and if you are genuinely squished, getting cramps in your legs, or you cannot fit your toolbox in the back, then you could turn it down.

But I think you will really struggle to find a larger car at a price you can afford.

Out of interest, what type of car is it anyway? I drive an Aygo, which is very small, and has a tiny boot. I am very short (5 foot) so it has never been uncomfortable for me, but I can see how it would be for someone who is 6 foot tall.

The petrol diesel thing is just silly. What happens if your car breaks down and you need a hire car for a week? Are you going to turn it down and use public transport/ legs for a week because it has the wrong kind of fuel?

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 19:59:05

For fuck sake. I said when you pull away not when you start the engine and actually it was a diesel yaris and I have been driving for 18months now and my sister has been driving for 6years in 5 different cars (2diesels) agrees that it is near impossible to stall a diesel once you have learnt basic clutch control. I think you lot are just out of date about learning to drive and the how different it is when you have been taught and have only driven a diesel which is the position the OP is in. So the whole their is no diffence isn't helping her/him.

duckyfuzz Sun 20-Oct-13 20:03:12

bit stressy there hellyeah3! Diesels do stall if you release the clutch too quickly, just like petrols, simple and straightforward fact.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 20:05:19

Fright let me clarify I agree really there is no difference WHEN you are experienced and have driven a petrol car as you can drive the diesel the same way. My mum also didn't think there was a difference until I tried to drive my petrol car the way I was taught in a diesel. You lot are not being helpful by saying the OPs concerns are silly etc, as they aren't.

trixymalixy Sun 20-Oct-13 20:10:22

The last 5 cars we've had have been diesel and believe me you could stall all of them apart from the one automatic.

OP all cars have different nuances, biting points, but you quickly get used to them. There really is not the vast gulf between driving a petrol and a diesel car that you think.

VeryStressedMum Sun 20-Oct-13 20:15:10

Snatchoo I'd totally forgotten about a choke!! I had a car with one of those grin
At the end of the day, OP try to forget what sort of car you learnt to drive in you'll very quickly learn to drive any new car you get.
Take it from us oldies that are out of touch with the driving world wink that very soon it won't matter what sort of car you drive you'll learn to listen to the car and feel what you have to do. And that only comes from experience.

WMittens Sun 20-Oct-13 20:31:24


my sister has been driving for 6years in 5 different cars (2diesels) agrees that it is near impossible to stall a diesel once you have learnt basic clutch control.

If we're quoting experience, I've been driving for 10 years, have 3 cars: diesel manual, petrol manual and petrol automatic, and use them all regularly.

It's possible to stall either type of engine, it's more dependent on gear ratio, load (mass of car and if there's an incline in the road) and clutch control.

Diesels are harder to stall because of greater torque low down as mentioned (although probably somewhat offset by longer gear ratios), but also there's no throttle so the EFI can add more fuel itself if the engine speeds drops to stall point.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 20:39:49

I completely agree with everything you say. My bit about my sister was to those who said how would I know I've only passed. However I'm pointing out that the OP has a valid concern as due to how you are NOW taught (I'm guessing it used to be different as my mum had no idea that a diesel would roll without you accelerating even though she drives one) to drive it is hard and takes practice at getting used to a petrol car so they shouldn't write of her worries as silly. Also I said nearly impossible in that it is harder to stall that a petrol which you have just agreed with.

greenfolder Sun 20-Oct-13 20:43:05

we have both diesel and petrol and have had every combination- my dh is well over 6 feet- i am a little over 5 feet. never have we had a car that one of us couldnt drive.

i would take it- it will make your grandmother happy. It is probably well looked after. it is free. If you really cant get on with it you could part ex it for something else.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 20:51:00

Lunatic then why are they so adamant that I'm wrong lol. Oh and 1987 is 7years before I was even born haha grin

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 20:56:43

"Am I being thick? My husband's car is petrol, mine is diesel, I drive both and have never noticed a difference!"

I can't tell the difference either. I drive a petrol 2008 Ford Focus and OH's 2012 diesel Ford Mondeo. There is no difference at all in how you handle the clutch and accelerator.

I think it would be senseless to turn down the offer of a free car. If it is a genuine gift you can drive it for a little while and part exchange it for another one.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HellYeah3 Sun 20-Oct-13 21:04:13

Haha sorry. It wasn't my intention I swear lol.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 20-Oct-13 21:08:15

It gives me the fear at the petrol station though, I'm always worried I'll put the wrong thing in the wrong car.

HelloLA Sun 20-Oct-13 21:09:30

I've had my license for 14 years, and I've gone through driving a petrol car, diesel, then petrol again, and now finally another diesel. I've never noticed a difference (except my current 16-year-old diesel has a distinctly rumbly, tractorish sound).

You can stall a diesel. And maybe with the newer diesels, you can pull away whilst just lifting the clutch, but in mine you definitely have to balance the accelerator and clutch.

Every car has a slightly (or dramatically) different biting point to get to grips with. Being able to adapt to different vehicles is a key skill, and it's quite precious to expect your first car to be similar to your driving instructor's.

You aren't going to get much of a car for £1000. It's also a massive plus to get a car from someone you know and trust.

But, if anything, take this car for the free insurance! Have you had any insurance quotes? I only moved back to the UK 6 months ago, and the cheapest quote I could get was more than double what I'd anticipated. It's absolutely extortionate here.

NuggetofPurestGreen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:09:54

I agree with others who say that there probably isn't much difference in diesel and petrol when you are an experienced driver but when you are just starting out it is much easier to stall a petrol car. My instructor had a petrol car and then he switched to a diesel and it definitely didn't stall as much and then when I went back to driving a petrol car i started stalling again as was used to just starting the car by releasing clutch and not using the gas.

However I do not think it makes enough of a difference that the OP should base their decision to turn down the car on it as it did not take long to get used to the petrol. I think you should take the car.

EthethethethChrisWaddle Sun 20-Oct-13 21:11:10

I would get the car, and if your grandmother pays the insurance then you can save what you would have paid in insurance for a year and get another car then.

Hell, I have a diesel, I can tell you that I've stalled it on many occasion! I live in hilly Brighton but still, it's very similar to a petrol in that respect. Older diesels are slower off the mark, there is very little difference in newer cars though imo.

RenterNomad Sun 20-Oct-13 21:25:57

I love how macho-mechanical MNers are getting: the torque talk, revs and so on! grin

OHforDUCKScake Sun 20-Oct-13 21:28:13

When I first started learning (14 years ago) I started in a diesel. The day of my test, the car wasnt available and had to use a petrol car. I hated it. I barely touched the accelerator and it flew, I was used to a lovely slow, sluggish diesel car that Id been practicing in. I failed.

12 years after I started learning again. Again in a diesel, I passed and was petrified of driving a petrol car because of my experience. It just felt so different. DP (at the time) assured me that there was no difference between the two these days. I got a petrol car and he was right.

In hindsight, having only owned petrol cars and starting at a 1.1 engine and now driving a 2l engine I think the issue was all those years ago, I learnt in a tiny engined diesel car, and took my lesson in a nippy, bigger engined petrol car, and my inexperience magnified the difference.

How old is your nans car?

OHforDUCKScake Sun 20-Oct-13 21:29:04

And how many miles etc? Has she owned it from new?

bamboobutton Sun 20-Oct-13 21:48:55

im with hellyeah, diesels are different to drive. my instructor teaches me in a diesel and taught me to lift clutch up to bite and hold, then apply gas and lift clutch as gas goes down. piece o' piss to drive.

tried doing that in the petrol car dh got for me to practice in and stalled stalled stalled stalled......... sometimes when I was half way out of a junction and I kept on stalling so dh would have to get in the driving seat and drive the car instead. or I would stop on a slight hill and end up rolling backwards. I hated it and refuse to drive it now as it left me a shaking nervous wreck.

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 21:52:31

"diesels are different to drive"

Perhaps older ones might be or perhaps if the brand of car is different, but I switch between our two Fords - petrol and diesel and they both drive in exactly the same way.

bamboobutton Sun 20-Oct-13 21:56:41

im learning in a brand new diesel ford focus and dh got me a petrol Nissan juke to practice in, so both new cars and both very different to drive.

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 21:59:25

Maybe it is because I have been driving for donkeys years then, or maybe it is because both of our cars are from the same manufacturer.

bamboobutton Sun 20-Oct-13 22:06:19

im sure when I have passed my test and don't have to have dh in the car screaming like ned flanders every couple of seconds I will find a petrol easy to drive and will wonder why I was so scared of driving it, but to a new driver it is quite nerve-wracking driving a car you are not used to. so, to the op I say yanbu, make your first car a car you are confident driving.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 20-Oct-13 22:08:18

But cars are different to drive despite them being petrol or diesel.

My last two cars, Skoda Fabia and Ford Focus Cmax, both petrol. Totally different to drive. The bite is different, the movement is different, my foot position needs to be different, everything feels different.

Ive no doubt that a Focus and a Nissan feel different. They are very different cars.

Fakebook Sun 20-Oct-13 22:12:11

WMittens, yes, sorry I meant the clutch! Thanks for clearing that up.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rockybalBOOOOa Sun 20-Oct-13 22:20:22

Do you need a car? How else would you get a car? I have never in almost 20 years of driving never noticed any difference between driving petrol or diesel. Have you explained to her that's it's too small really due to your height/tools etc?

ErmagherdPerngwens Sun 20-Oct-13 22:20:39

You will get used to petrol in time and I think it's well worth getting experience in different sorts of cars, I drive 3 cars on a semi-regular basis (2 petrol, 1 diesel), the diesel took some getting used to as I'd only driven petrol since passing my test (over 10 years).

When I first passed my test I only ever drove 1 car and it made me really nervous changing, so I do sympathise, but it will make your life much easier if you can be more adaptable. When I swap I always over-rev the diesel and stall the petrol for the first couple of minutes, so I think they are different, you get used to it though.

trixymalixy Sun 20-Oct-13 22:22:41

All cars are different to drive. I used to have to switch between two diesel cars, one where the clutch sprang back up and was very easy to stall until you were used to it and the other where you barely had to lift your foot off the floor before you found the biting point. One where you barely had to touch the brakes and you were practically through the windscreen and the other where you had to be a lot firmer on the brakes.

Its more likely just that you have only driven two cars and are assuming the difference is due to one being petrol the other diesel whereas it's just that all cars are different. And you very quickly get used to a new car.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 20-Oct-13 22:25:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RenterNomad Sun 20-Oct-13 22:31:51

LunaticFringe - shhh about the Style&Beauty lacuna! I prefer to think of MNers as Renaissance Women! grin

BTW, our diesel estate does stall (it's a heavy car), but then reignites!! shock A little gasp, and we're running again, which I still find disconcerting, but have got used to surprisingly easily (unlike the BLOODY parking sensors).

Runwayqueen Sun 20-Oct-13 22:33:06

I would take the car, it's very lovely of your grandmother to finance your lessons and car.

I learnt in a Clio diesel sport, once I passed my parents gave me a fiat sentio (sp) petrol and it was the perfect just passed my test car for me. I now drive a matiz, it's lovely and surprisingly nippy and very spacious. Dp is over 6ft and he happily fits in it. All dd's car seats have too. Dp drives a diesel passat sport and I'm forever stalling that.

expatinscotland Sun 20-Oct-13 22:36:04

Free lessons, free tests, free car, free insurance. Can she come and be my grandmother? I'll take whatever it is, it's better than the bus!

devilcakes Sun 20-Oct-13 22:48:34

Fuck me ill take it if you dont want it! I've got my test in three weeks, single parent so saving hard, free car bring it on!!

GreenShadow Sun 20-Oct-13 23:00:55

My DH has a diesel.
I have a petrol.
I've never noticed any difference when driving them, so please don't use this as a reason not to accept her offer.

Bogeyface Mon 21-Oct-13 00:27:11

Take the car and then if its size does become an issue then talk it over with her about part exing for something else. But tbh for £1k you wont get anything worth having, never mind the insurance costs, getting it through it MOT will cost a fortune and it will be far more likely to break down than a run around with one careful lady owner!

gasman Mon 21-Oct-13 00:49:07

Hmm. I used to think it was really hard to stall diesels until I got my current car. Diesel. Set up for fuel efficiency. I stall fairly frequently as you really have to rev to pull off esp if cold/ up hill. I've also been driving for almost (gulp) 20 years.

I think driving multiple cars is really great. As a family we tend to swap cars about quite a bit. This week I drove my car (boring hatchback), my Dad's (boring hatchback) and my brothers (beloved landrover) as at various points their car was more suitable then mine (or the other way around... ) Only being comfortable driving one car is really limiting (I know my Mother was like that for her entire driving life) so embrace the change and take the free car.

I'm a relatively high earning professional and I don't drive my dream car. In fact the older I get the less I spend on cars....

BadztMaru Mon 21-Oct-13 07:37:01

To all the people snorting about the fact the op has £1000 to spend,You can get a perfectly adequate car for under a grand and you can pay insurance monthly. You do not need a couple if grand up front.
Although I'd take the free car.

ZillionChocolate Mon 21-Oct-13 07:51:17

But if the £1000 budget is scraped together, how likely is it that you have much spare each month for new driver insurance and a repairs fund?

OP, you could get used to a new car. Spend an hour or so driving around somewhere quiet like a supermarket car park before they open.

expatinscotland Mon 21-Oct-13 08:36:54

My dad is like that when it comes to cars, gasman. I thought it was because he is (well, retired now), an engineer.

Mouserama Mon 21-Oct-13 09:06:08

I really don't understand what you mean about petrol v diesel! I've had both, and the only difference I've noticed is that the rev counter doesn't go as high on a diesel and to get optimum accelaration in a diesel, you have to be between 2000 and 4000 revs or you get nothing (whereas petrol cars will accelerate at a much wider range of revs)

GhostsInSnow Mon 21-Oct-13 09:17:08

Also never found a difference between petrol and diesel. As others have said I've found a difference in every car I've driven in clutch bite. I have a small old petrol clio, DH has a diesel focus. I can drive that as easily as my own.
I also own a 1982 TR7. There is a huge difference between driving that and the clio, clutch bite is different, brakes aren't as responsive, steering isn't power steering etc. There can be just as big a difference in driving 2 petrol cars as there is a petrol vs a diesel.
And for the record, I passed my test in 1991.

As for OP. YABU. It's a car, a free car. Snap her hand off.

ChipAndSpud Mon 21-Oct-13 09:19:22

I've recently passed my driving test and I learnt to drive in the same make and model car as my husbands car but the two cars felt totally different to drive. The only thing that was the same was the size of the car so I knew my 'reference points' for parking already once I started driving Dh's car.

Unless your head is touching the ceiling on your Nan's car, I'd take it and be grateful! She sounds lovely and it's very sweet of her to be helping you to get on the road.

HelloLA Mon 21-Oct-13 09:22:39

@ BadztMaru, even monthly insurance can be unaffordable. Mine is £80/month (I have a clean license, but it's bumped up by living in London/onstreet parking/no UK no-claims history etc). Plus I had to make an initial payment of £160.

My car is only worth £700! Luckily I got it from a family member, so I know it's been well maintained and is in decent shape; there's a lot to be said for that if you're buying a cheap old car and you're not mechanically minded. I don't think England has a 'lemon law' on private sales, does it?

flowery Mon 21-Oct-13 09:27:19

I find this difficult to comprehend tbh. This very generous offer would save you at least a couple of grand, quite possibly more.

You are in a financial position where you could probably scrape together a grand for a car, and you are thinking of turning down a couple of grand because you don't like the car you are being offered?


Take up her generous offer, make do with it as your first car for a year or two, as most people have to with their first and often subsequent cars. Use the year or two with no insurance costs to save up so you can buy a car you prefer in a year or two.

MardyBra Mon 21-Oct-13 09:46:26

Haven't read the whole thread, but like you suspect, yabu.

I started off with some really uncool cars 30 years ago when I started driving. It's just a vehicle. Are you really that worried that people are going to judge you because you don't have a posh car?

And the difference between a petrol and diesel is so minimal that you should be able to get over it really quickly. It's a bit like grown women refusing to drive on motorways or at night. You might be a little nervous the first time, but JFDI. You'll be fine.

The height thing may be an issue in the long run, but people have put up with more inconvenience. Really.

MardyBra Mon 21-Oct-13 09:48:41

Oh and I started this thread for you so you could see what lots of us had to start off with back in the old days when some of us lived in a paper bag in the street... wink

WMittens Mon 21-Oct-13 12:44:29


when some of us lived in a paper bag in the street.

A paper bag?! Luxury!

I've driven loads of cars over the years, petrol and diesel alike. There is usually a big difference between the bite point on the clutch and the bite point (and responsiveness) of the accelerator between each car, regardless of whether petrol or diesel, so swapping between two different cars will mean you have a few days where you will have to adjust your driving style until the bite point on the new car becomes your "norm"
If you buy your own car for 1k you will have to compromise on style, size and age/mileage and will likely not get a larger car that's worth putting fuel in for the money you are talking about spending. If you need room for tools, put the back seats down and use the space. Ok so you are tall, well the sort of car you are talking about (supermini hatchback) are generally higher roof wise than the saloon equivalent just because of the shape of them. I'm 5ft 10 and have happily driven an old style micra and a c3 for several years, I just have to put the seat back a bit further to get my legs in under the steering wheel.
You do sound a bit spoiled and naive about cars, they are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain and run, and the Insurance as a new driver will be eye watering. My advice would be don't look a gift horse in the mouth, take the free car, use it for a year and then if you really can't get on with it, explain to your gran the issues and ask if she would mind if you part ex it for something a bit bigger, your insurance will be cheaper with a years no claims, you will have a nice px sum for your next car, its a win win situation really.

missuswife Mon 21-Oct-13 13:29:25

Take the car. You will encounter maintenance costs with any car you buy, especially a £1000 one. I just spent $600 on new brakes, thermostat and a tune up and still have to get new tires next month for another $700-800. Plus fuel and insurance. Take it, you can always replace it later.

Petrol? Diesel? Difference? Is there?

Take the car

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 21-Oct-13 14:36:17

Wow. Don't take the car. Let your lovely Grandmother give it to someone who wants it.
(And good luck finding a decent diesel car for £1000.)

Twiddlebum Mon 21-Oct-13 14:43:19

A grand for a car???

Something you REALLY need to take into consideration....

I usually buy a half decent car for about 5-6 thousand then run it into the ground until it gets to the point where I KNOW it will cost an absolute fortune to get it through its next MOT. (£600 +) I also know many many people that also do this. What I'm trying to say is that many cars in the £1000 price range probably have a lot of expensive things that are about to go wrong. At least with your grans car you know the history and is not about to break down on you.

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 15:31:17

"You can get a perfectly adequate car for under a grand"

You can buy a car for £1000, but I very much doubt it would be adequate or reliable.

WMittens Mon 21-Oct-13 18:20:30


You can buy a car for £1000, but I very much doubt it would be adequate or reliable.

It's perfectly possible, but I would say you need to know a lot about what you're looking at (and listening for) when going to buy. Being able to do some basic (and not so basic) maintenance/repairs yourself is a massive help as well.

FrightRider Mon 21-Oct-13 18:33:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsAMerrick Mon 21-Oct-13 18:50:28

I have a petrol car, DH has a diesel, and I honestly can't see that they are different to drive because of the fuel. The difference lies on the engine size/power of the car, and that can be slightly difficult to adapt to at first, but not really a problem. You get used to what you drive.

Fannydabbydozey Mon 21-Oct-13 18:51:13

In all honesty I've never noticed any easy clutch action difference between a petrol and a diesel and I've driven many, many different types of cars both petrol and diesel. The only time a car has freaked me was a hire vauxhall with one of those automatic handbrakes... Hated it.

I originally thought the Op meant auto/manual...

I'd take the car, can't believe you're even thinking of turning it down. When do you imagine buying your dream car? Because I'm still not driving it, and I've been driving since the last ice age! Your gran is offering you something very special really. And if I was your mum I'd think you were being a bit spoilt brat over the whole thing. my dh is 6'1" and managed in some teeny cars. Tools don't take up THAT much room. Wait until you have a dog and some kids...

LaydeeC Mon 21-Oct-13 19:16:11

twatty is absolutely right - there is no difference in driving a manual diesel or a manual petrol in theory. There will be a difference, however, in driving different cars be they diesel or petrol because the 'biting' point in each car is different. I have been driving for the best part of 30 years, driven more than my fair share of petrol and diesel. My last two cars (both new) have been diesel, my husband stalls them all the time when he drives. His car is petrol - I often stall it but never stall my diesel. The difference is the cars not the engine type smile

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Melonbreath Mon 21-Oct-13 20:22:38

Wheels are wheels. My first car was shit as, it had two doors of different colours and a different coloured bumper. My mate's dad was a mechanic and knew no one would buy it and it wasn't worth doing up. Result? Hideously ugly FREE CAR!
It was known as the clanger.
I didn't notice how ugly it was when I was in it but I did notice the freedom I had.
If anyone mocked me they weren't allowed a lift. Ever. And I pointed out the perfectly working FREE 1 litre engine which meant my insurance wasn't through the roof either.
In time I got a much nicer car, but it never had the soul that clanger did. Or the nasty wet dog smell.

If you do use the back seat for your tools make sure theyre strapped down and secured

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 20:53:51

"If you do use the back seat for your tools make sure theyre strapped down and secured"

and covered up. My next door neighbour was always getting his car broken into because local criminals knew he kept tools in the car. He now empties the car every night.

ILikeBirds Mon 21-Oct-13 21:11:44


Unless you get exactly the same car as your driving instructor has you are going to find lots of differences that might trouble you as an inexperienced driver, gear sticks in slightly different positions, different spacing between pedals etc. It won't take long to get used to a new car.

WandaDoff Mon 21-Oct-13 21:14:12

YABU. hmm

Tell your Gran that if you don't want her generous gift, then I'd be very grateful for it.

teacherandguideleader Mon 21-Oct-13 21:20:07

Re: the height issue - I wanted the bigger model than the car I had - bf is over 6 foot. He couldn't get in the bigger model, but the smaller one was fine as although it is much smaller, the roof is higher. Give it a try before you discount it.

My car isn't my dream car but I love it, and it is significantly cheaper to run than my dream car.

My best friend got her first car a few years ago from her gran. I forget the make but it was a Pony model in a beautiful (not) shade of brown. It was horrific and we had a good giggle as we clambered in - it got us from A to B (just not in style).

tygertygerburningbright Wed 23-Oct-13 14:35:19

Sorry I took so long to get back on this thread!

You'll all be glad to know I have accepted the offer, negotiating on insurance now because my cheapest quote was £1200!

Its a Hyundai Amica, she has owned it from new and bought it in 2007, she does about 5000 miles a year. I know nothing about cars but I imagine this means its in pretty good condition.

I am learning in a Hyundai i20, so not that much different in models I would imagine, except the petrol diesel thing.

I definitely meant diesel not automatic. But I have learned from this thread that maybe its not actually ALL diesels that you can pull off with not using the gas. Just some cars apparently. Which I guess is eye opening because I could have turned down the petrol only to buy a diesel that needs gas to pull off and do manouvers anyway..

Has been very interesting reading the petrol v diesel debate though!

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 14:53:28

Low miles doesn't automatically mean a better car, check when it was last serviced, it should be done at least every year really even if she was only doing 5k a year.
Lower mileage cars can sometimes come with their own sets of problems as well because they are often started, run 3 miles up the road to Tesco and back and put away. They never have a good run to charge the battery and clear out the crap.

Budget for a service first thing if you haven't already smile

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 17:46:28


Lower mileage cars can sometimes come with their own sets of problems as well because they are often started, run 3 miles up the road to Tesco and back and put away. They never have a good run to charge the battery and clear out the crap.

True, but much more of an issue with diesels than petrols. Also, a battery should recover the energy used to start the engine within about 2 miles (there was a good site showing how that is calculated, but I'm struggling to find it now).

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 17:59:34

Mittens I drive a 99 petrol clio with 33k on the clock. My average daily mileage is about 1.5 miles. It's literally started, driven to school and back and then repeat at 3pm.
Most weekends I need to charge my battery because I just don't go far enough to keep it charged.
Despite my limited miles it does get oil and filter change once a year.

Aside from the issues I mentioned it's possible that the car is still running on the original 2006 tyres, if its not a garaged vehicle then the tyres need close inspection for wear/cracking as well.

JerseySpud Wed 23-Oct-13 18:33:40

Honestly? Petrol is not that much different to diesel really and you will get used to it. What the difference you are talking about is the engine.

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 18:51:28


My average daily mileage is about 1.5 miles.

If the school's about 600m away, why not walk?

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 19:01:23

My daughter has a disability... I wish she could walk, would be quite marvellous all round. angry

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 21:03:30

And I was supposed to know that how? Put your red face away.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 21:27:13

Put my feed face away? Why? You seemingly judged me without knowing anything about me so yes, that makes me quite cross.

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 22:14:14

I asked a question; there was no judgement on my part. If it 'seemed' that way, you inferred something that wasn't there. As a genuine (i.e. non-passive aggressive) suggestion, if you include sufficient information then we could avoid the 'seemingness'.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 24-Oct-13 08:01:06

Juice Come on, Mittens isn't psychic! She asked a question without realising. I'm sure she didn't mean to upset you or make you angry. flowers

trixymalixy Thu 24-Oct-13 08:54:51

Why should she have had to qualify her post with her daughter's situation though? It was none of your business why she drives to school. Did you really think it hadn't crossed her mind that it is walkable if able bodied? Not judgy my arse.

IHaveA Thu 24-Oct-13 08:57:10

You were a bit snippy there Juice. Asking why you walked was a reasonable question you can't expect everyone to automatically know your situation.
There is no point getting angry about nothing.

WMittens Thu 24-Oct-13 11:12:13


It was none of your business why she drives to school.

I assumed that by posting on a discussion forum she wanted to discuss the topic; I'm sorry, it was an honest mistake.

Bogeyface Thu 24-Oct-13 11:39:14

I assumed that by posting on a discussion forum she wanted to discuss the topic

No, she was commenting on low mileage cars, nothing to do with wanting to discuss her school run preferences.

If a school is 600m away and someone drives then I would assume that there is a good reason and not question it, and even if she was just being lazy, its none of your business and of no relevance to the thread.

GhostsInSnow Thu 24-Oct-13 13:27:31

Perhaps I was a little snippy in which case for that I do apologise, however, as bogey says I was making the point more that my own low mileage causes issues with my car.

I honestly thought it obvious that someone wouldn't drive that short distance unless they really had to for whatever reason.

Anyway back to op.

HelloBoys Thu 24-Oct-13 13:41:56

My brother used to drive automatics and also diesel where he could be them (don't know if you can get both!).

I drive an automatic petrol.

My brother's first car at 18 was a Vauxhall Astra or something like that - 2nd hand v cheap then VW Beetle etc. Mine was a Ford Fiesta or Ka - new as a relative worked at the plant and my grandma gave me money towards it. My brother took the money but not the brand new Ford with reduction.

My brother is now buying nice cars as he likes them (eg Alfa was last one) mostly automatic but cheap and then if there are things wrong with them he sells them on.

he's just yesterday got back from Liverpool area where he bought a cheap Merc automatic. this will probably last a year if that! his wife (of 2 years) will be thrilled not as it's her money goes into this purchase too!

Glad you saw sense OP. smile

KCumberSandwich Thu 24-Oct-13 15:57:36

my first car (got it in may) is a heap of crap. it cost me £500 quid. it has 4 dents, a wheel trim missing, two doors and the boot don't work and it has a tape player. it's akin to something onslow from keeping up appearances would drive. it is the best money i have ever spent, gets me from A to B, costs almost bugger all on fuel and i dont really give a damn if it gets a scratch or ds covers the seats in sticky stuff.

your first car wont be ideal, ive never driven a diesel but surely with a little practise you would get used to that?

if it is out of the question and absolutely not practical for what you need it for then you need to decline in the politest way you can find- there is little point in accepting a car you can't use and your gran going without a car needlessly.

if you can think of ways to live with the problems then don't look the gift horse in the mouth.

don't look a gift horse in the

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