need to sell car for something cheaper!

(14 Posts)

We have an x reg (so 12 or so years old) BMW 530d touring big beast of an estate car which has done 167k miles. It's just passed its mot without needing anything but we have been told by the garage it will need a good few grand spent on it by the end of the year so we should sell it now/ in the next couple of months.
So, we are also mega skint but I need a car in order to be able to drop ds at school and get to work on time as otherwise I have to take 2 buses each way which takes an hour and it wouldn't work with his breakfast/ afterschool clubs. We also have baby dd so we need a 4 door. An estate/ big hatchback is probably best. DP is a bit of a brand snob but personally I don't think we can afford to be. I don't know much about cars but it would need to be 2L or above, reliable make, good at motorways as both sets of parents live between 1.5 and 5 hours away, and fairly cheap on insurance/ running cost. Please can you recommend something to me? I am totally lost as to where to start!

oh and can someone explain the difference between a 4 door and a 5 door?

WMittens Wed 27-Feb-13 21:38:41

Estates and hatchbacks are 5 door cars, as estate/hatch is part of the car cabin, so the rear door opens into it. Saloons are 4 doors, as the boot is separate from the cabin.

Did the garage say what needed doing? You're not going to get much for a 12year old 167K 5 series - a quick scan shows similar cars advertised at £1500-£2500. Unless you seriously downgrade (and there's not a lot of room at £2iK-ish) then it usually costs you to change. Buying another car for the same or similar price you could still be letting yourself in for big bills; it might be worth budgeting money for repairs rather than swapping.

Personally I'd recommend something like a 1.9 diesel Skoda - similar price will get you a similar age to your BM, but you'll get a car with half the mileage. It will be good enough on motorways, a decent amount of space, cheap to run (the old VW PD engines are reliable) - I had over 50mpg average from a Passat with the same engine; the badge might be a problem for a brand snob though.

zumo Thu 28-Feb-13 08:27:47

As above but I would also have a quote for the work from another garage, I tend to spend the money and keep the car, my 200,000 mile Peugeot worth £700-1000, needed a £500 job done on it at 175,000 miles, I spent the money and its still going strong

unfortunately the work doing will cost about 2 grand hence we may as well sell. my finances are well and truly fucked atm so wouldn'thave 2 grand cash to spend if you see what I mean.

WMittens Thu 28-Feb-13 12:36:23

As per Zumo, £500 sees another 25K miles; a £500 car may or may not manage that.

Good luck OP, a good swap may see many miles of trouble free motoring - just be prepared that it could go the opposite way, and your replacement car could need £2K worth of work. Running a car at this end of the scale you need a bit in the bank for unforseen failures.

It sounds like you can't afford for your partner to be a brand snob, if your finances are that close to the bone and you need the least hassle something Focus-sized with a small petrol or diesel (1.6ish). To hell with motorway journeys, that'd have to do (and almost any car will manage a constant 60-70mph, it's just that some are more pleasant for it than others).

WMittens Thu 28-Feb-13 12:38:15

Also as zumo said, get another quote - can't hurt.

What needs doing?

ouryve Thu 28-Feb-13 12:44:25

Toyota Avensis and Mazda 6 are good sized but economical cars which are quite cheap to buy beyond about 7-8 years old. You can get loads in the boot, but the insurance bracket isn't too high, if you stay away from sporty models.

What you can't get away from, though, is the likelihood that a significant amount of work would need to be done, anyhow. It's pretty much routine once cars reach A Certain Age. Spares for these models tend to be cheaper, though. And it's always worth shopping around if work needs doing. Bosch garages are often really good and far cheaper than dealerships.

Do you really need the bigger car, btw? Or could you get by with a smaller car and occasional use of a roof box, if it means not having to use public transport.

lots to think about here, I think we need to work out what we could sell for, or whether we run it into the ground whilst attempting to save up some pennies. I will dig out the mot to see what he listed as needing doing. Getting another quote is a good idea too, certainly can't hurt and would interesting to see if they come up with the same prognosis.
Right MOT says
1) rear reg plate deteriorated, not yet likely to be misread
2) under trays fitted obscuring some underside components
3) engine covers fitted obscuring some components in the engine bay
4) exhaust flexi pipes leaking ( I think it was these he said were actually attached to another piece of something and so the whole lot has to be replaced hence being about a grand?)
5) rear tyre treads low
6) front lower arms, front bushes worn - again I could be wrong but I think this was the other big thing to be done.

In all fairness the above is a bit like a different language to me so getting a second opinion might be worth a go. Any thoughts on the above?

WMittens Thu 28-Feb-13 17:25:58

1) rear reg plate deteriorated, not yet likely to be misread
Replacement rear plate is what, £20/30 something like that.
2) under trays fitted obscuring some underside components
Just an arse-covering comment to explain why some items haven't been checked - MOT testers are not allowed to remove anything from the vehicle, they must test it as presented. Rules have changed recently so they have to declare this.
3) engine covers fitted obscuring some components in the engine bay
As above
4) exhaust flexi pipes leaking ( I think it was these he said were actually attached to another piece of something and so the whole lot has to be replaced hence being about a grand?)
Flexi pipe is between £30 and £60 judging by AQG - even if it's attached to something, someone will be able to cut off the offending part and reweld a replacement flexi pipe in, probably £100, maybe less (pure guesswork there). If it's part of the exhaust with the DPF then it could be a grand, but again, but and weld should sort it.
5) rear tyre treads low
Nothing you don't know about, I'm sure
6) front lower arms, front bushes worn - again I could be wrong but I think this was the other big thing to be done.
An (old) estimate of prices was £40 parts and a couple hours of labour, even guessing at inflation I think it should all be done for less than £400 at a decent independent. I was reading it as "front bushes in the front lower arms are worn," it might be more if they mean "front lower arms are worn and front bushes are worn;" I would guess it's the former though.

zumo Mon 04-Mar-13 08:05:24

You need another garage to quote you as 2k appears to be too much for this work
The number plates are £10 a pair from Ebay a self adhesive fitting kit about £2, so if you buy the kit and one plate thats one job fixed for less than a tenner.
Tyres, budget or part worns.Covers as above nothing needs to be done

OK will look to get a couple more quotes for the work. Sounds like we've either been massively overquoted or there is something they have not listed that needs done. Thanks for all the help. I assume its a bit like building work in that you get about 3 quotes and go with who seems best/ most honest/ reliable?

zumo Thu 07-Mar-13 06:48:37

You need to find a good local trust worth garage, try asking a few Taxi drivers who they use.

piratecat Thu 18-Apr-13 09:51:36

i just had my lower arms and bushes done, they were £32 each and just under two hours labour, plus vat etc came to about £180 hth.

you've been over quoted, try and find a mobile mechanic too, they can often do jobs with less charged for labour per hour, as they don't have the overheads.

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