Is my budget ridiculous?

(38 Posts)
k2togm1 Sun 27-Jan-13 18:39:28

We've never owed a car but want to get one now to go to work and do little trips. Our amazing budget is around £500 blush so I think and old car that has been looked after is our only option. What would you get? What make etc?

zumo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:50:21

Peugeot 106, Diesel if you can, old Micra the one that looks like a jelly mould.
I paid £700 4 years ago for my Peugeot 406 Diesel estate, its a seven seater, does 35MPG, we love it and after 200,000 miles its still going strong.
Once a car gets to 10+ years old they are still fine but no one wants them.
Before this I had a 405 estate £500 lasted 3 years then scrapped it.
Fiat Chinquicento ( they are rubbish) paid £150 fitted 4 clutch cables in 18 minths sold it for £500.
If you are handy at DIY basic repairs are easy, loads of forums for help.
You need to consider insurance, road tax and fuel first, I would budget £2-300 a year for and repairs, I was lucky as mine was just routine servicing so spent less.
The kids will always remember the holidays and days out but never the car they went in.

lljkk Sun 27-Jan-13 18:53:54

How far on each trip, how many miles/week? How many people do you need to transport each time? I know families of 6+ who manage with 4 seaters.

RandallPinkFloyd Sun 27-Jan-13 18:57:35

Get on eBay, there's plenty for that kind of money, you'd be surprised what you can get. Especially if your happy to have a little hatch-back.

k2togm1 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:17:09

Oh great it's looking positive! I had expected people telling me to go save some more...
Good to know that zumo, specially since that is what I've been looking into so my instincts are kind of in the right direction.
I do 90 miles a month cycling for work but will be doing more hours further away, hence the car, so I think guesstimating 30miles a week is realistic.
I'm just terrified of buying a pile of scrap and loosing all out moneyhmm!

k2togm1 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:17:43

Oh and it's only the three of us, and my parents occasionally.

nightshade Sun 27-Jan-13 20:25:25

Japanese. Honda, daihatsu.

defineme Sun 27-Jan-13 20:30:29

The mechanic I use loves my ancient honda civic-says it will go on forever.

WMittens Sun 27-Jan-13 20:59:24

With the £500, have you budgeted for the other costs? What are insurance quotes like for you? With zero NCB (and if you have no driving experience in the last 12 or 24 months) you could be looking at the same again (or more) on insurance. Can you afford to keep legal and in good working order (brakes, tyres especially)? If something breaks, would you look to repair it or replace it?

Bangernomics can be interesting in itself, but remember there is a large element of luck in getting a cheap car that will last and buying something that is bust within a week. Scrap metal prices are high now, so even shit cars are sold for a few hundred quid.

k2togm1 Sun 27-Jan-13 22:16:35

Wmittens yes I say £500 just for buying it, I'm setting aside 200-250 a month for the rest. Insurance shouldn't be so much as we have insurance for a friends car with no claims since we started the semi sharing arrangement two years ago (at least that's what I'm hoping). But what is bangemonies? (Sp??) good point about scrap metal!

sausagesandwich34 Sun 27-Jan-13 22:18:18

get a diesel

they go on forever and ever and ever grin

WMittens Sun 27-Jan-13 22:52:24


If you're just a named driver on your friend's policy you won't have any NCB in your own name; an understanding insurance company may allow a discount, but don't count on it.

Bangernomics is the art of buying and running very cheap cars.


Old diesels (in the current £500 range), maybe; new diesels, no.

k2togm1 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:10

Wow, had no idea there was an art to it, obviously there is to everything smile
I'll check the insurance thing more carefully, thanks! So why are new diesels no good?

lljkk Mon 28-Jan-13 16:06:50

Diesels are supposed to be better for high mileage drivers, petrol better for low mileage drivers like you (and me). Diesel repairs & maintenance cost more.

I could only get a good NCB with the current insurer our other car is on, but only DH had a NCB, I had nothing that mattered in my name to any other insurer.

BackforGood Mon 28-Jan-13 16:43:04

Definitely go Japenese - Honda, Nissan (We have a 1997 Micra you could have off us for that, but you might not like the fact the roof seemed to leak when we had those weeks of torrential rain in the Autumn) grin

zumo Mon 28-Jan-13 18:27:46

Older diesels have no or very little technology so little to go wrong.
AS with all cars if it has a cam belt have it changed unless you can see proof its been done in the past
If you are a named driver on another policy some insurers will give a discount for this, also tell them how few miles you do, our camper van is only £185 as its only on 3000miles a year, last year we only did about 2000.

deleted203 Mon 28-Jan-13 18:31:02

I bought a petrol Peugeot 106 this summer for £500. S reg with only 53,000 miles on the clock and it's been fab. Very reliable and cheap on petrol!

jaik Mon 28-Jan-13 20:54:01

£500 is a cracking budget! concentrates the mind, but also frees you up to look beyond a little, and have some fun:

Alfa Romeo 155 2.5 V6 - £400
VW Golf mk 3 GTi - £120
BMW E30 320i - £450
FIAT Uno - assorted from £50 to £350
FIAT Tipo 16v - £480
Bertone X1/9 - £200

all have joined and left my fleet over the last 4 years. Ebay is a great friend..

vertex Mon 28-Jan-13 21:21:27

You said you have £500 and £200 - £250 a month set aside for the rest, so why not go new. You can have a new Skoda Citigo for £145 deposit and £145 per month for 3 years. At the end you either buy the car or just hand it back.

It will not set the world on fire but is cheap to run, insure and will be under warranty for the duration of your ownership.

And before anyone asks, no I am not a skoda dealer - just helped a friend in a similar situation and it worked out well for her.

k2togm1 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:53:48

Vertex that sounds appealing except the £200-£250 a month has to cover insurance and petrol, how much is your friend spending in total a month?

vertex Mon 28-Jan-13 22:08:25

She is spending approximately £40 per month on Insurance (Insurance Group is low but like you she had no NCB) and approximately and £50 per month on Fuel which covers 500 miles of motoring (averages 60mpg)

k2togm1 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:13:53

Wow, I want it, nowsmile

pixie0602 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:55:19

Def get a diesel and maybe a vw... Those things live forever... I've got a 13 year old polo and she's the love of my life and still goin strong smile

MooMooSkit Mon 28-Jan-13 23:18:09

Could you get a classic car? we have a ford fiesta that cost like 400 quid its a g reg so you can get classic car insurance on it so its next to nothing to insure, cheap tax and is amazing on fuel

WMittens Tue 29-Jan-13 09:05:30

so why not go new. You can have a new Skoda Citigo for £145 deposit and £145 per month for 3 years.

Because you are tied in to pay £5345 for 3 years and have nothing at the end of it. Even if a £500 car lasted 12 months and then broke, you would have only spent £1500 in 3 years and have over £3500 in the bank.

zumo Tue 29-Jan-13 13:14:21

Well I think Vertex has the best trouble free idea

k2togm1 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:29:37

Well sleeping on it the going new wont work for us, precisely explained by wmittens. Also dh has a friend who is still paying for a new car he had to write off two years ago...
Thanks for all the recommendations, I'm looking forward to learning the art of bangernomics, whilst before I was dreading itsmile

zumo Wed 30-Jan-13 07:31:20

Whilst I like the concept of new, Wmittens is correct its far cheaper to run an old car, some times you have to scrap them, but if they break Ebay it at 99p start list all the known faults and its suprising what people will pay.
Try and learn abit about the basics local tec may run basic maintenance courses, most jobs are easy with a few basic tools.
So lets see what you buy, you will enjoy the freedom it offers too.

vertex Wed 30-Jan-13 13:09:51

WMittens, your point is well made but a sound counterargument could be made.

Firstly, older cars by virtue of being less green are likely to be in a midrange Road Tax band, e.g. £200+ per year. The Citigo is Band B and therefore only costs £20 (twenty pounds), so £60.00 over three years as oppossed to £600.00.

Secondly, the Skoda dealer we dealt with threw in the 3 years free servicing package. Again, if one was running an older car the servicing costs are likely to run in the region of around £150 per year, i.e. a minimum of £450. In addition one is also likely to need to replace worn tyres on an old car and even the cheapest of these is £50 per tyre.

Thirdly, a new car will not require an MOT test and so one saves £50 per year which over three years comes to £150. Furthermore, there is the invisible saving of not having to replace any parts that might cause an old car to fail an MOT.

Fourthly, £5345 is a lot less than one would pay for a rail season ticket over the same period in many parts of the country.

Fifth, with the Citigo one does have the option of buying the car at the end of the contract (for less than market value) and then either keeping it for a few more years, starting a new contract with the car acting as the deposit or simply walking away.

Finally, do not want to sound alarmist but in my job I have had to deal with consequences of people being in accidents in older cars, e.g. sans airbags, ABS, crumple zones etc. For me, new with every available safety device (particularly isofix for child seats) wins every time

As you can probably guess I still think the Citigo is the best option but that is just me being a boring f*rt

vertex Wed 30-Jan-13 13:11:17

If you take out gap insurance and car is written off you do NOT have to pay for it.

Will shut up now as do not want to seem like I am demented/obsessed/compulsive.

k2togm1 Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:53

Thanks you vertex for the counter argument. Dh, who is also incredibly car-ignorant has been doing lots of reading, we'll discuss our 'findings' and thanks to you guys I have quite a lot to say wink.
Will let you know what we do.

WMittens Wed 30-Jan-13 13:56:42


Car Tax: cars registered before 1st March 2001 are rated on engine size, not 'greenness' - under 1549cc is £135 per year.

'Free' servicing: the servicing is not free, it is factored in to the price (and profit margin) of the dealer. It also ties you into that dealer for three years, meaning you lose the benefit if you move a significant distance away. Also, it will not cover things out of the ordinary service schedule. Also, main dealers tend not to be the most dilligent of servicing garages; quality independents can be cheaper and more thorough.

Worn tyres - I would hope that an individual would view the car when buying and assess the condition of the tyres - if it has four illegal tyres it's an opportunity to knock the buyer down £200 - that £500 car becomes £300.

MOT - £50 a year? It can be covered out of the £3500+ saved figure on the cost of the car. It's not even one tank of fuel. The annual tax figure (£135) is about two tanks of fuel-worth. Per year. Peanuts in terms of car running costs.

Rail season ticket? I'm sure £5345 is cheaper than a rail season ticket, but £1500 is cheaper than £5345. Buying an Aston Martin is cheaper than getting a helicopter charter everywhere. What's your point?

Buying at end of contract - the car is not sold 'under market value' as you have already the depreciation and admin fees (and finance company profit). Depending on condition, it may well be more expensive than market value - Skodas don't keep prices as well as VWs, one reason they make secondhand bargains. As well as paying the lump sum (which will have been harder to save for due to 3 years of payments above what the OP is paying now), there is a 'option to purchase' fee (god knows why) of £60 - not much, but it's more than the MOT would have cost, which I know is a big factor to you.

Crash protection - I think a £500, 2-tonne barge (with higher road tax, admittedly) will come off better in a collision with a Citigo. It may be new, but the laws of physics (particularly conservation of momentum) still apply.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against new cars and I think the Citigo/Up!/Mii is a funky little car, but suggesting a new car to someone with a £500 budget is off the mark.

BackforGood Wed 30-Jan-13 18:33:15

I agree with WMittens

JakeBullet Wed 30-Jan-13 18:38:27

My Rover 200 cost me £250 on eBay a year ago.....have had a few little issues but otherwise its been fine. Yes there are cars within your budget out

k2togm1 Wed 30-Jan-13 18:47:52

What really makes me uneasy about buying new through credit is being tied up for 3 years to paying something. Really need to discuss with dh as we haven't had a chance to talk about this for ages, but even though a shiny new car with safety features sounds appealing I think I'd rather go for the cheap with risks one... Weird me.

JollyRedGiant Wed 30-Jan-13 18:51:21

Can you go to a car auction? My dad got a car from a car auction for £250 and sold it for £500 a year later grin

vertex Thu 31-Jan-13 23:50:30

Emitters, not going to argue with you except on one point; the two tonne barge is not as safe as you would expect. I spend my working life dealing with the fallout and sometimes I am there at the scene. Give me new and safety laden every time.

P.S. old 4x4 are worse thing to have an accident in despite perceptions to contrary.

k2togm1 Fri 01-Feb-13 17:17:56

Oh had no idea about auctions! Thanks will check that out.
Vortex your posts have been helpful so please don't think I haven't listened to you!

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