First Time Parents To Be - Need A New Car! £15k used car budget ... HELP!!

(39 Posts)
Citygirl85 Mon 26-Aug-13 07:48:49

Ladies (and any gents!)

So - this is my first dabble in mumsnet having recently found out I'm pregnant with my first (very excited). We desperately need to buy a new car ... like now. We both commute by train to London so don't often drive, hence I still have the 12 year old Ford Ka my Dd bought me new for my 17th birthday! Great car, but no back doors and would crumple like a coke can in an accident. In a few months I won't be able to get in/out my partners low slung sports car with the bump, plus it's a little bit feisty in the wet/can't be driven in the snow. We liked the BMW X3 and the Ford Kuga and the budget is £15k ish but we can go more for "amazing" (though since finding out I'm expecting we'd rather spend less!). We keep standing looking at cars in showrooms saying to each other "How big is a buggy? Will it fit plus a weekly shop?" i.e. we have no idea.

Does anyone have any recommendations? We have some requirements:

1.) My in-laws are in Edinburgh, my (elderly) grandmother is in Cardiff and we're in Essex - what used to be a quick EasyJet to Scotland after work with a spot of dinner and glass of wine at Stansted is no longer going to be an option, so we need comfort for long journeys and a massive boot to take baby stuff plus luggage.
2.) We want something reasonably "nice". I'm late 20's with himself early 30's and we both work in the financial sector in the City ... practical as they seem a Focus or S-Max is just too "parenty" for us right now. This will be our only car so it needs to be "manly" enough for himself (who unsurprisingly also loves a gadget).
3.) Otherwise, the usual reliable, safe, ISOFIX, cheap-ish to run etc.

We're thinking about an Audi A4 but ideas, suggestions, comments, ANYTHING would help stop 2 bewildered parents-to-be to stop running around like headless chickens!

Thanks a million smile

Sarah x

lagoonhaze Mon 26-Aug-13 08:15:11

Id want to know if it had storage boxes (a pain to fit car seats with them as any foot prop needs to miss box or extend down into it)

Id also want to know if it fitted three car seats in it. Two of Which id want to be extended Rearfacing seats.

id probably take it to a car seat shop to check this.

lagoonhaze Mon 26-Aug-13 08:15:55

Id want to know if it had storage boxes (a pain to fit car seats with them as any foot prop needs to miss box or extend down into it)

Id also want to know if it fitted three car seats in it. Two of Which id want to be extended Rearfacing seats.

id probably take it to a car seat shop to check this.

Rooners Mon 26-Aug-13 08:23:17

First of all, congrats smile

Secondly with that sort of budget and only one child (so far ) to fit into it, I'd be getting a NEW car.

Getting second hand is Ok but only if you are very restricted in budget - it is the first 5 years or so that is the best, after that they do start to have things go wrong.

So always go for new. You do not want to be stuck halfway to scotland with a tiny baby, a bootful of gear and a clapped out gearbox you knew nothing about when you bought it.

For that budget you can get a very very good family car, and it will definitely have space for a buggy.

We have a 6yo fiesta, I am single but have got 3 children ranging from 10yo to 7mo, and we all fit in it - mind you when we went camping, we almost had to leave a child behind as it got very full smile

Anyway. You could do worse than borrow a pushchair. (any ideas what sort you want yet? That might have an impact on your choice of car)

I wouldn't be looking at an Audi, I'd be looking at something a bit higher up with huge boot capacity.

Not so much because of the child but because of the luggage you'll be taking.

But then I don't have experience of bigger cars really. I know we will need a new one really at some point soon, so watching with interest.

Rooners Mon 26-Aug-13 08:26:15

Oh and I second ERF seats. They are just starting to come in over here, having been standard elsewhere in Eurpoe for years - basically your child should face the back of the car for as long as possible, especially in the first four years.

We have a recaro polaric but can't use it as it won't fit in our car, plus no isofix in ours, so we're saving it till we swap with my dad, or get a new car. It's HUGE.

mummytime Mon 26-Aug-13 08:32:53

I wouldn't get NEW but one/two year old, still lots of life but you don't wave goodbye to your money.

However I would think seriously about how much you need a car. Is there a local car club? Could you just hire something nice for the long journeys?

sleepdodger Mon 26-Aug-13 08:34:28


WMittens Mon 26-Aug-13 09:40:33

I wouldn't get NEW but one/two year old, still lots of life but you don't wave goodbye to your money.

This, although it's more a case of you won't say goodbye to so much money.

I don't find my A4 particularly comfortable (seats-wise) for long journeys. It's a poverty-spec so small wheels with high profile cushy tyres, but the ride isn't the best.

I'd recommend a BMW 3- or 5-series (probably 5), Merc C- or E-class, or my preferred option would be to keep it British and go for a Jaguar XF - AQG shows there are 3.0 diesel V6 Luxury models for well under £10K, so you should be able to find a decent, young, low mileage model within your budget.

TheFallenNinja Mon 26-Aug-13 09:42:08

Check out the Kia range, 7 year warranty and great residual.

MissMalonex2 Mon 26-Aug-13 09:51:19

Another vote for the Qashqai

Bunbaker Mon 26-Aug-13 09:58:01

You could buy a "new" preregistered car or an ex demo model for a lot less than the price of a new car, but it would still have plenty of warranty left on it. If you want a massive boot the Ford Mondeo fits the bill. Our 2012 business edition model also has built in sat nav, electric windows in the back as well as the front. Accelerates beautifully, is very comfortable and a stylish looking car to boot. OH is very tall and it is the only car he has ever driven where he doesn't need to push the driver's seat as far back as it will go.

Have a look at the new ford b max, they are ace.

lotsofcheese Mon 26-Aug-13 19:46:59

We've got a Volvo V50 but I hanker after a Peugeot 3008...,

Whatever you do, dont buy a brand new car. They lose so much in value through depreciation during the first two years. Aim for a car that is around 2 years old. The previous owner will have taken the biggest hit regards to depreciation and you will be on track to change your car to a two year old car every 2-3 years or so, without losing too much money in the process.

Look at the back seat configuration. If all three can be reclined, or move forward separately, this is great, it allows good flexibility regards to child seats, or adults sitting, or even laying one seat down but still give room for an adult seated next to a child in a child seat. Depends on your lifestyle, but if you need to transport a lot of stuff, it sometimes make sense to have three separate seats in the back.

Not sure about the prices, but check out the Toyota Prius. You should be able to get a 2-3 year old Prius for under 17 k.

mrscog Mon 26-Aug-13 19:56:35

You can get a 2 year old Ford Focus Estate (lots of boot space and room for carseats) with low mileage etc for 10K. Leaving you with a 5K saving smile

ceeveebee Mon 26-Aug-13 20:12:00

We have a VW Tiguan, got it used for about £13k I think, it has excellent boot space and is spacious inside but not so huge that makes it difficult to park etc - we live in London so don't have off street parking. Fits two ERF isofix seats in the back (we have 21 mo twins) and I can just about squeeze in between them.

pickles184 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:16:44

It's well worth looking at the Skoda Octavia, massive boot, lots of space front and rear, isofix, comfortable seats on long drives and great safety review. The VRS could be best if your DH wants something more manly/powerful and if you don't mind it being a bit thirstier and insurance heavy. We were looking at the Qashqai, Kuga, x5 etc until we stumbled across the Skoda, no 'wow' factor to look at but a brilliant family car that ticks all the sensible boxes without looking or behaving like a typical 'parenty' car. With a boot divider in we can fit our large dog, pram and some shopping in the boot, it still amazes me just how much the boot swallows! Incidentally we ended up with the 1.6 diesel elegance estate as more economical to run and head room for the hound, but the VRS was much more fun to drive ;-)

PatriciaHolm Mon 26-Aug-13 22:57:02

Aside from the car comversation, No reason why the easyjet weekends need to stop! In fact that will be by far the easiest way to get a baby to
Scotland, as they shouldn't be in a car seat for hours and travel largely free until 2...

PatriciaHolm Mon 26-Aug-13 22:59:39

PS no need for a mumsy bus either, don't worry. We had a Subaru impreza as our family car for 7 years with 2 kids, and managed skiing/fortnights in the sun with it no problem.

Wonderstuff Mon 26-Aug-13 23:08:58

I was looking at the Fiat 500L over the weekend and it was very practical and fairly nice for a 5 door - why are three doors so much sexier? We were comparing it to the C4 Picasso, (were at carfest and having a nosey at the options when mine dies) and it seemed roomier and better value. Would second looking at the Skoda, we loved our VRS Fabia (was yellow).

Fly to Scotland though, babies don't need that much stuff, they are pretty portable for the first year.

NoComet Mon 26-Aug-13 23:14:30

DD2 would thoroughly approve of you!
She thinks ford focuses are dull too. Since DH and me have both replaced our old Focuses, with new ones we are in mild disgrace.

Pose value they may not have, but practical and reliable they are. DHs had done well over 100 000 and mine 90 000, with very little grief. After a citron BX with major attitude, I'd had enough of cute.

AlexMumsnetCars (MNHQ) Tue 27-Aug-13 10:32:33

Don't forget you can read Mumsnetters' own write-ups (and Mumsnet Cars' expert reviews, in association with What Car?) of every new car at You can choose by car type which might help you narrow down your options a little bit. Click through to the specs pages via the link at the bottom of each review for individual models - you'll find all the interior dimensions under 'Size'. Good luck. smile

Phineyj Tue 27-Aug-13 10:36:36

We've got a Touran which is brilliant for stuff packing in - doesn't meet your aesthetic requirements but you may find those are less important to you in a year or so grin.

Weil Tue 27-Aug-13 16:11:49

How about the Ssangyong Korando. £14995 brand new with a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty?

Volvo - if you can afford it why not buy something as safe as you can afford? You could get either a nice V60 (winner of the European safety award) or a V50 for your money. Plus Volvo do rear facing seats which fit up until the child is approximately 6 years old, so you will save money there too.

Citygirl85 Thu 29-Aug-13 06:04:41

Thank you so much for all your inputs - you've all been so helpful smile

AmandaCooper Thu 29-Aug-13 06:28:36

Second the Volvo. My DH is about as car mad as they come. He has a completely impractical low slung sports car and our family car is a Volvo V50 estate. It's nice to drive, easily fits all the child stuff in it, it's fairly economical and it's strong and sturdy. Don't buy new, you may as well throw money away.

SignoraStronza Thu 29-Aug-13 06:45:52

Would second an Octavia estate. We love the Yeti, but for a bit more boot space we'd go for an estate - dh is looking at getting an Octavia VrS next time round.

KatOD Thu 29-Aug-13 07:12:48

We've had a skoda Octavia and now skoda superb (both amazing, latter is enormous so interesting for parking!). I've been wondering what to upgrade my BMW 1 series to and am thinking Kia sport age or qashqai, both in your price range.

Dh is on his way home at this very minute with our new ford b max!!!

It's the 1.0 engine zetec, so really cheap to run. We got an ex demo car so saved about £5 grand plus it's still got 10 months warranty.

BlackMogul Fri 30-Aug-13 12:23:20

This really depends on whether you like driving or not. If you do, then don't go for a Korando as above. Remember, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. There is a reason why some cars do not sell in large quantities! We always look for Best Buys in What Car. This magazine will give you a secondhand guide price too and target price for a new car. This can be significantly less than the advertised price. DD just got a whacking discount off a new VW Polo. Don't go for a car which is just about to be replaced - usually old technology. You need to have air bags in the right places. Personally, I would go for a VW Golf. The best car in its class (family hatchback). New one has had fabulous reviews and I think prices have been held. I would try and spend a bit more to get a slightly bigger engine. See what What Car mag recommend. They will list all the models and say which gets 5* and is the best buy. They also list them as "family hatchback" so you know what the nearest competitors are and how they compare. Hatchbacks or estates are best for load capacity and ease of access. You can't go wrong with the professional opinion of journalists whose job it is to test these cars!. A diesel one could be economical. DH would find a Golf very good to drive if he is used to a sports car. (PS Don't look at Which, they judge cars on completely odd criteria and never agree with any other car mags).

Pitmountainpony Sat 31-Aug-13 07:25:37

In the UK- volvo every time.

Alanna1 Sat 31-Aug-13 07:42:05

Do you plan to expand your family after no.1? You both currently have a car - do you really want to move to one car? Any desire for a dog? Friends a bit like you have kept the sports car and traded up for a family car too. They go out in the sporty car generally without the kids, and he drives to work in that. But use the family car at other times and for holidays.

I've stayed with my now ten year old ford, but when we next get a new one we will get an estate. We live in central London so we rarely use it other than for holidays / visiting family outside London. By the time there is a buggy, toys, clothes and kids in the car, its jammed. And that's with a roofbox. And we don't have a dog (yet - husband wants one).

I reckon you'll still fly to scotland!

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Sat 31-Aug-13 12:35:20

Have to say the B Max is amazing, the back doors slide so you have total access to the car, there is no b frame in the way. The engine is only 1.0 but it feels amazing to drive, really recommend this car.

<softly strokes B Max>

LovelyWeatherForDucks Sat 31-Aug-13 12:52:20

We were in the same situation last year - upgrading a fiesta to a family car. We liked the Kuga but not the price tag - our £15k budget would only get us a basic model - so we went with a 2yr old Qashqai Ntech with all the gadgets. We love it! It looks like a big car but its so easy to drive etc. only thing is that the interior isn't huge so we had to rule out a ERF car seat unfortunately unless we wanted to give up the front passenger seat.

JumpingJackSprat Sat 31-Aug-13 13:03:56

I notoced qashqai recently and i like the look of them. ive got a focus titanium new shape ... i love it, has all the gadgets on it, list price would have been around 22k but it was an ex demo so got it for just over 15k and it only had 2500 miles on it at three months old, id never buy a brand new car again. Really really comfortable, regularly drive long distances in it and its so good to drive. You may also want to consider a mazda, i was looking at one which had much more stuff for much less money than all the other competitors.

Nnnnnnn Sat 31-Aug-13 13:12:56

We're in a very similar situation to you. We pick up our new, 9 month old Hyundai i40 Tourer this week. Very practical, low emissions, high mpg. And lots of gadgets! My husband is VERY excited.

kaza23 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:28:37

I would recommend the Mazda 5. Although its a big car it's very comfortable with reclining back seats which are really helpful for naps on long journeys. The sliding doors at the back ate a god send especially in busy car parks or during tussles about getting into the car seat wink

kaza23 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:28:48

I would recommend the Mazda 5. Although its a big car it's very comfortable with reclining back seats which are really helpful for naps on long journeys. The sliding doors at the back ate a god send especially in busy car parks or during tussles about getting into the car seat wink

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