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Talk to me about buying a car!

(11 Posts)
AlexaShutUp Sun 12-Aug-18 00:25:33

It's time for me to replace my beloved little car. I bought it second hand 15 years ago, and it has served me faithfully since then, but now it's time for it to retire.

The trouble is, I have so many questions about what and how to buy instead. I want a used small/medium 5-door automatic. Don't really care about design - reliability/safety/cost are the main priorities. Budget is around £5k-£8k, but could be flexible if needed.

I don't drive much at the moment - very short commute and mostly just running around in the local area. I probably do less than 5000 miles a year. However, I'm considering a change of job which could require a much longer commute (up to 30 miles each way, possibly on motorway).

I've been wondering about getting a hybrid. I'd like to minimise impact on the environment, though I don't think I'm ready yet for a complete switch to electric. However, hybrids are significantly more expensive to buy and I'm wondering how the costs work out over time - and what difference would it make if I did switch jobs? And is there really a significant environmental benefit?

I know that there is no road tax to pay on the older hybrids, but I've heard that insurance costs tend to be higher. I'm also wondering how reliable hybrids are and whether they cost more to maintain than an ordinary petrol vehicle?

And the other big question I have is whether I should even bother to buy or whether I should look at leasing instead? What are the pros and cons that I should consider? (If I buy, I would try to do so outright, so hopefully wouldn't need finance, though might need a little bit if I went over budget.)

I'm just so confused! Please help! In particular, I have been looking at the Toyota Yaris or the Toyota Auris, or alternatively the Honda Jazz. I do like and trust Japanese cars but I'm open to all suggestions!

butterfly56 Sun 12-Aug-18 01:36:21

I've just bought a small mazda 2 semi automatic (10 years old with 63K miles private sale) so only paid £900 for it...I didn't want to pay anymore than that because I only do about 1000miles per year.
It's turned out to be a really good car that's been well looked after.
The price was low because there was only a few weeks left on the MOT.
The person selling it had bought a new car so wanted rid quick!

I did check the car's MOT history on the DVLA website...just enter the reg number of the car! I think this is a really important thing to do because it gives all the details of why the car failed and any advisories etc which is useful.

This particular car had passed all it's MOTs since new, and had a really good service history.
I put a set of new tyres on it and new wiper blades and it passed it's MOT again with no advisories.

All the cars you mention are good choices but just do the DVLA mot history check to see what issues they have had in the past. HTH smile

AlexaShutUp Sun 12-Aug-18 09:27:52

Thanks butterfly, that's good advice.

AlexaShutUp Sun 12-Aug-18 10:38:04

Any other tips or advice?

BinksyB Sun 12-Aug-18 11:28:08

Do not buy a Ford Focus, especially if you are going for an automatic. Mine had a gear box fault from three years old, it couldn’t cope with simple things, like going round a tiny roundabout on a cold morning, without bringing up a malfunction code. The longer this went on the consequences of the code became more significant. It seems to be a common fault. The recovery guy who picked me up on one of its last outings said that he’s seen this on many other focus autos. It would have cost me £3000 to fix.

ineedabodytransplant Sun 12-Aug-18 14:28:42

As opposed to BinksyB's post. Certainly do NOT discount the Focus!!

Following a long time of company cars I joined a company in 2007 where it was car allowance.

I'm now on my third. they are brilliant cars. Good gearboxes, comfortable, easy to find somewhere for servicing etc.

If you want something slightly smaller then I recommend the Fiesta.

I'd avoid Vauxhalls, but as said earlier Hondas and Toyotas are also very reliable.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sun 12-Aug-18 14:34:05

Apparently don't buy a Jazz if you want automatic (which scuppered my Jazz buying plans).

PingusPaws Sun 12-Aug-18 15:53:59

I know the Yaris have one of the best safety ratings according to the Euro NCAP. Also being a Japanese engine they are very reliable and hold their value well if you're thinking about selling later on. Personally I wouldn't go with a "lease car" deal, buy it outright and you won't have the hassle of monthly payments. If you're buying from a private seller it would be a good idea to take a trusted mechanic with you who would be able to spot any faults that might not be obvious to the average road user. HTH and happy driving smile

NellMangel Sun 12-Aug-18 16:22:43

I have a manual auris and it's been great. It's a roomy five door. Better size than the yaris (for me anyway). It's been very reliable, now ten years old. I'll probably get another next time but am also intrigued by hybrid.

MujosMama Sun 12-Aug-18 16:35:13

Ive always had automatic Jazzes and found them to be great. My last one was 14 years old when it got to the point of being uneconomical to maintain.

Just bought a new one in April, 2013 plate direct from a dealer for £8000 but could definitely have got a cheaper one if I'd been prepared to buy from an independent garage or privately. Not sure you'll be able to get a hybrid for that price though

GlassHeart1 Sun 12-Aug-18 16:52:15

Nissan Micra perhaps (also Japanese)

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