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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 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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