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Need a car, where to start?

(14 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Tue 09-Jun-15 08:45:12

DH and I have been living abroad for the last 6 years and never had a car. We're not massively interested in them to be honest but we're moving back to the UK and will really need one almost as soon as we get back and I want to just go out and get one in a weekend.

Does anyone have any suggestions/tips about how to go about this? I don't want to get ripped off by a dealer but don't have time/patience to buy from small ads and go to people's houses for a private sale. We'll be living in East London but won't have a car to drive to dealerships, so would need to be ones near tube stations.

What we need is:

Hatchback with decent boot space as we're planning on buying a house so will probably end up moving DIY stuff/furniture etc. But not an estate; if we have really big stuff to move we'll hire a van.
Easy to reverse park (DH is crap at this smile)
Good for city driving but comfy enough to drive 8 or 9 hours at a time on family visits 4-5 times a year.
Eventually suitable for a child seat in the back (we are ttc)
Suitable to put a bike rack on the back.
Not too attractive to thieves.
Don't care about the make.
Air con.
Hope it will last us at least 5 years.

Looking to spend around 9 grand, if that's reasonable and we can pay in full on the day.


WanderWomble Tue 09-Jun-15 12:15:22

You could always buy a smaller estate like a Skoda Fabia. For 9k you should be able to get a low mileage car with lots of toys. If you really don't want the estate version, the hatchbacks are decently sized too.

TTWK Tue 09-Jun-15 13:43:52

Hire a car for a week, and use that to travel around looking for the ideal thing.

penisland Tue 09-Jun-15 19:24:48

Can't go wrong with a Honda Civic. Should meet all your needs.

JessieMcJessie Wed 10-Jun-15 03:13:18

Thanks everyone for your advice! Any tips for how to deal with second hand car salesemen?

Eastpoint Wed 10-Jun-15 04:59:35

Are you familiar with schemes such as Zip Car? You can rent a car for an hour or longer so don't have a depreciating asset you only use at the weekend clogging up the streets. They have different size vehicles and there are pick up bays all over London.

Mozzie74 Wed 10-Jun-15 15:00:59

Try a Ford Focus or even a Fiesta. I love my Fiesta. And because it's a Ford, it's an easy to maintain car as loads of garages. Fiesta is the largest model of car in the UK for a reason.
As for dodgy salesman, try Hertz Rent2Buy and you could pick up your car when you land?! Just a suggestion! I bought my Fiesta using Hertz in 2013 and it was genuinely Ace! And no trouble with the car at all!

peggyundercrackers Wed 10-Jun-15 15:55:53

I would go for skoda/audi/vw/vauxhall - lots to choose from and you should get a decent car for 9k - in fact you would get a very nearly new astra for that kind of money. as someone else said rent a car to begin with and look about - don't jump in feet first and buy the first car you see - don't seem to keen either as the salesman will see this and react accordingly.

stay away from focus with diesel engines - they can have lots of issues.

WanderWomble Thu 11-Jun-15 00:01:26

I've honestly never had a problem with car salesmen. Check the prices first on Autotrader, go in knowing what you want and if you're willing to haggle and be prepared to walk if they won't play.

penisland Thu 11-Jun-15 08:42:15

I would go for skoda/audi/vw/vauxhall

Are you some kind of masochist? VAG cars are pretty mediocre in terms of reliability and build quality and most Vauxhalls are just truly nasty. Something Japanese is what you need OP.

JessieMcJessie Thu 11-Jun-15 11:36:54

Thanks :-) My Mum and Dad had a few Hondas, I do have good memories of those. Also thanks for the Zip Car recommendation, turns out there is a car park with some in just next to our flat. Don't think it will solve the long term problem but will be handy for when we first arrive.

TTWK Sat 13-Jun-15 16:03:10

Fiesta is the largest model of car in the UK for a reason.

There are loads of cars larger than a Fiesta! grin

Eastpoint Sun 14-Jun-15 09:18:38

I think Mozzie meant it was the best selling car, not the largest.

AprilShowers15 Sat 20-Jun-15 14:05:40

Honestly after I'm done with my C1 I'm going Audi A3. My mums had two and she's loved both of them. Super comfy, lots of room and very safe.

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