A cheap runaround..

(17 Posts)
ArtyKitty Sun 10-Sep-17 17:32:15

I'm fairly recently single and left brand new car with ex. I took the dog so would love a wee runaround to get to the woods, local hills etc with her. I've zero savings as house purchase (can't rent with said hound!) was last month. It'll be a good few months yet but Ive absolutely no idea what to look for etc. I'm aiming for Under/around £1000 and it'll mostly be maybe twice weekly short journeys with a few longer trips to family etc. Where do I look? What mileage should I expect at this price? I've had a look but I'm utterly bamboozled at the variation. I'm hoping people who've been in a similar situation or have maybe helped young adult children get their first car might have some tips. I'm in Edinburgh, if that helps!

ButteredScone Sun 10-Sep-17 17:35:14

If you are in Edinburgh, you have pretty good public transport so I would keep saving. A car for a grand is basically just buying trouble.

When you are up to about £3k go to Arnold Clark and get their advice.

ArtyKitty Sun 10-Sep-17 20:27:35

That's exactly the sort of advice I need! I know nothing. Cool. I'll keep saving up n get something next year!

cookiefiend Sun 10-Sep-17 22:31:08

Have you looked at the city car club? I haven't looked at it in a while, but think it can be a good deal for those who need a car occasionally. Also some of the car companies (I think Arnold clerk used to and enterprise) do weekend deals. If you just need a car occasionally then doing that may work out cheaper.

I have heard Arnold Clark referred to as Arnold Shark. Hopefully they would sell you something suitable, but I wouldn't rely on it. I would expect them to be more concerned about getting the sale than on how suitable it is.

For a runaround doing mostly short trips, you probably want a smallish, petrol engined car. Larger cars tend to be better for the long trips. Something about the size of a Focus might be a good compromise. If you can find a cheap Toyota Corolla with service history they are very reliable.

There are two major strategies when looking for a cheapish car. You can buy something very cheap that you can just scrap if it turns out to be trouble or saving up to get the best car you can. Either way, try to find someone who knows a bit about cars who can advise.

Buying from family or a friend who you can trust can be a good strategy, but you need to be lucky and know the right person selling the right car.

YouCantCallMeBetty Fri 15-Sep-17 18:58:35

The nice RAC man who came to replace the very flat battery in my car told me that - based on his years of breakdown experience and working as an engineer before that - he would always recommend the following makes over all others: Toyota, Vauxhall, Hyundai and Kia (don't give a 7 year warranty for nothing!). He said he very rarely sees those makes for breakdowns, even the old ones and they keep going for years (so a sub £1000 should still have some life in it). He said Fords were fine before they started putting French engines in them so an older one should be an ok bet.
It might all be tosh or just that more responsible car owners buy those makes but I offer it as helpful for your search! Take or leave as you wish smile

ArtyKitty Mon 18-Sep-17 19:39:36

Thank you all! Lots to consider. Think I'll start putting in the work to get my first solo car!

IfNot Mon 18-Sep-17 19:49:27

You can get plenty for 1k! You really don't need to spend 3/k.
Also, milage doesn't mean as much as people think. Check for full service history- as long as the car had had regular oil changes/ filter changes etc it can have some serious milage and be OK.
If it has over 75k on the clock, look for a car that has had the cam belt changed, as this is something that ought to be done at around this mark (although my last car had 130k and I never got around to it!)
Agree Toyota Corolla is a good 2nd hand buy-Toyota is very reliable. Anything that's unfashionable basically!
Older Fiestas, older Mazda 2, even those little Nissan Micras (old shape)can go on forever and cost hardly anything.
Good luck!

monkeyfacegrace Mon 18-Sep-17 19:52:11

Say what?

Trust Arnold Clark?! A vauxhall?

Jeeezus.

Get yourself a little Toyota/Volvo/Honda.

I bought my 15 year old Volvo V70 2 years ago for £1000. It's almost done 200,000 miles without missing a beat.

Haint Mon 18-Sep-17 19:52:18

Nissan micras are great. Look for a lower mileage over newer car with higher mileage. Make sure it's got 12 months mot

If your dog is huge a fiesta might be better

stubbornstains Mon 18-Sep-17 19:54:40

See, in MY experience I would dis- recommend Citroens, Fiats, Vauxhalls and Renaults, and recommend Volkswagens (although parts expensive), Skodas, Fords (cheap and cheerful, but do die of rust fairly prematurely), and I would have recommended Peugeots until this one hmm. Hopefully you'll get loads of posts in this vein and be able to compile a spreadsheet grin.

Sounds like you've got quite a bit of time to ask around friends and family about what they would recommend.

Personally, I don't touch dealers. Why pay double for something that, is you're lucky, has a 6 month warranty that they will try to wriggle out of if anything goes wrong? I'm thinking of XP spending £4k on a Citroen, only to have the clutch go after a few months- and, yes, a clutch counts as a "consumable" and is not covered by the warranty.

Instead, I would spend my time researching exactly what to look for when you go to view a car.You could get somebody who knows about cars to go with you to look it over, but there's only so much anybody- even an expert mechanic- can tell from looking under the bonnet and giving it a test drive. There's no knowing what may or may not go wrong in a couple of months (cheery).

If I were you, and just wanted something to get me from A to B, I would go for the cheaper end of that £1000, rather than the pricier....as someone said upthread, something that it won't be a wrench to scrap, should things seriously go wrong. From experience, a 4 grand car can go wrong as often as a £700 one.

Graphista Mon 18-Sep-17 20:02:47

Having been lucky enough at one point to get a new car every year and then unlucky necessitating buying under £2k my personal experience is this:

Avoid fords, fiats like the plague - nightmare new or old!

Seconding the Vauxhall, they're what family and several friends have had and they kept going for YEARS, my mums old corsa that she's just scrapped did her for 15 years and was 6 years old when she got it!

I'm considering leasing if/when I get a job, no need to save, mot, tax ins all included, any probs just contact agent, a few of my friends are doing this now. Would love to know mners experiences of this though and any company recommendations.

IfNot Tue 19-Sep-17 14:25:41

God yeah don't touch anext older Citreon or a Renault with a bargepole.
I'm liking your car choice monkeyface, Volvos are great.
Also the old style Golfs (2000-2006) ish. They are built to last and have good boot space.

ArtyKitty Thu 21-Sep-17 23:18:56

You're making it WORSE!!!! grin Only kidding.. Really appreciate the many and varied responses and will genuinely look into every thing suggested!

DontDrinkDontSmoke Thu 21-Sep-17 23:28:11

Join a car club if you stay centrally.

I did. £40 registration, £5 a month membership and cars cost around £4 an hour to rent. You are allowed pets in certain vehicles.

Google Co Wheels

We've gone from being a 2 car household spending around £1k a month on motoring to a no car household spending £100 a month on average.

BackforGood Thu 21-Sep-17 23:34:01

A car for a grand is basically just buying trouble

Totally disagree with this.
My dd bought herself a Corsa which is older than her, for £300. She's had no bother with it, not had to spend on it other than choosing to replace tyres, and it's not been off the road. Over the same time period, our much newer car which cost 20x as much totally locked up the other day when all electrics went down, which could have ended very nastily had I not been pretty experienced, and not a panic-er and been near some grass to slide on to. My mechanic is of the same opinion as my washing machine repair man - older models are / were FAR better as there is far less to go wrong on them.

I'd look for an Japanese model - Honda, Nissan or Toyota.
After that Volvo or Vauxhall.
I'd avoid French (Renault, Citreon).

The little Fiats are cheap (and cheap insurance) but not very powerful. My friend was very disappointed when she replaced her Micra with one.

engineersthumb Thu 21-Sep-17 23:44:19

I never spend more than about £1000 on a car, the current time two are doing well having both lasted into their third and fourth yeara. But I've had less successful purchases too, good thing is that if something really expensive goes wrong you can just scrap it - after a year what does it owe you? I run with basic maintenance, just have to remember not to over commit to them as they are basically disposable.

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