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Anyone know anything about cars?

(13 Posts)
Flossam Wed 20-Jul-05 09:55:13

Cause I don't!! And I suspect that DP doesn't either.

DP has just passed his test and cannot wait to get his puddy little mits on a motor. A motor of any description it seems. Costing around 200-400 so he can buy it right away . He is not worried about service history, although he will ensure it has an MOT. I have asked him to get either his father or my S-father to come and check any cars over. I have also told him I thought you should never buy a car without a full service history? He says most people just don't bother with those after the warrenty runs out.

We are in financial dire straits at the moment, I have just gone back to work, have not been getting enough shifts and it turns out our money arrangements work out to be grossly unfair on me. He is not trying to sort that out though! We do not know exactly how much money I will get each month as I have not gone back 'properly' IYSWIM, am just booking in for shifts as and when I can. We cannot afford a car in our monthly bills atm.

Basically I would rather save up for a few months to afford a more decent car. One that has got a full service history and is not likely to crash with our 8 month old baby in the back. That should be most important, shouldn't it? I am having real issues persuading him that this should be the case though. BTW, he wants to use this car to get to and from work (works shifts) which is a 20 minute train ride away and his transport is free .

charliecat Wed 20-Jul-05 09:58:34

Well having purchased many under 500 quid cars I can say ours have never lasted longer than the years MOT before they have died. We scraped the barrel(literally borrowing money from everyone we knew) about 4 years ago and brought a Mondeo for a grand...well about 987.34 including coppers...its still running smoothly now.
Bit daft also if he gets free travel and your skint already.

nell12 Wed 20-Jul-05 10:15:15

a cheap car costs more in the long run because they break down so much.
Wait and spend a little more, it will be worth it, and go for something like a ford as repairs and parts are cheaper

DaddyCool Wed 20-Jul-05 10:16:21

hmmm.. tough one. if you're looking at a car at under £500, a full service history maybe a bit too much to ask.

Def get someone who knows something about cars to have a peek at it. sometimes they are genuine bangers that only last a few months but if the car is in half decent working order, it could last you years. i bought a car for $50 dollars when i was 17 and it lasted me three years and i drove it all around the USA.

you want to stick with the classics that have very few design faults simply because the length of time they've been around:


...spring to mind.

Raspberry Wed 20-Jul-05 10:30:08

£200-400 cars are basically rolling scrap, so your dp is right that all you can expect for that money is an MOT. What ever life you get out of it is a bonus.

Say you get a £200 'E' reg. Peugeot 205, from a safety point of view there may be little different with this than a £1000 'M' reg. Mondeo, it boils down to the individual vehicle.

My advice, all cars older than 3 years old, get someone who 'knows about motors' to look them over. Its fairly easy for them to spot a real turkey. Also, £200-400 bangers are lower risk than a £1500 8-10 year old for the reason that if they die, you've lost £200, if the £1500 car dies, you will want to repair it which may cost £500+, so its not a simple decision.

My opinion, for what its worth is this, when getting a banger go for the makes and models of generally reliable old cars you see a lot of on the road, which means they must run and run:
- Peugeot 205
- Ford Mondeo
- VW Golf
- Vauxhall Astra
- Nissan Sunny
- Toyota Carina
- etc...

Anyway, good luck

essbee Wed 20-Jul-05 10:31:19

Message withdrawn

Flossam Wed 20-Jul-05 10:36:55

I think thats what I am saying though DC and Raspberry, that I would rather save for a while and get a full service history than buy a cheap banger. is that worthwhile or not?

charleepeters Wed 20-Jul-05 10:40:03

Basicly you need to check

That the engine doesnt rattle when running
theres litte or no rust
its runs well
it has no oil/petrol leaks

service history is a bonus but you do find alot of people service there cars themselves so wont have records.

older cars are ok as long as they dot have huge milage on them and have been looked ofter ok.

DaddyCool Wed 20-Jul-05 10:52:59

yes. if you can get by without a car for a little longer and save a little bit extra thats better.

Ellbell Wed 20-Jul-05 10:56:48


You won't get a full service history for a car under £500. But the MOT will tell you that it is basically functioning and safe.

I wouldn't worry about putting your baby in a car under £500. It's not going to crash... if anything it'll just conk out gradually and slowly. And one advantage is that your dp won't be speeding around at 100 mph... cos the car won't cope!

I'd recommend getting a diesel. Diesel engines last much longer than petrol and tend to be less temperamental. We've had diesel cars with over 150,000 miles on the clock and they've been fine (not luxury, you understand, and certainly not fast...but working and reliable).

I'd never ever buy a Renault <Ellbell ducks head under parapet to avoid flak thrown by those who love them>, all the ones we've ever had have been massively unreliable. The Espace I had was so dire that the RAC put my premium up - I'd called them out that many times. The very very best cheap cars we've had (and we've had a few!) have been Peugeot 205 diesels. They are fab.

Oh, and if you are buying a cheap car, I'd definitely splash out on RAC membership. Then if anything DOES go wrong, you know that you will get home safely. (And they prioritise call-outs with kids in the car, so they won't leave you sitting by the roadside for hours.) Definitely worth it, imo.


Flossam Wed 20-Jul-05 11:08:15

Thanks everyone. I want to wait but he is basically unstoppable when he gets an idea in his head - he runs with it! The other idea I have had is to try and insist if he buys such a cheap car that he gets the AA safety check done. Ok so it's an expense but I am all to aware that as a newly qualified driver with no knowledge of cars, safety is very important.

Ellbell Wed 20-Jul-05 13:39:15

Good idea, Flossam. They may even do him a discount if he joins at the same time. A cheaper alternative might be to go into your local garage and ask if someone would be willing to look at a car with him - bet they'd do it for a small amount of cash. Always loads of car mad young lads in garages. (My dad used to be a mechanic!)

Flossam Wed 20-Jul-05 17:20:19

Thanks Ellbell.

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