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How do I find out more about cars?(in a way that I'd understand)

(21 Posts)
used2bthin Sat 13-Sep-08 13:47:17

I have got very limited money but am seriously thinking I need a new car. I have still got my first ever car which was given to me by my aunt. I'd have to give it to my brother if I got a new one so can't use it as part of an exchange. I've no idea what cars cost really, or what I'm after but I want a safe reliable one obviously, mine is a VW polo whaich I think are quite good? It is 1997 though and starting to have things go wrong. Also it is three doors and I have back and neck problems so want 5 doors and power steering.

How much would it set me back? What should I be looking for and where? I would probably buy it on a credit card would this be a cheaper option then a bank loan or finance? Where would I find out about this sort of thing?

Sidge Sat 13-Sep-08 13:51:37

A credit card is a very expensive way of buying a car - I would think a bank loan would be the cheapest way of financing it (unless you can stretch to a small new car and can get a good finance deal from a dealer, which takes a bit of shopping around and savvy!).

What's your budget? What size engine do you want? Do you have to fit child car seats in it? What sort of extras do you want eg air con, CD player, safety features etc?

This might be helpful or try reading through this.

palaver Sat 13-Sep-08 13:52:01

a personal loan would be much cheaper than a credit card

used2bthin Sat 13-Sep-08 13:58:12

Thank you ok personal loan it is or I can use savings towards some of it. Thanks those links look very helpful. I don't know where to startbudget wise, do you think a car which is a couple of years old is going to be the best bet in terms of how long it will last me? What is a good, safe model?

used2bthin Sat 13-Sep-08 14:29:19

Is Volkswagon better than Ford or does that depend on what you want it for? I am clueless! Its just for me and DD so probably want a hatchback, 5 doors with power steering. Have read through those links they are really helpful.

bloss Sat 13-Sep-08 14:33:52

Message withdrawn

used2bthin Sat 13-Sep-08 14:37:02

That is a good plan and you have just reminded me I need to ring my one because I won a free MOT but it is for this year so I need to ask him if he'll change it for next year. Only problem is they are also a used car dealership so they may try and sell me one of theirs. They seem pretty good though no one I know has complained about them.

Sidge Sat 13-Sep-08 14:46:48

A car a couple of years old is a good bet as it has depreciated enough so that it won't devalue quickly, yet is new enough to not need too many repairs.

Personally I think if you are on a tight budget think about going for a British car eg a Ford or Vauxhall rather than a VW. Servicing and parts tend to be cheaper and most garages can fix and service them. My DHs car is a Hyundai and needs specialist parts which cost a fortune!

The Ford Focus is a very good car IMO

used2bthin Sat 13-Sep-08 14:55:45

Thank you they look good, that link is brilliant too I will have a proper look tonight as can compare on there too i think.So Ford focus probably is the way to go, my Dad has got one actually, an estate one though but may be worth me asking him a bit about it.

used2bthin Tue 16-Sep-08 23:09:05

Just bumping this because I'm in a flap about safety since XP suggested my vw polo(12 years old)would not hold out very well in a crash situation. Which cars are best safety wise does anyone know? I've been looking on what car but can't find anything about safety. I've looked at Ford focuses and fiestas, vw polos, Skoda Fabias and renault clios but tbh I don't think the Clio would be big enough. Any input greatly appreciated, I've got to make a decision soonish as mine appears to be on its way out.

hettie Wed 17-Sep-08 14:52:23

there is a website called whatcar and they give very relaible reviews of loads of cars (new and second hand) their review features safety..... there is also a function to search by type of car you are looking for eg small/saloon/family....

used2bthin Wed 17-Sep-08 23:10:29

Thanks Hettie that is great, I've had a look and all the cars I like seem to be scoring 4.5 for safety, does anyone know what that means? Is it out of 5? Which cars would be higher and which lower? I found a report about safet for kids in the car but none of the smaller cars seemed to do brilliantly. Anyone got access to Which reports? I wonder if I should just pay to find out more?

MrsSnorty Wed 17-Sep-08 23:14:15

You can also buy a magazine called Parker's Guide that comes out monthly and gives trade/private prices for all makes,models and ages of cars.

used2bthin Wed 17-Sep-08 23:19:30

Ah thank you MrsSnorty, haven't heard of that one. Hate being single when it comes to this sort of thing. I just feel clueless having to choose for myself!

used2bthin Wed 17-Sep-08 23:20:33

I'm going to go and get that tomorrow actually will it just be in normal newsagents do you think?

MrsSnorty Thu 18-Sep-08 12:01:01

hi, think so but otherwise try WH Smiths or somewhere big. Or a petrol station that sells magazines maybe? (sorry - My Dad bought me my copy - I'm pretty useless too!)

used2bthin Thu 18-Sep-08 13:33:59

Thanks good idea to try the petrol station. Otherwise will try Smiths. I'm so impatient I want a new car now, haven't even sorted out a loan and its DD's party sunday so will probably not even be able to look till next week.

EvelynsDad Thu 18-Sep-08 13:38:17

To get independent safety ratings look at the NCAP ratings.

Don't buy new unless you've got money to burn. A 3 year old car will be almost as reliable as a new car and will have already lost more than half it's value.

EvelynsDad Thu 18-Sep-08 13:43:31

I should have mentioned that www.honestjohn.co.uk/ is a good site for reviews and use a comparison site like the Motley Fool to get a good deal on a loan.

Look out for early redemption penalties and other penalty clauses on loans that could make them more expensive than they first appear. payment protection insurance is rarely good value. If you do want it, shop around for it, don't automatically take it from the bank providing the loan.

used2bthin Thu 18-Sep-08 13:55:18

Thankyou EvelynsDad that is great, I'll have a look at those now. Think I may have looked at the NCAP ratings and not been able to follow some of it but will check the link in case I was looking at the wrong bits! Not heard of Honest John so that is great. As for the loan that is good advice, especially about insurance I will look into it all.

used2bthin Thu 18-Sep-08 13:56:46

The VW polo doesn't seem to have any stars for child safety, same for a couple others that I searched, do you know why that would be?

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