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New Car, Cant Decide!


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Been fortunate enough to have had 3k given to me to help out with uni fees, living, car etc.

Current pug 106's a bit battered, willing to spend about 1.5k on the car, no more than 2k.

Winning my votes are Clio's, Punto's, Fiesta's...

Not wanting anything boy racer stylee, just good value. Anyone own, or has owned, any of the above?

Really undecided!! help me out :S Cheers ladies

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Punto mk 1= No, my mums got one and its problem after problem with it, if you want a non boy racer car , Vauxhall Nova's your car. That was a joke.

Clio's can be nice depending which one you get and fiestas are reliable i think... i can't really say too much as i'm only 15 and haven't had a car yet.

Any ideas what you want to use it for? That might help our decisions.

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I know you dont want anything too boy racerish, but surely you could do better than that? those 3 in the list are no step up from a 106.....

Mines just an old M reg, have had so many problems with it. Want a change from Peugeot.

Have seen a few nice cars for my price at V reg, which would be beaut! Dont mind waiting months looking around for the best one. VW's would be nice, but ive found theyre more expensive to buy, compared to an equally spec'd and aged clio,punto,fiesta etc..

And to answer an earlier question, do majority of motorway miles

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I'd suggest you look for something fairly new, with reasonable mileage. It's better to have something newer and higher mileage than the other way around. That 1990 Clio with 30,000 miles on it may look like a bargain, but if it's only ever driven mavis to the post office on a Wednesday for her pension, then chances are it's spent a lot of time sitting around rotting, the engine will have been upto proper temperature very rarely, and it will have shafted the catalytic converter. Something newer will drive better, be more efficient, safer and more secure.

Stick with Fiestas, Puntos, Lupos, KAs, Clios and Corsas. You want something unmodified, paying extra for things like alloys, fancy stereos or bodykits will get you little extra money when you come to resell and may indicate that it's had a hard life.

On a cheaper car a good service history is less essential than a more expensive one, but the more stamps in the log book the better. Check carefully for signs of the car being a cut and shut (two cars cut in half and welded together). There should be no marks or changes in the paint on any of the pillars or the roof. Check also for accident damage along either side of the engine bay and under the carpets in the boot. Any damage here could be cosmetic, but it could also mean the chassis is damaged.

Turn the steering all the way across, and have a look at the front tyres. The wear should be even all the way across. If it's worn on one side a lot more than the other then the suspension could be out of alignment or damaged. Do the same with the back tyres.

Under the bonnet, find the oil cap, take it off and look on the underside of the cap. If the oil is nice and clean looking then you're fine. If it's 'mayonaising' (becoming cloudy or white and thick) then water is getting into the oil which could be major trouble. Do the same with the dipstick. If the oil is very low or very dirty, then it may mean a lack of maintenance during the car's life.

One trick when you go to look at a car is to put your hand on the bonnet when you first arrive. If a car has a problem starting when it's cold then the seller could run it for a while to ensure it starts easily.

Inside the car, check everything. Do the lights work? Indicators? Radio? Start the engine and watch the dials, does the oil pressure/temperature and water temperature come up?

Take the car for a test drive, does it accelerate cleanly? Hold the wheel very lightly and the car should go in a straight line and not wander off to one side as this could indicate a twisted chassis, suspension damage or just the tracking being out. Again, hold the wheel and brake heavily, the car should slow down in a straight line too. Try all the gears too.

Most of all though, don't get too set on a certain car make or model. If you want something cheap, then look around and on the Autotrader website and see what you can get. The wider your search, the more chance you'll find a bargain. Oh, and do an HPI check. For £25 it'll confirm the car hasn't been registered as stolen or scrapped, will give you an idea of what the vehicle is worth and if the mileage is above or below the average. It'll even tell you when it was registered, how many owners it's had, confirm chassis numbers and engine numbers and if it's been repainted! It will also reimburse you for various costs if it turns out the information was wrong. If you buy a car, they say it's ok and it turns out to be stolen, they'll pay for the cost of the car.

o majority of motorway miles

Here's a thought, does it have to be small? Having been looking recently, I've noticed that small cars hold their value more than bigger ones. If you want something comfy for the motorway, then you may find a Mondeo, Vectra, Passat or Octavia (especially the last one if you want good value!!) to be more suitable, and it'll easily swallow four bikes and three friends.

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VW's would be nice, but ive found theyre more expensive to buy, compared to an equally spec'd and aged clio,punto,fiesta etc..

theres a good reason for that though mate....... itll work better and last longer for a given spec.

dont let mileage an issue either, far too many people are too hooked on low mileage, and saying high mileage cars are a massive no no.....

its just not true, modern cars are so good, that its really not an issue anymore....

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dont let mileage an issue either, far too many people are too hooked on low mileage, and saying high mileage cars are a massive no no.....

Exactly, especially if it's well looked after. Lots of motorway miles are less damaging to a car than lots of short journeys around town!

One thing I forgot to mention, if you think the mileage is too good to be true, then check the steering wheel, gearstick, pedal rubbers, seat... If the car has 30,000 miles showing, but the seat is collapsing, the steering wheel is shiney and has lost all it's texture and the pedal rubbers are down to next to nothing, then it's a good bet the car is somewhat higher mileage than it's claiming!

BTW, one good test is to sit in the drivers seat, get comfy, then try the passengers seat. As the passenger seat tends to be used less, then it'll give you an idea of how much the drivers seat has worn. If the passenger seat is firm and snug, and the drivers seat is soft then you know it's done a decent mileage.

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Vdub Polo's are nice, bit girly but are seriously reliable. you could pick up a really good condition R reg 1.4 for around 1500-2000 or so.

You should be paying a bit less than that I'd have thought. I've just bought (well, inherited but that's not the point) an R reg Polo 1.6 which is only worth about £5-600. Granted it's done 120k miles but no major problems. Plus it's got a few nice bits like Alloys, upgraded CD player and a pimp wooden steering wheel (!).

For £1.5-2k you could get a nice S, T, V reg Golf I'd imagine. My girlfriend drives a T reg golf and it's well nice B)

As for choosing, I don't really know. I've always liked VWs so I knew I wanted a Polo.

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