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Inoperational Bumblebee

Car recommendations?

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I know there's a few car nuts round here, so I thought I'd ask for help as I know very little about them.

We might need a second car soon for baby transportation reasons when my wife goes back to work. As it will get barely any use I'd like to make it something interesting or a bit special in some way. Budget: cheap as possible, though I might be tempted to go as high as £4k.

The only absolute essentials are isofix child seat mountings and reliability. I'm 6'2" so needs to be able to fit a tall driver comfortably. I'd like it to have good visibility as I spend most of my road time on a motorbike and driving a car generally does my head in. I'd also much prefer a 4x4 as the in-laws live on an incredibly pot-holed private road, and I worry about snow. I don't want it be a big chav-wagon either - small for ease of parking. Low tax and insurance would be good too considering how little use it will get. Not so bothered about mpg for that reason, as long as it's not ridiculous!

Current favourite is a Suzuki Jimny but I don't know if I'll fit in one, and from reviews it sounds absolutely shit on the road.

Any suggestions for what else to consider, or thoughts on Jimnys?

TIA

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My mother was looking at getting a Jimny because she liked the look of them and their height but stopped looking when she read a review for it recently; it sounded horrendous.

Suzuki SX4 or Dacia Duster both look fun.  I've known people with both and they're very happy with them.

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

My mother was looking at getting a Jimny because she liked the look of them and their height but stopped looking when she read a review for it recently; it sounded horrendous.

Suzuki SX4 or Dacia Duster both look fun.  I've known people with both and they're very happy with them.

I'm seriously considering one of those, know somebody with one and he said it's excellent. Under no illusions about it given the price, big test will come when I get round to test driving one myself. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, gilf said:

I'm seriously considering one of those, know somebody with one and he said it's excellent. Under no illusions about it given the price, big test will come when I get round to test driving one myself.

I have been in one when a friend was looking at buying them and they are basic inside which didn't suit them so they bought a Qashqai with leather trim but I like basic so I may well buy one also.  Though I'm many years off changing my car so by the time I do I'm hoping there will be lots of bargain Dacias on the second hand market; I don't want a new one as it will be used for outdoorsy things so will get dirty and sandy.

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If you're after cheap then you're looking at buying privately.  Don't pick an absolute car, but have a long list of possibilities -- you'll increase the chances of finding a decent car if you've got a range of possibilities.

The secret is to buy a car that has been looked after.  If you're after something 'popular' then the amateur-trade-experts will get there first, but anything off-the-radar will be doable.  Don't get anything too bonkers because spare parts will be more difficult to get / expensive.

The thing about private buying is that you can see the type of person who's owned it.  If you buy from a trader then you might have a warranty (which always ends up useless) but you don't know how the car was looked after by its previous owner(s).  Find the posh areas around you (if you don't live in one), and centre your search target areas around there.  If you have to enter a postcode to centre the search then use a postcode from the posh area, not your own postcode.  You're after a car that has been owned from newish by a nice older middle class couple as a second or third car, with really good service history, preferably by a dealer.  You want a previous owner who has used dealer servicing for an older car even though it is clearly bonkers.  Mileage isn't as big a deal as it used to be (as motors are good for over 100,000 miles these days), but note replacements of the usual candidate consumables (tyres, clutch, cambelt).  Most other things should be cheap enough to sort out down the local garage. Low mileage is more of an issue -- it is more likely to say that the car has been unused for a few years (elderly relative?) and has been recommissioned, or, worse, that it has had a long-term problem that they've (perhaps temporarily) resolved for sale. 

There won't be so many cars that meet all of the above -- at well under £4k (I think) you're normally into the category of 2nd / 3rd owners who've run the car on a budget.  But, search around for long enough and you'll find one.

Note that you don't want really cheap because there tends to be a myriad of problems that emerge when cars are 10ish years old, but there is a sweet spot around 5-6 years old where the car will be fine but it'll be really affordable.  [unless you're handy with a spanner, but it has to be something you love to do because often self-maintenance is a complex false-economy].

Re. Jimnys being 'shit on the road'.  Most older cars will have slightly worn dampers, springs, bushes, etc, so you'll never get 'brand new handling' (as per the reviews) unless you spend a bit on upgrades.  But so long as you're not hooning around the place most cars should be perfectly acceptable.    

But I wouldn't get a Jimny as the off-roader crew like them which bids up the price.  The Berlingo isn't a bad choice, but you've got to be able to live with the look...

 

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Subaru Forester if you don't mind them a bit older and if it's not too big - classless and well built 4x4. Hundreds of farmers can't be wrong.

Dacia Duster a good shout for more modern.

If want smaller, Fiat Panda 4x4 surprisingly fun and surprisingly reliable.

Edited by The Idiocrat

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Oh, if you're worried about snow but only for a short section of road don't get a 4x4, but just a normal car and buy winter tyres for the snow season.  Winter tyres on a (small cheap) 4x4 will outsnow a 4x4 on summer (normal) tyres.  

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1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

I have been in one when a friend was looking at buying them and they are basic inside which didn't suit them so they bought a Qashqai with leather trim but I like basic so I may well buy one also.  Though I'm many years off changing my car so by the time I do I'm hoping there will be lots of bargain Dacias on the second hand market; I don't want a new one as it will be used for outdoorsy things so will get dirty and sandy.

I've sat in a few, didn't find it that basic in all honesty, at least not compared with most of the cars I've ever owned. Wouldn't buy a new one, there seem to be a few around at the right mileage and price.

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2 hours ago, Inoperational Bumblebee said:

I know there's a few car nuts round here, so I thought I'd ask for help as I know very little about them.

We might need a second car soon for baby transportation reasons when my wife goes back to work. As it will get barely any use I'd like to make it something interesting or a bit special in some way. Budget: cheap as possible, though I might be tempted to go as high as £4k.

The only absolute essentials are isofix child seat mountings and reliability. I'm 6'2" so needs to be able to fit a tall driver comfortably. I'd like it to have good visibility as I spend most of my road time on a motorbike and driving a car generally does my head in. I'd also much prefer a 4x4 as the in-laws live on an incredibly pot-holed private road, and I worry about snow. I don't want it be a big chav-wagon either - small for ease of parking. Low tax and insurance would be good too considering how little use it will get. Not so bothered about mpg for that reason, as long as it's not ridiculous!

Current favourite is a Suzuki Jimny but I don't know if I'll fit in one, and from reviews it sounds absolutely shit on the road.

Any suggestions for what else to consider, or thoughts on Jimnys?

TIA

So, 4x4, something interesting....

 

A Lancia Delta Integrale ?

deltaintergrale2.jpg?mode=max&quality=90

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I'd get the Jimny personally, assuming it meets your other criteria. So what if it's rubbish to drive on the road? You say yourself that you'll not be going far in it.

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17 minutes ago, Rave said:

I'd get the Jimny personally, assuming it meets your other criteria. So what if it's rubbish to drive on the road? You say yourself that you'll not be going far in it.

What if he decides mobile hairdressing is more lucrative?

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4 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

 

Suzuki SX4 or Dacia Duster both look fun.  I've known people with both and they're very happy with them.

or Dacia Ruster as it is known by owners - another one bites the rust.

They seem to leak a lot too, not great in a country where it rains all the time although probably ok on the plains of Dace.

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8 minutes ago, davidg said:

or Dacia Ruster as it is known by owners - another one bites the rust.

They seem to leak a lot too, not great in a country where it rains all the time although probably ok on the plains of Dace.

I think they've sorted out the rust problem -- but, even so, I wouldn't get an early one.

Shame, really, as IMO the anti-snobbery vibe of the Duster makes it one of the few affordable 'cool' cars*.

[but only in white and without a radio -- no point in having a cheap car if you then buy all the options]

 

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

I think they've sorted out the rust problem -- but, even so, I wouldn't get an early one.

Shame, really, as IMO the anti-snobbery vibe of the Duster makes it one of the few affordable 'cool' cars*.

[but only in white and without a radio -- no point in having a cheap car if you then buy all the options]

 

I think the styling is not bad, dunno how they managed to have rust problems in the 21st century.

Wife has a Panda (not 4x4) which goes everywhere in the Alps. Not a spot of rust after 13 years. No idea if the MK4 Panda is as good.

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Don't Skoda do some sort of 4x4 van with windows in the sides, favoured by the elderly?

That budget would just about scrape to a 2007 high miler Gaylander 2 which would be light years ahead of the others in the smaller 4x4 sector.

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£4k sounds really low..   but I'd agree with the broader sentiments on the thread.

When I was looking at second hand for the wife,   I reckoned on getting something around 3-4 years old,  worst of the depreciation out of the way and still with a lot of life in it so you aren't switching cars every other year.

We ended up with a Skoda Fabia automatic for around £6k at the time and that has been fine for the past three years now.   On your budget you might need to go a bit older but similarly unpopular.

We have friends who always buy on around your budget,  they have always bought old French cars and despite my disdain for them (the cars,  not our friends) I have to admit they have got a lot of years out of all of them with very few issues  (edit to add,  all Peugeot's).

Edited by Libspero

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7 minutes ago, Libspero said:

£4k sounds really low..   but I'd agree with the broader sentiments on the thread.

When I was looking at second hand for the wife,   I reckoned on getting something around 3-4 years old,  worst of the depreciation out of the way and still with a lot of life in it so you aren't switching cars every other year.

We ended up with a Skoda Fabia automatic for around £6k at the time and that has been fine for the past three years now.   On your budget you might need to go a bit older but similarly unpopular.

We have friends who always buy on around your budget,  they have always bought old French cars and despite my disdain for them (the cars,  not our friends) I have to admit they have got a lot of years out of all of them with very few issues  (edit to add,  all Peugeot's).

Your wife lets you choose her car?  o.O

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Just now, MrPin said:

Obviously! My ex came back with a ropey Polo, that I was always fixing.

No way would I let anyone choose my car. Especially my husband who thinks it a good idea to get an electric one next. O.o

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6 minutes ago, One percent said:

Your wife lets you choose her car?  o.O

Within reason, yes.

At the time we were on a tight budget so I suggested a few and we went to see them.   It was the Skoda or a pretty ropy looking Suzuki Swift,  she liked the colour of the Skoda luckily.

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