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what is the lowest cost car to buy and run?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon63, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. My battered old fiesta is reaching the end of its life. Another expensive MOT and service today and apparently the clutch is not long for this world. I don't have much savings (currently about £1000) and I'm managing to put aside about £200 a month now. I don't know how long the clutch will hold out for but clearly I need to start looking for a suitable replacement. I obviously can't afford a new car.
    I need some advice (I don't have a man handy or anyone motorish in my friends or family to help me). I need a small car, with low running costs, low insurance bracket. My only requirements are a big enough boot / back seat for my dog. What cars fit this bill and how is best to buy them - car salesroom, newspaper, ebay?
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Kia Picanto is about 7 grand new for the enrty level model. Mrs Blazer gets about 65 to the gallon out of hers and road tax is £35 per year. 4 seater 5 door hatchback. The basic on has electric front windows, firm but comfortable seats. Enough room in the back to hold a dance. The radio is very good as is the heater. Only drawback is a relativly small boot space but the back seats drop down.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    And think they have a 2 grand minimum trade in a the moment so your fiesta could be worth 2 grand!
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    And a 7 year warrenty
  5. Unfortunately, while that is a good offer, I'm £6k down on the asking price. If they traded in my fiesta for £2k then I'd still need to conjure £4k. I think I can realistically get to £2000 by the summer hols. Maybe £3000 but that would leave me nothing in my savings and if the roof fell down / boiler broke I'd be in trouble.
  6. My friend has a Fiat 500. £35 a year road tax and her petrol only costs her £35 a month!(compared to my £104 [​IMG])
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Fiat Panda - Lowest insurance group, tax £35 pa, good fuel consumption, more spacious in the rear than you might think, easy to drive.
  8. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Why not just get the clutch done - it's the cheapest option ...
  9. The car is a petrol engine, it's got 120+ on the clock, it's an old car. Last year it cost me £600 to service, this year it will be at least £700 if I got the clutch done as well. It's rusty on the bottom of each door. The heater doesn't work. The door seals have gone. It rattles and jingles when it drives and it's only a matter of time before the doors clean drop off. I've had it seven years always with the intention that I'd keep it until it died. It's on a life support at the moment. That's why I am thinking of replacing it.
  10. If you are short of cash - maybe you can't afford to go 2ndhand. Seriously. If you are not good with cars and have to pay for repairs, then you could end up paying a fortune
    Some posters have mentioned some good new cars and deals. It might sound daft to buy a new car if you are short of cash, but think - 3 years no MOT, warranty and often AA cover etc included. Also newer cars have better fuel economy - a car gets less efficient as it ages, especially if you do not service it.
    You should do the costings old car vs new car - especially taking into account your projected fuel costs and repairs for each one. You might be surprised.
  11. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    I'm reading with interest. May have a reason to buy my first car later this month...[​IMG]
  12. totally agree- Mine was about 6.5K and I got around 2K off in trade in, then put down 1K, and will be paying about £120 a month for 3 years. but, compared with what I was paying out for my last old knackered rust bucket, I reckon I'm actually no worse off, but have a reliable car that never lets me down. Last car would have cost me around 2K to fix, and this was just after spending £600. I waited a very long time ( 20 years) to get a new car and one of the best decisions I ever made.
  13. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Depreciation on a new car could be much more than that per annum.
  14. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Get another Fiesta. You'll be lucky to find a cheaper car to maintain. Our new exhaust was only £35 for the whole thing! The Fiat one is over a hundred for the last little bit. We've had loads of Fiestas in a row.
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    A few years ago I bought a classic VW camper for £3100. I sold it 7 years later for £3000, and worked out that it cost me an average £500 a year for tax,insurance MoT and servicing. Sadly, being old it was a bit of a fuel guzzler, but that was offset to a certain extent by almost zero depreciation. There's something to be said for owning a classic vehicle provided the spares and servicing expertise are widely available. I imagine that a well cared for classic VW Beetle would hold its value.
  16. To echo what harsh says, most cars depreciate most in value in the first year-which is why people often look for 1-2 year old used cars. There seem to be 2 choices; buy a new car and change it every 3 years to make most of no mot, warranties and free servicing etc, or to do as with your present car and buy used and keep it for years. My first OH was useless with anything mechanical and had more money than sense and we had several new cars; present husband is brilliant with anything mechanical and as long as there's a Haynes manual for the car, can do loads of routine maintenance (he recently did new brake pads for me) so we would never dream of buying new.
    Then what you go for depends on how you plan to pay. Are you planning to pay outright or take out a car loan/finance? I suggest you use a used car search website to see what you can get for your money-my favourite is Autotrader ( http://www.autotrader.co.uk/search/form ). You can change lots of search criteria, such as age, mileage, fuel type, transmission, max/min price etc.
    If you go for an older car, then all you need is to have is a garage you can trust to maintain it-I had a fab mechanic years ago (Volkswagen addictions-and always had cars that he maintained-the clue is in the name-volkswagens). I have since moved, but have found a brilliant Discount VW/Audi/Seat workshop, so I will stick with one of those brands-all this stemmed from ex OH taking car to a Kwik fit type place years ago for new brake pads-and having the brakes fail on me with my daughter in the car the following day (on a 60mph dual carriageway).Turned out they hadn't bled the brakes properly and there were air bubbles in the tubes (happy ending masses of frantic pumping of the brakes brought us to a halt eventually)
    If you plan to buy an older car and have no idea what make to go for, Look around you when you are out on the roads and see what old cars are still going strong. Personally I would never buy italian or french cars (Fiat, Renault, Citroen etc which used have bad reliability ratings and tended to be expensive to insure because of high costs of spare parts) and would stick with German or Japanese cars that keep their price for years and more importantly keep going.
    I had my last VW (a passat) for 13 years before passing it on to my daughter who drove it into the ground over the next 2 years-had done 146,000 miles when she traded it in; my present VW golf is 10 years old and still going strong (bought it when it was 3 years old).
    The other option for a new car is leasing-I have been to some schools where many of the staff have the same make of new car-where they all got an excellent deal (ads in union magazines etc).

  17. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    You can lease a Picanto for less than £200 per month.
  18. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Have you considered LEASING a car. It is like long term hire, and can be got on a three year lease for about £150 a month (there are deals between one and four years, but three seems about right to me). So far as I am aware you have to insure the car and tax it, but all servicing costs and breakdowns are covered in the monthly cost (I think). Obviously you never OWN the car, but you can drive round in a new car. If you do a google search on "car leasing uk" loads of sites come up some with "special offers".
    Terms and conditions tend to work with an agreed mileage per year, and you have to pay a deposit which might be five or six hundred quid. But this would mean you could scrap the old Fiesta, have a reliable car, keep everything within your budget and possibly have peace of mind.
  19. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    I pay less than £200 a month for a brand new pink KA. First year tax was free and from this year on will be £35 a year. Insurance is really low (especially considering I am under 25 and only have 3 years + a speeding charge). I can put £40 in on pay day and not have to fill up again until the end of the month.
    Okay, I may never own the car but I will still have the option to buy it if I want at the end of my contract. I can also hand it back and get a brand new one. Don't have to worry about warranty or MOT and I got a year free with the AA when I bought it.

    The 107 deal 'just add fuel' looks quite good but I found the engine really loud on it when I went for a test drive.
  20. dumpty

    dumpty Lead commenter

    Buying a brand new car is the worst financial move you could ever make - the car will lose around 30% of the price you paid as soon as you turn the key and drive away. To get the benefits of reliability as I believe Buntycat argued, you buy a 1-2 year old model, letting someone else take the depreciation hit. OR, if your Fiesta is reliable apart from the clutch, shop around and get the clutch done. Fords are normally easy to work on and cheap(ish) to repair. There are also many more mechanics out there looking for your cash, so a bit of hard looking around could get this job done very, very cheaply indeed.

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