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FaTB

Value For Money Cars

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I've had company cars for the last 10 years, now having changed job I need to buy my own car, and looking to spend in the region of 4k.

Top priority must be reliability, then economy, and if it could be interesting as well even better !

What do you guys drive and why ?

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Good topic FaTB - I too am looking to change my car for something reliable, cheapish and powerful

for around 5K - no older than 5 years old.

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I drive a Honda Oddossy. It is the nicest car I have ever owned. It's a mini van. Why? I have 3 children, my oldest is is 11 years old, 5'5", and 140 lbs, and my little one will be in a car seat for at least another 2 years. (Nevada law is a car seat until 6 years AND 60lbs). They all really didn't fit in the back of a car.

I owned a Voyager once. The thing was a piece of crap, always in the shop. I would never willng own another Chrysler product.

I love both Toyota and Honda. Have you checked out Edmunds? I realize the prices will be in USD, but there is alot of useful information about MPG, dependabality etc.

http://www.edmunds.com/?tid=edmonds.1.1.1.1.1.*

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You can pick up a Fiat Coupe in very good condition (most are because owners look after them). I had a 20V Turbo but I sold it for 2 reasons. I was buying a BTL, and I don't have off street parking. I came out one morning to find someone had keyed it down the whole side of the car.

But for value for money, it can't be beaten. And the bonus is, even the ladies like them because they are stylish, unlike Subaru's.

If you can stretch to £8K you can pick up a Volvo C70 Coupe. Probably not the 2.3T (T5) , maybe 2.4T, but they are fully loaded. 1.8 and 2L versions don't look anywhere as sporty but they are probably cheaper still.

Both cars are rare and fantastic to drive. I drove a T5 version with auto gearbox. Similar performance to the Fiat Coupe Turbo (0-100 14.5 secs) but they are also very thirsty when driven hard :(

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I've had company cars for the last 10 years, now having changed job I need to buy my own car, and looking to spend in the region of 4k.

Top priority must be reliability, then economy, and if it could be interesting as well even better !

What do you guys drive and why ?

I'm currently driving a 8 year old Ford Fiesta for the last 7 years and have really enjoyed the experience.

What Car recommened the Ford Focus for ~5K. It's more reliable than the Golf and better to drive. If you want ultra-reliability then the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic are usually up there with the best. Have a look at www.HonestJohn.co.uk for a car by car breakdown to see what's good and whats bad for each car. I also like the reviews at www.parkers.co.uk.

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I'm currently driving a 8 year old Ford Fiesta for the last 7 years and have really enjoyed the experience.

If you want ultra-reliability then the Toyota Corolla

Not much ! I drive one, its 16 years old and starts first time, the engines great, lots of poke and not too much choke, all in all a damn good car.

The Japs know what their doing when it comes to cars.

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You can pick up a Fiat Coupe in very good condition (most are because owners look after them). I had a 20V Turbo but I sold it for 2 reasons. I was buying a BTL, and I don't have off street parking. I came out one morning to find someone had keyed it down the whole side of the car.

But for value for money, it can't be beaten. And the bonus is, even the ladies like them because they are stylish, unlike Subaru's.

If you can stretch to £8K you can pick up a Volvo C70 Coupe. Probably not the 2.3T (T5) , maybe 2.4T, but they are fully loaded. 1.8 and 2L versions don't look anywhere as sporty but they are probably cheaper still.

Both cars are rare and fantastic to drive. I drove a T5 version with auto gearbox. Similar performance to the Fiat Coupe Turbo (0-100 14.5 secs) but they are also very thirsty when driven hard :(

With the Fiat coupe you get alot of HP for your money. But beware, the 72K service requires the timing belt to be changed. This means taking the engine out! It costs about £1300(price from 5 years ago, main dealer)It's not the sort or job you want to do twice. So, while you're in there change the water pump and idler's. You'll be looking at £2000.

It's the same on all 5 cylinder Fiats. If the timing belt breaks, 20 bent valves is expensive to fix.Throw the car away!

IMO you can't go wrong with Toyota or a Volvo 940.

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Just bought myself a nice little Astra 1.6

3yrs. old with 20000 on the clock just like new, got it for £4200.

Cheap to run and cheap to insure.

A bit boring but should be a very reliable runaround for a couple of years.

I have already run two of these cars to 120000 miles as company cars, with very few problems.

Other than routine servicing, the 1st had a joint replaced on the steering, and 2nd had a water pump replaced, that was it as far as I remember !!

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Just sold my Ford Ka yesterday. Y reg 34000 miles for £2500. I had it nearly three years and all I had to do was service and MOT it once a year then put fuel in. Still on original tyres with plenty of tread left, 45 mpg, but then I am no boy racer. :huh:

Replaced with smart forfour cost £6600 for an 11 month old 1.1 passion with loads of expensive extras from Motorpoint. Most of the moving parts are Mitsubishi Colt, the rest Mercedes. Dealer servicing fixed price and reasonable. ForTwo owners ignore you so not really buying into the brand/owners club thing.

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My two-penneth: I too am a Co car driver, approx 50k miles per annum!

If I had 4k to spend and I was still going to be high-miling I would go for either:

Ford Focus TDCI - still a bit dear, I think you might struggle for 4k.

or a Peugeot 306 HDI (Not the old TD) Good value, good engine, reasonably reliable and cheap to maintain.

Forget the Fiat Coupe - nice car but way too dear to run every day.

Astra - Personally wouldn't go near a vauxhall - awful to drive.

Ford Ka - :blink:

Smart four - noddy car!

Toyota Corolla - great choice if you can stay awake driving one. Way too boring!!!

Any case - stay away from car supermarkets, try and buy private, and always get an HPI check if you think you are keen.

Let us know what you plump for?

All the best!

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1.3:L Proton, a damn fine car, it has never let me down. Although i might buy a lotus elise soon just because i can.

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My company car is a 1995 Honda Accord. We have this odd view that new company cars give no benefit to customers, so run them until uneconomic. '95 Honda is still going strong.

Wife has a private car - a 4 year old Toyota diesel. Prefer Honda's, but Toyota dealer much nearer, and Honda didn't really do diesel at the time

Yes, we do regard cars as white goods! One benefit of the Japanese family cars is that they have little semiotic content - well, apart from "my car is an appliance to go from A to B", and so no problems with keying/ aggressive drivers.

Well, until my mid life crisis, then I am getting a Honda S2000 in burnt metallic orange. Even if I have to buy one second hand by then and respray it...

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With the Fiat coupe you get alot of HP for your money. But beware, the 72K service requires the timing belt to be changed. This means taking the engine out! It costs about £1300(price from 5 years ago, main dealer)It's not the sort or job you want to do twice. So, while you're in there change the water pump and idler's. You'll be looking at £2000.

It's the same on all 5 cylinder Fiats. If the timing belt breaks, 20 bent valves is expensive to fix.Throw the car away!

IMO you can't go wrong with Toyota or a Volvo 940.

Sorry, I forgot to mention. Don't buy a Fiat Coupe that doesn't have a full Fiat service history, and that hasn't already had the cam belt changed.

With all this you can still pick up a tidy example for around £4k, but insurnace and low MPG should also be considered. Still worth a test drive in my opinion.

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With the Fiat coupe you get alot of HP for your money. But beware, the 72K service requires the timing belt to be changed. This means taking the engine out! It costs about £1300(price from 5 years ago, main dealer)It's not the sort or job you want to do twice. So, while you're in there change the water pump and idler's. You'll be looking at £2000.

It's the same on all 5 cylinder Fiats. If the timing belt breaks, 20 bent valves is expensive to fix.Throw the car away!

IMO you can't go wrong with Toyota or a Volvo 940.

I have no idea how many cylinders our Fiat Brava has, but it cost us approx £180 for the timing belt to be changed. Fiat dealers we've dealt with have all been excellent, not rip-off merchants like some non dealer garages we went to for quotes. Taxi drivers in Italy use Fiats as they're fairly reliable and economical to run. My only bugbear with Fiats is that they steam up like buggery in the rain.

P.S we bought ours brand new when we lived in Italy for approx half the cost of buying it here (still a RHD too). Only way we can ever afford a brand new (though 5 years old now) car before retirement age!

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I have no idea how many cylinders our Fiat Brava has, but it cost us approx £180 for the timing belt to be changed.

Cylinders are pretty much irrelevant unless it's a V-engine, it's how hard the engine is to get at: Fiat tend to design their hatchbacks and saloons for much easier maintenance than their sports cars. I've owned several older (early 70s to late 80s) Italian cars and my biggest problems with them were crappy electrics, rust, and the body designer not talking to the engine designer so it was almost impossible to get decent access to the engine while it was in place... I still have a scar on my finger from swapping a supercharger with the engine in the car.

And while it's only technically a Fiat due to company ownership, I remember some Ferraris needing the engine taken out every 12,000 miles or so for a cambelt change!

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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