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Help with choosing new car
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Author:  talea51 [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Help with choosing new car

As it seems that this forum is the font of all knowledge, I am hoping for some words of advice. I need a new car, I only have a small budget so it will have to be secondhand but I am looking for recommendations with regard to small cars.

I used to drive an Altea. I loved it but the visibility was very poor so I won't be getting another one. I would like something probably a bit smaller than the Altea, sort of Golf sized but Golfs tend to be expensive (even secondhand).

So what car would you recommend or what car would you advise staying away from?

Author:  DC17C [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

I had 3 toyota yaris's in a row as I liked it so much - not the current model but the previous one- I think pre 2010 version. My niece has bought the same recently and is pleased with it. My last one i sold on to my aunt as she had liked it when I gave her a lift one day.

I preferred the 1.3 to the 1.0 version though. I think they hold their value quite well though so not sure if would suit or not. I liked it because it was really quite spacious and versatile for a relatively small car. I once got 3 adults and 2 children and all our cases for a 5 day trip to disney land paris in the car- it was fine. I have had to replace it as OH decided he thought I should have a bigger car to use as the family car while he has his more sporty car.

Author:  neveragain* [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

I have an ancient Golf. It is brilliant, old as it is, always starts, is solid and dependable even if not 'cool' compared to all the range rovers at DS GS! I love it! VW and Skoda are brilliant, also had a much loved Fabia for years......built by VW but without the price tag! Happy hunting.....

Author:  talea51 [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

Thank you both. The Yaris and the Skoda Fabia were both of my list of possibilities but never having had anything other than SEATs, I had no idea what they were like.

Author:  Amber [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

I always think German cars are the best; or Swedish ones (or what used to be Swedish). I have limited experience of others because of outright prejudice and a totally closed mind (wrt Japanese and French cars) and a brief flirtation with Citroen which went well for the first couple of years and then let me down. Wouldn't touch Ford again after several really poor experiences years ago. I think cars are so personal and some otherwise very normal-seeming people I know have clearly made massive errors of judgement in the vehicle department :wink: . My bottom line advice would be to choose the best VW you can afford - I am glad we have got our hands on one for DD as I feel better about her driving that than many other starter cars.

Author:  Proud_Dad [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

What about something like a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra? Similar size to the VW Golf but quite a bit cheaper. There are lots of used ones around so you should be able to find a good bargain.

We had an Astra for 10 years and had no major problems with it.

Its worth checking the whatcar.com website for reviews on any make/model you might be interested in.

Author:  talea51 [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

Proud_Dad wrote:
What about something like a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra? Similar size to the VW Golf but quite a bit cheaper. There are lots of used ones around so you should be able to find a good bargain.

We had an Astra for 10 years and had no major problems with it.

Its worth checking the whatcar.com website for reviews on any make/model you might be interested in.


The Focus is another one on my list although my dh is prejudiced against Ford. For no good reason, by his own admission but there you go!

Thanks for the pointer to the website, I will definitely have a look at that.

Author:  Fatnorville [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

Buying a car is a personal activity, and my views will be at odds with other posters. However my views on this are resolute and unwaivering.

I had VW's for a number of years. (Golfs and then when the family grew, a Passat). Cars were always bought from new.

I will NEVER buy a VW ever again. This is an opinion formed by having a series of faults with my Passat which cost ££££ to resolve. The faults are widely acknowledged by 'those in the know' (including VW staff speaking off the record) to be known faults worthy of a recall, yet VW have failed to do so.

Local dealer knowledge was patchy at best. This was best emphasised with a fault with the electonic parking brake. The local dealer wanted to charge me £70 for a diagnostic check. This is before parts and labour. I just so happened to be visiting Germany the following day so left the problem for a couple of days. I took the car to a German dealer. It was a known fault, no diagnostic check required. €38 to fix including parts and labour.

I now own a Toyota. No one dreams of owning a Toyota. I don't wake up in the morning feeling enthused by my pending commute. However I would rather own a Toyota than be be stuck on the hard shoulder of the motorway and / or be seen as someone with loyalty to a brand where that loyalty is not returned with good customer service or VFM.

Sorry for the rant. Very few things make me angry, but the very mention of the VW in the context of a quality product sends me into an absolute rage.

I am going to lie down now.

Author:  ToadMum [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

My current car is a 2010 Nissan Note - they have just brought out a new version, so I guess that the secondhand value of mine has just gone down :( (or :) if you are looking to buy one, I suppose). Visibility is very good, although I always think that the reverse light could be a little brighter. DH had one with a slightly bigger engine but has just traded it in for a Citroen DS4 - I love Citroens but the visibility on this model is dire compared to the Nissan.

(It also has those beeps and visual displays to "aid" parking; reversing into spaces I would get into first go in my car leaves me a quivering wreck as soon as all the corner sensors work out that there are other vehicles within about six feet on either side...).

Author:  fairyelephant [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help with choosing new car

Try and look up driver satisfaction surveys as usually toyota and subaru seem to top the list.

I too used to be a firm believer in German cars until a disappointing few years with an Audi.... then had a ford S-Max which I expected to be poor build quality and constantly breaking down. Couldn't have been more wrong, it is the best car ever, drives brilliantly too. The C-max is the same but smaller.

Compare safety ratings too, German and Swiss cars used to be much more highly spec'd for safety features but I think that has changed.

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