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Small car for winter use

Discussion in 'Motoring Forum' started by m1stergeorge, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. m1stergeorge

    m1stergeorge Member

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    Hi all,

    I wanted to gauge peoples opinion and to make sure I’m not being overly optimistic in my aims.

    In the summer and warmer months, I cycle to work 3-4 days a week. As it gets colder and towards winter, the number of days decreases to pretty much zero in the height of cold season. With that in mind, I’m thinking about something to get me through the winter/cold months and to use for getting to/from the gym in place of riding to work. The drive to work is about 12 miles each way so that instantly says a petrol car to me.

    Given it’s only real use for 4-5 months of the year, I’m not looking to spend much at all. £1500 I imagine, MAYBE more towards £2k for the right vehicle. It doesn’t need to be huge, but something Lupo sized is off the cards as I it’s pretty cramped by the time I get into one.

    Vehicles that are coming to mind are VW Polo (53 plate-ish), Vauxhall Corsa/Astra (again, same age-ish) or perhaps a Ford fiesta. The problem with the latter is that they are relatively high in tax due to emissions and at least the Polo is a good couple of bands lower than them.

    Any thoughts from the guys here? Also, I’m seeing the term ‘warranted mileage’ appearing more and more in ads. What does this actually mean?

    Cheers.
  2. redaprilia

    redaprilia Member

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    Older style Fiesta 1.25 or 1.4 , warm up fast , have a good heater , service parts easily available , cars cheap now and they drive fantastic unlike most other small cheap new cars even new ones . Find a rust free on in private ebay sales and you wont do wrong .
  3. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    From experience, I can recommend a Nissan Micra.
    Prior to discovering winter tyres for my BMW, I had to leave it in the drive in snow and borrow my mother's Micra.
    Even on its normal tyres, it sailed through snow.
    It earned the nickname the 'mighty Micra' with friends and colleagues, nothing stopped it.

    Warranted mileage just means they're certifying it hasn't been clocked.
  4. pittsy46

    pittsy46 Member

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    Toyota Yaris, 2003 ish, brilliant little car and really good in the snow.
    Had one for 5 years now and apart from brake pads and tyres it has been faultless.
    The 1ltr returns 50+ MPG too, nice and cheap to insure and if you get a 4 door a fair amount of space for passengers.
    It does struggle 4 up though but other wise a great little car and within budget too.
  5. m1stergeorge

    m1stergeorge Member

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    Thanks chaps, I'll admit, I hadn't thought of the Micra or the Yaris. Defo ones to look into.
  6. martin 39

    martin 39 Member

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    If you get a 206 1.4 diesel they are £30 a yr tax and will give you loads to the gallon . Even the estate is £30tax
  7. rongood

    rongood Active Member

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    Another vote for the Yaris here, 03 1.3sr.....currently showing 56mpg :D used as my second car.
  8. mikeburns

    mikeburns Member

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    If you're really worried - Panda 4x4 !
  9. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Don't think much chance of a Panda 4x4 for £1500-£2000, is there?
  10. mikeburns

    mikeburns Member

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  11. DanTheManc

    DanTheManc Member

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    Peugeot 107/Citreon C1.

    Should be able to get one with average miles for £2k. Less if you don't mind high mileage.

    Toyota made, 68mpg, modern, £30 road tax.
  12. redaprilia

    redaprilia Member

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    These are built in the Czech republic by a joint venture between Citroen , Peugeot & Toyota . Great when new and in high demand by new girl drivers because of low cost insurance & cute looks . But they will not stand any abuse or high miles and are quite delicate body wise so your £2k car may be asking for problems -- and not very good to drive out of the urban environment .
  13. DVD-Man

    DVD-Man Active Member

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    Op said no lupo then a c1 is recommended jees louise.

    Erm, not sure how tax really comes into it as if you can buy a car with tax and its only for the winter I wouldn't worry too much.

    My choice would be 2002 HONDA CIVIC EXECUTIVE 1.6 SE SILVER | eBay
  14. m1stergeorge

    m1stergeorge Member

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    Thanks for the help gents. I found that if I was prepared to go towards the top of my budget it could get me a VW Polo in the 2003-ish vintage. Personal experience says they are pretty solid as my wifes one is still going courtesy of being handed down to her sisters lol.
  15. njdbaxter

    njdbaxter Active Member

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    what about seat Ibiza, or mazda 3.

    picked up a late 2004 1.3 mazda 3 last year with on 68000 miles for £2k, but tax is £200 a year

    one near me http://www.usedcarsni.com/110405501
  16. njdbaxter

    njdbaxter Active Member

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  17. figoagogo

    figoagogo Active Member

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    Get some studded/spiked tires for your bike and some warmer clothes, and some fancy lights ;)

    Came into work on my bike this am and my hands were cold for the first time, plus the drizzel, it still beats stop-start annoying driving.

    If I didn't have the family commitments, and the need to occasionally lug holiday stuff about and furniture from Ikea etc I would off load the car, and stick to my bike.

    Can you not get an acient LandRover... cool, but perhaps not low tax, what about an old Suzuki?
  18. shodan

    shodan Active Member

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    My neighbor had an old Micra and a few years ago when we had several inches of snow, his one dealt with it all with no problems at all. Should definately be a consideration...
  19. Clivey

    Clivey Member

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    What is the obsession with RFL (road tax)? It's only a tiny amount of the costs of running a car (insurance, servicing, tyres, other maintenance etc. etc.). It especially makes me laugh when someone tries to justify their new £20k+ ecobox by saying "But it's only £30 to tax!".

    Some of the best cheap cars are actually larger ones; all the sheeple flocking to shopping cars mean that I pretty much have my pick of cheap 6 & 8 cylinder loveliness! If you're only doing limited miles; forget the MPG & tax. - Focus on servicing costs etc. - My straight-six-engined BMW is cheaper to maintain than my diesel hatchback, which I'm soon to be selling as I've moved closer to work. - All the complicated (read: expensive) bits and bobs that improve the economy / emissions, such as DPF filters and turbochargers are just liabilities once a car's out of warranty.

    I know not all of that is relevant to the OP's question, but if I were him I'd look at more than just the smallest cars or the ones with low tax / high MPG. - I'm currently looking for a Suzuki Grand Vitara for a winter car; the V6 petrols can be had for as low as £900 with only 85k miles on the clock! - The smaller-engined ones cost more to buy used (they are more desirable due to extra MPG) but I've worked-out that based on my estimated mileage, it'll take years before they make financial sense!

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