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Budget £1000. I know I can count on Christmas Eve DiS for sound automobile advice.....
That Ferrari has been driven backwards through Halfords.
customised to look even more like a modern batmobile
although everytime I see one I just want to go at it with some chalk.
probably a 8-10 year old Punto or Fiesta.
what kind of car do you want? a hatchback? yep, either of those
so I need something a bit more sturdy and capacious.
Often recommended as a reliable cheap city car...idk
Buy one of these:
Or have a look at this for an idea of the kind of thing you can get for £1k - much more interesting than an 8-yr-old Punto.
That said, you can't go too far wrong with an old Fiesta or Ka if you want the "sensible" option.
...so the answer is definitely an old Merc.
Source: did the same thing myself, and ended up running one of these:
for about three years (mine cost me £1,500).
I'd hung on to one of them. Had a couple of classic Saab 900's as well which were great.
The Merc has been awesome - I've done nearly 70k miles in mine (the car has done over 200k), and it's comfortable, quiet and reliable. People react very positively to it too, which is always nice. Although they do tend to ask how many bodies are in the boot.
to find a good one for my budget. My dad nearly bought a 190E new but got a Granada Scorpio instead! Idiot. That's a good price for that one but coolant leak could mean big troubles (head gasket perhaps) but maybe just a split hose I guess - and it's hundreds of miles away. But it's a good shout for the kind of thing to look out for.
E36s are great value at the moment.
a bit harder to come by.
I was considering one of those but I got a big fat c-max instead. Needed the extra extra space. s-max is the dream.
1.3 Encore engine. With a bargepole. Due to a mystery cutting out habit that no-one was able to diagnose (including Ford dealerships). Have come across plenty of similar examples. If you really must have a Fiesta or a Ka, choose a Zetec over an Encore.
Reliable. Cheap to insure. Decent mpg. Low tax band etc.
So... Asian or German (includes VW-owned Seat & Skoda).
Nissan Micra, then.
I ignored my own advice a year ago and bought a Peugeot 206. Verdict: ok, after some attention, but has been a bit niggly with a couple of things. Should have bought a Micra.
And there's nothing you can do to make me change my mind about it!
it was horrible.
you're probably looking at a blue car. maybe a red one if you're willing to front up an extra few bob, or stoop for extra mileage
The prices are dropping quite a lot. I love mine, for what it's worth.
Though I'd be really tempted by one of the Merc's above...
Great fun, big boot, rear seats fine for kids, rock solid reliability.