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Author: Subject: Recommendations for a cheap car for the wife
Mr Whippy

posted on 4/3/22 at 05:09 PM Reply With Quote
Recommendations for a cheap car for the wife

Hi,

My wife has just lost her job and is still running the kids about in the thirsty 20mpg Volvo. I want to get her a much more frugal second hand but safe car. I'm currently leaning towards another Vauxhall Zafira as the last one we had was a fine car apart from some emission issues which made me sell it.

Any good recommendations and why? budget is about 2 - 3k

Thanks

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perksy

posted on 4/3/22 at 09:52 PM Reply With Quote
Mazda 2 5 door

We had one for 7 years and I'd have another one in a heart beat...

Apart from general maintenance the only things it ever needed was 2 tyres and a battery

[Edited on 4/3/22 by perksy]

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SteveWalker

posted on 4/3/22 at 11:55 PM Reply With Quote
I wouldn't go for a Zafira - while much better than the Volvo, the ,mpg is dire for something that is basically an Astra. I know, I've got one!
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Mr Whippy

posted on 5/3/22 at 06:28 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perksy
Mazda 2 5 door

We had one for 7 years and I'd have another one in a heart beat...

Apart from general maintenance the only things it ever needed was 2 tyres and a battery

[Edited on 4/3/22 by perksy]


Thanks, I have a fiesta which she refuses to drive due to it being too small so sadly the mazda would be in much the same category. But thanks, good suggestion.

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Mr Whippy

posted on 5/3/22 at 06:33 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveWalker
I wouldn't go for a Zafira - while much better than the Volvo, the ,mpg is dire for something that is basically an Astra. I know, I've got one!


That's strange, we had an old 1.6 petrol for a few years and found it quite frugal, it might depend very much on the engine fitted. Like I said the volvo is getting an average of 20mpg which is a joke, especially for a car that's doing mainly the school run.

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cliftyhanger

posted on 5/3/22 at 08:59 AM Reply With Quote
Our Zafira was poor on fuel, couldn't get more than 30mpg (motorway) on a 1600. LPG 1800 was about 25mpg, but saved as LPG is half the cost of petrol.
Diesel probably unwise for such short journeys.

But worth considering the distances covered. If only for school runs, even a 20mpg car won't use a lot of fuel. Weigh it up against the cost of changing to something that will do maybe 25mpg (bearing in mind big/heavy for a "safe" vehicle) often the figures don't stack up.

But a c4 or similar is probably as economival as you will find. May nudge 30 around town.

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Mike Wood

posted on 5/3/22 at 09:28 AM Reply With Quote
Sorry to hear your wife has lost her job.

How big a car do you need and would it be for just local trips and what would be the annual mileage?

Skoda Octavia hatchbacks have huge boots and can transport 4 or 5 people and you might get better petrol mileage, but diesel would offer more frugality on fuel but DPF and pollution zones something to think of. Pity you cannot go for something smaller/lighter that is Fiesta sized and petrol powered. Skoda Rapid surprisingly roomy in passenger cabin (hatchback smallish boot but do a model with a huge Octavia type boot) with a petrol engine is a nice drive and underrated - not sure if yet in budget though.

Worth checking whether any lower pollution zones coming in near where you live/where the car likely to be driven to see how its Euro rating would be impacted by this.

If you are feeling brave and local trips only and can charge at home - what about a secondhand electric car? Have Renault Zoes got that cheap yet?

Cheers
Mike

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ashley750

posted on 5/3/22 at 09:32 AM Reply With Quote
Suzuki Swift 1.2. Ours is an auto and still averages 40mpg on mainly local runs. Great fun to drive as well.
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nick205

posted on 5/3/22 at 11:21 AM Reply With Quote
I'm sure you'll have done the maths, but is it really worth changing the car?

Unless you get one with free fuel and maintenance you'll lose money changing cars. Unless your wife's doing big miles the mpg changing from say 20 to 50 will have a long pay back period.

When I was doing 30k miles a year for work mpg made a difference. I opted for diesel with 45+mpg. Even that wasn't enough mpg at times.

And as a company car work covered all the running costs of the car.

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computid

posted on 5/3/22 at 04:56 PM Reply With Quote
I've got a 2010 Mazda 6 GH Estate (2.2d Sport, 6 speed manual) for a daily. I thought the economy would be shocking, particularly as I have a bit of a heavy right foot, but to my amazement it seems to average 42MPG despite me mostly making short, countryside journeys. It's comfortable, well equipped, huge inside, and just generally a great car. I thought I'd hate driving a generic Japanese wagon but I'm actually quite taken with it! And at 178,000 miles the only big maintenance it's needed so far are a set of Brake callipers (250, fitted them myself), and a fuel pump pressure control solenoid (45). Oh, I also had to fix the front auto-headlight adjuster as the ball joint seized and snapped the bracket, but some generic ball joints, a counter-threaded rod, and a bit of welding on the bracket soon sorted that.

If it blew up tomorrow, I'd probably go and buy another one!






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ianhurley20

posted on 6/3/22 at 09:14 AM Reply With Quote
We've had several cars with the PSA 1.6Hdi engine in, some with starship mileages and have usually got 60+ mpg averages from them. Perhaps one of the cars with that engine would do? Ours have been Peugeot 307 Citroen C4 x 2, Citroen C3 Picasso, DS4 and currently my daughter has a Cactus. As long as you get a regularly serviced car like ours have been the only issue we have had is with the newest one with Adblue injector failure which was fixed under warranty.





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Slimy38

posted on 6/3/22 at 09:36 AM Reply With Quote
It's not a good time to buy a new car to be honest, I'm looking at a potential new car for my wife and the prices are really not good. Her current Mazda 2 seems to be selling for a grand more than what we paid for it two years ago!!

As mentioned, do the maths on what you'd have to spend vs how much fuel you'd be able to get.

Alternatively, have you looked at things like LPG conversions? Again, it might be a long time before you break even, but at least it might improve the MPG.

As for the new car being safe, what's more safe than a Volvo?

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Mr Whippy

posted on 7/3/22 at 07:16 AM Reply With Quote
oh we have no intention of getting an new car, budget is about 1000 max the wife is spending about 140 a month on petrol plus the volvo is failing all over the place and is now a ticking MOT time bomb. I take a lot of kids to things like parks, roller disco, gymnastics so a 7 seater like the Zafira will be a huge help, with the 5 seaters we have really struggled. Need a good load lugger that we don't want to mind damaging and just does it's job. I don't think a car will work as it would have to be an estate to carry my 2m model boats while also carrying 3 bikes on the back. So really a small people carrier seems ideal. Citroens & Renaults scare me due to their unreliability.
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Mike Wood

posted on 7/3/22 at 08:17 AM Reply With Quote
It is a shame that people movers have fallen out of fashion, MPVs replaced by SUVs with less internal space. I cannot think of anything that fits your brief for internal space for people and stuff, economical to run and not facing big repair and MoT bills all for 1000.

If you could compromise on number of seats, 5 rather than 7, an old Citroen Berlingo; if not see if there is an old Hyundai MPV in budget somewhere that has been to the moon and back. If you were at your previous budget and could compromise on seats but would get load space and economy, a ten year old Hyundai i130 diesel estate e.g. https://www.carandclassic.com/car/C1415831

SWB Transit minibuses and SWB VW minibuses would be good for space, but not in budget. Unless you could find a rusty very old Ford and then weld and keep fixing it most weekends.

Sorry your wife has lost her job.

Good luck
Cheers
Mike

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nick205

posted on 9/3/22 at 10:14 AM Reply With Quote
Long been a VW, Seat and now Skoda fan myself.

Had several company VW and Seat company cars. Yes they were brand new, but they took all manner of punishment and gave stirling service.

Had a VW Passat B6 2.0 TDI estate of my own for a time too. Minimal running costs, good MPG and cavernous inside. Swallowed a family of 5 + kit + bikes on the back without complaining. Insurance wasn't expensive and it just kept going. Epilepsy and no driving made me sell it otherwise I'd still have it.

Skoda Octavia estate can't be much different. Plenty about and plenty of space inside them too.

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