Cars

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Posted 31st Dec 2019
Hi all,

My old reliable Zafira of 14 years has finally cost me more than the car is worth to fix and pass the mot.

I haven't bought a car in a very long time.

I have 5k set aside towards one but I can't decide what is best for me. I hear a lot of people saying that leasing cars is a good option.

I want to set a budget of up to £200 a month if I lease or purchase. Is this a realistic budget for a 5 seater family car (3 older kids)

Has anyone seen any awesome deals or is this the wrong time of year?

Thank you
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14 Comments
If you don't mind having an older car don't bother with leasing.
How many miles a year do you do?
Kids? Just for size, was the Zafira to big or the right size.
So many cars out there now and you'll get a cracking deal this time of year.
Also you could sell your old car, theres always a handy mechanic out there looking for cars to fix up, so could be extra money in your pocket
The Zafira is just too big for what I need now. My husband has a car and my dog passed a few years ago so I don't need one with a huge boot. Also the kids all walk themselves to school. At the moment my mileage is low because my job is fairly local but I am job hunting over a larger distance so it may go up. I would just like something low maintenance and economical. I also have a fear of driving new cars that's partly why I kept the Zafira so long.
If you want a cheap runabout then have a look at Hondas from mid 2000's they are incredibly reliable and cheap 2nd hand. Would probably need consumables like brakes or tyres but rarely break down if ever.


If you want something a little newer hyundai, Toyota or again Honda have really good reliability.
Get a bent MOT save a fortune and toss a coin every time you drive it
Theres quite a lot of choice within a 5k budget. You really need to decide what you want though, petrol/diesel, small/medium size.
I've got a 3008 at the moment that I love, 1.6hdi, get around 45mpg around town and I'm quite heavy footed. Usually get 55-60mpg on journeys, travelling around 75mph, Ignore people who say don't buy french cars, newer ones are much better (although would probably avoid Renault still!)

When you are looking, whatever car you look at, check online for previous MOT's and see what failures there were and if there are many advisories. Check out specific forums for the car and see what common problems there are, and check any car you look at properly in those areas. Factor in extra costs, for example, if a service is due or the timing belts going to need doing soon, factor that into your budget.
MonkeysUncle31/12/2019 23:53

If you want something a little newer hyundai, Toyota or again Honda have …If you want something a little newer hyundai, Toyota or again Honda have really good reliability.


Hyundai generally come below average in reliability figures, although there's not much in it across most brands.


2004 would be a first generation Zafira so it's not a particularly big car. 4.3m long so comparable to the smallest 7 seaters on the market like a Fiat 500L MPW or Ford Grand C-Max.

If even that's too big you're probably looking at a small family like a Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Swift or Honda Jazz. It's such a competitive market that all the offering tend to be strong and it's hard to go wrong.

I wouldn't bother with leasing if you're used to running old cars as it will cost you more money.
Honestly the worst thing you can do is ask for generic car advice on here. Everyone will give you a different opinion, and what suits one person may not suit you.

If you do need some advice, go to your nearest car supermarket and sit in/try out a few cars to see which take your fancy and fit your needs. You can also check out sites like parkers.co.uk to read reviews about hte cars.
You sound like the type of driver that the Honda Jazz was designed for. Worth a look. Happy New Year
Leasing is really only if you want a new car. Your £5k will pay a lease for 2 / 3 years then you’ll have nothing. I’d buy a used fiesta or similar which you could keep for 5+ years for the same outlay, although you may have to pay for repairs.
julieallen01/01/2020 00:23

Theres quite a lot of choice within a 5k budget. You really need to decide …Theres quite a lot of choice within a 5k budget. You really need to decide what you want though, petrol/diesel, small/medium size.I've got a 3008 at the moment that I love, 1.6hdi, get around 45mpg around town and I'm quite heavy footed. Usually get 55-60mpg on journeys, travelling around 75mph, Ignore people who say don't buy french cars, newer ones are much better (although would probably avoid Renault still!) When you are looking, whatever car you look at, check online for previous MOT's and see what failures there were and if there are many advisories. Check out specific forums for the car and see what common problems there are, and check any car you look at properly in those areas. Factor in extra costs, for example, if a service is due or the timing belts going to need doing soon, factor that into your budget.


The French car thing is mostly people jumping on the bandwagon, a la (see what I did there?) Skoda jokes. My hobgoblin had a Clio and a C2 see her over about 10 years without so much as a hiccup in either of them.
2nd hand Insignia? They have plenty of room inside. A lot of them will be ex-company cars but should be maintained properly.
If you were intending on buying new or pre reg then leasing is a great alternative if you buy the deal, not the car. People only run in to trouble if they have £5k saved and end up looking at £20k+ cars because the monthlies look cheap.

Personally I wouldn't spend £5k+ on another car because the boot is a bit too big. You could spend £1k on the zafira and have it last another 5 years, and you've said its reliable.

If you're a home owner with no debt and 6 months income in the bank, ignore the above and go for it
Honda jazz, nice small car, Honda civic bigger but maybe more insurance, both good cars and in budget...
Honda Jazz imo feels really flimsy, OK reliable but surprisingly not as well built or as nice to drive as a Fiesta which is pretty much about the most sorted small car on the market and best seller for a reason.

However going from the seating position of the Zafira to a Fiesta it might leave you a little disappointed. If you're going down the leasing path then the Seat Arona offers a similar seating position and can be leased for under £200. Whatcar is a good place to look for leasing deals. I'd probably opt for diesel as it will carry the weight better. The petrol is ok but will probably feel held back if more than a few people in it.
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