What used car would you recommend for £3,000?

39
Found 7th Feb 2012
Hiya,

Sadly looking to upgrade my car soon...no way will it pass the MOT and is starting to have niggles everywhere at the age of 20! Its such a shame as I love how she drives, and as a 1.5TD diesel I get insane MPG - 72mpg once! Usually 65-67mpg though.

I have never bought a car before - only had two, both were inherited!
I guess a new car would have to be a petrol or it will have crazy-high miles for my price range

Important factors for us:
- Up to £3,000. £3,200 if its too tempting to resist but no more
- Cheap insurance (groups 1-5)
- Good fuel economy
- Reliable (I know you can't predict as each car varies, but some are known to be more reliable than others!)
- Reasonable servicing costs
- Big enough for two and a little dog
Desirable:
- Chain driven
- Reasonable servicing intervals
- Pref not Citroen unless based on another engine eg C1/Aygo

Not important
- Looks or image!

What would you recommend? We're in Ipswich, Suffolk if that helps but would travel for the right car, its all fun

Also, what sort of mileage and age should I be looking at?

I found a 2006 Mitsubishi Colt 1.1 CZ1 with 35k on the clock for £2990 which looked awesome but it got snapped up within two hours!

I don't know much about cars so any help would be really appreciated! Thanks so much for reading!

xxx
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39 Comments
Mazda demio
Not sure what particular car to recommend but I wouldnt preclude a diesel just because of your budget.
As you are wanting a small car, you should be able to find plenty of low mileage diesels as the high milers tend to be medium-large models.
The diesel will cost a few hundred more than the comparable petrol but this will easily be recouped in fuel savings and resale value.
Good luck finding the right car and happy motoring
batmobile
I hadn't come across the demio, reading about it now, thankyou
A Skoda Fabia has high specs, is reliable, cheap insurance, good fuel economy etc...
Is belt driven though, but should be able to pick one up under 3k.
whatsthepoint, Thanks, had considered the Picanto but finding it difficult to get TRUE mpg figure for it - apparently Kia are one of the more generous manufacturers for mpg averages

MarkQ, what would sort of mileage should I be looking for in a modern diesel? We also only do about 6k miles a year now we have moved house. All trips are over 15miles away as our village is 18miles from the nearest supermarket but the car will only be used 2-3 times a week on average. Will this kill a diesel?
kia rio 90mpg, but £10k
Orcinus - I wish! I'm a bit of an mpg-freak and do lots of hyper miling so the thought of 90mpg gets me excited :P

The fabia does look like one to consider, Therapist! MPG not great and I would be getting an older car for the money but I'm liking the reliability and quality of Skoda.
whatsThePoint

no it won't be easy to recoup due to the extra cost of diesel and some … no it won't be easy to recoup due to the extra cost of diesel and some petrol cars having an mpg almost as good


Wanna fight?
Clearly there will be exceptions but most diesels will still save you money over the equivalent petrol model even taking into consideration the slightly higher cost of the fuel. For the budget the OP has, she is going to be buying a car with a few years on it so not the latest modern petrol engines and the resale value of the diesel will hold up.
I was merely suggesting the OP doesnt completely discount a diesel assuming she wouldnt be able to afford it and that they would all have high miles.
ScampiLamp

whatsthepoint, Thanks, had considered the Picanto but finding it … whatsthepoint, Thanks, had considered the Picanto but finding it difficult to get TRUE mpg figure for it - apparently Kia are one of the more generous manufacturers for mpg averages ;)MarkQ, what would sort of mileage should I be looking for in a modern diesel? We also only do about 6k miles a year now we have moved house. All trips are over 15miles away as our village is 18miles from the nearest supermarket but the car will only be used 2-3 times a week on average. Will this kill a diesel?


In a small car I would suggest it is easy to find cars with no more than 8k per year on them and your 6k per year is quite normal for this size car. The fact that your journeys are 15+ miles is good for the economy and the major mechanicals on both diesels and petrols. Its the high frequency, low distance journeys that damage clutch, gearbox etc.
markq

In a small car I would suggest it is easy to find cars with no more than … In a small car I would suggest it is easy to find cars with no more than 8k per year on them and your 6k per year is quite normal for this size car. The fact that your journeys are 15+ miles is good for the economy and the major mechanicals on both diesels and petrols. Its the high frequency, low distance journeys that damage clutch, gearbox etc.


Thanks, so would say a ten year old diesel with 80k miles on it have say 3 years of life left in it? I do love diesels (_;) So easy to drive..

But then a petrol would be more modern for the money, around 2004 30k miles, blah this is a lot of thinking for a little head to attempt.
Edited by: "ScampiLamp" 7th Feb 2012
re WTP Well Im not coming to the bloody Isle of Man so get your fat **** over here (_;)

The resale value will hold up as not everyone is as savvy and so will assume the diesel offers them better value for just a couple of hundred pounds more.
Edited by: "markq" 7th Feb 2012
Go for a skoda fabia with diesel 1.4 tdi engine about 60+ mpg, ins 4 ,cheap to run and service, get an 07 reg for about £2,600 - £3,000, lots about with low milage 25 -30 k, skoda are more reliable now than ever (v w with a skoda badge)
ScampiLamp

Thanks, so would say a ten year old diesel with 80k miles on it have say … Thanks, so would say a ten year old diesel with 80k miles on it have say 3 years of life left in it? I do love diesels (_;) So easy to drive..But then a petrol would be more modern for the money, around 2004 30k miles, blah this is a lot of thinking for a little head to attempt.


Slightly off topic but have you thought about getting a man and letting him do the legwork? (not meant to be sexist just cheeky ;))
Why do you think I'm here

Only joking, I have a man but cars aren't really his thing!
ScampiLamp

Why do you think I'm here :pOnly joking, I have a man but cars aren't … Why do you think I'm here :pOnly joking, I have a man but cars aren't really his thing!


You've got the wrong model then (_;)
Trade him in at the same time
a SMART car?
whatsThePoint

your lucky i can't afford the diesel


Thats fighting talk where I come from, you're lucky I moved!
Where are you located?
deek72

Where are you located?


ATM spying over your back garden fence
markq

ATM spying over your back garden fence




http://planetsmilies.net/kilroy-smiley-6270.gif
demio sport or vitz

too much gt5
clio 1.5dci?
skoda fabia as mentioned/seat ibiza/vw polo (all the same are really)
corsa?
Just avoid anything French or Italian and should be fine if treated correctly.
mazda mx-5
Are Citroen really so bad? I was considering going for a used C4 for the lowish insurance band and safety factor with it's curtain airbags..
Don't buy anything French!
Oh and in answer to a question you asked earlier 80, 000 miles on a diesel and it's just run in, should be good for another 70, 000 easy. Servicing and oil changes in particular are very important though, especially if it has a turbo.
Edited by: "juiceblaster" 8th Feb 2012
Thankyou for all the help so far!

One consideration was the Fiat Panda (04 onwards), are Italian cars still not great? Is it a reliability issue? Pandas aren;t exactly pretty, but seem fairly functional.

A corsa could be nice as its the little brother of my dear old Nova (current car, only 76k on it for a 20yr old diesel but its all the little things going wrong and the appalling condition of the body work!), but unfortunately without the Isuzu engine (_;)

Can anyone kindly post a link to which car they would buy if they were me? I have such a clear idea in my head after reading these posts, then I search ebay or autotrader and get all confused again hehe X)

I've been drooling over this:
ebay.co.uk/itm…809 but the insurance would be just too high for two young drivers.

This little guy is probably more practical though
ebay.co.uk/itm…396?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item2a18181b04

ebay.co.uk/itm…0ff - a petrol option? Seems cheap though..
ScampiLamp

Thankyou for all the help so far!One consideration was the Fiat Panda (04 … Thankyou for all the help so far!One consideration was the Fiat Panda (04 onwards), are Italian cars still not great? Is it a reliability issue? Pandas aren;t exactly pretty, but seem fairly functional.A corsa could be nice as its the little brother of my dear old Nova (current car, only 76k on it for a 20yr old diesel but its all the little things going wrong and the appalling condition of the body work!), but unfortunately without the Isuzu engine (_;) Can anyone kindly post a link to which car they would buy if they were me? I have such a clear idea in my head after reading these posts, then I search ebay or autotrader and get all confused again hehe X)I've been drooling over this:[url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.co.uk%252Fitm%252F2003-53-HONDA-CIVIC-1-7i-CTDi-SE-BLUE-5DR-DIESEL-FULL-SERVICE-HISTORY-10-STAMPS-%252F290661652489%253Fpt%253DAutomobiles_UK%2526hash%253Ditem43acc8d809]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2003-53-HONDA-CIVIC-1-7i-CTDi-SE-BLUE-5DR-DIESEL-FULL-SERVICE-HISTORY-10-STAMPS-/290661652489?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item43acc8d809[/url] but the insurance would be just too high for two young drivers.This little guy is probably more practical though[url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.co.uk%252Fitm%252F2004-Vauxhall-Opel-Corsa-Energy-1248cc-Diesel-Service-History-%252F180792859396%253Fpt%253DAutomobiles_UK%2526hash%253Ditem2a18181b04]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2004-Vauxhall-Opel-Corsa-Energy-1248cc-Diesel-Service-History-/180792859396?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item2a18181b04[/url][url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.co.uk%252Fitm%252F2006-Nissan-Micra-Standard-1240cc-E-Petrol-%252F180776558847%253Fpt%253DAutomobiles_UK%2526hash%253Ditem2a171f60ff]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2006-Nissan-Micra-Standard-1240cc-E-Petrol-/180776558847?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item2a171f60ff[/url] - a petrol option? Seems cheap though..



This looks a lovely car. The vRS is really economical and I think it's about group 13 insurance. If you like a little performance as well as economy then this is ideal.
I know this is a little over your budget but I'm sure you could haggle a few hundred off.
www2.autotrader.co.uk/cla…e=p
ScampiLamp

The fabia does look like one to consider, Therapist! MPG not great and I … The fabia does look like one to consider, Therapist! MPG not great and I would be getting an older car for the money but I'm liking the reliability and quality of Skoda.



I had a 2001 1.9TDi Fabia and was doing over 50 mpg while driving around Silverstone as fast as the poor thing would go, so mpg is not something to worry about with one of those.
ScampiLamp

Thankyou for all the help so farI've been drooling over … Thankyou for all the help so farI've been drooling over this:[url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.co.uk%252Fitm%252F2003-53-HONDA-CIVIC-1-7i-CTDi-SE-BLUE-5DR-DIESEL-FULL-SERVICE-HISTORY-10-STAMPS-%252F290661652489%253Fpt%253DAutomobiles_UK%2526hash%253Ditem43acc8d809]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2003-53-HONDA-CIVIC-1-7i-CTDi-SE-BLUE-5DR-DIESEL-FULL-SERVICE-HISTORY-10-STAMPS-/290661652489?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item43acc8d809[/url] but the insurance would be just too high for two young drivers...



I really like the look of that one.
ScampiLamp

Orcinus - I wish! I'm a bit of an mpg-freak and do lots of hyper miling … Orcinus - I wish! I'm a bit of an mpg-freak and do lots of hyper miling so the thought of 90mpg gets me excited :PThe fabia does look like one to consider, Therapist! MPG not great and I would be getting an older car for the money but I'm liking the reliability and quality of Skoda.



Considering the low mileage & type of journeys you do, I don't think fuel consumption will be too much of a financial burden in contrast to build/reliability/insurance costs etc.
tbh if u could live with the pains of speed then an SDI from vag lot is good, cheap insurance and good fuel economy, just takes an age to get anywhere! but are nice simple cars really. Would really say skoda but don't forget SEAT - tend to be also well spec'd and tbh tend to be cheaper - i have a sport tdi 130 and it was lots cheaper than the same skoda and miles cheaper than the polo....

civics are meant to be very nice cars and have a good image i think, tend to be more mature drivers that own the diesel ones and so most are well looked after.
Try a Seat Ibiza 1.2 (circa 2005) (or anything with the same engine (Polo, Audi A2 etc)) as they're all chain driven.

I have an Ibiza myself and it's been good, only let me down once and that was only with electronics. They're certainly very common and you should be able to pick one up for about that price, quite economical too.
My most reliable car so far is my little peugeuot 107 76.6 mpg roughly, very cheap insurance...nice and nippy considering only a 0.9 litre engine, however is so light I'm sure it flies sometimes
Honda Jazz
CVT automatic is best option
utlra reliable and i get 50+mpg in mine
ive done 85K miles and no problems so far
there are loads about so easy to buy for 3K
Honda Jazz will easily do 60mpg+ on the motorway

2005 model with 50K will be about £3K

mines a 2002 with 85K miles, looks like new
Edited by: "lumsdot" 8th Feb 2012
Link

Ford Econoline Dayvan??

£1000 under budget..?
Edited by: "dr_badbeats" 8th Feb 2012
dr_badbeats

LinkFord Econoline Dayvan??£100 under budget..?


I could sleep in it too, making my house redundant! BARGAIN!
X)

Nice find, my partner will love that link
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