What car to buy?

Advice needed on buying a new car. Below I will specify my needs for a new car and I want to see what information is out there from my knowledgeable readers.
Dear Reader,
I have a confession to make. I know little to nothing about cars. I need a new car and I need some help choosing it. In this post I'm going to lay out my needs for a new car and I urge you, if you have any car knowledge, to help me out. 
Kind regards and thanks,
Mr. Moneybanks

New Car Needs

Picture from freedigitalphotos.net
There are several things that I need my new car for. I am moving to a busy area in London and will be squeezing this car into spaces on the road. Furthermore, I may be using this car for work  (as an auditor) which may take me all over London. Thus ideally it needs to have a small engine to avoid congestion charge. It also needs to look quite professional. Another reason why it needs to have a small engine is for fuel economy reasons. I will be stretching my finances with the move to London so any savings that I can make in the car department would be awesome. I may also be travelling back to my parents home in Leeds every now and again and so the car needs to comfortably survive on the motorway. As a quick recap:

  • Small engine
  • Smallish car
  • Professional/ sexy looking
  • Sporty looking (think porche! - I wish)
  • Cheep to run
  • Able to run comfortably for a few hours on the motorway

New Car Requirements

I am very happy with buying a used car. I have had a used fiat punto for the last 5 years and it has been great. I have an absolute maximum budget of £6,000. For longevity I figure that the car needs to be no more than 4 years old and clocked up no more than 40,000 miles. To try to keep future costs down I don't really want to be driving anything with an engine bigger than 1.6 litres or else the insurance will shoot up. The colour isn't such a big issue for me. Just think: dark colours (silver, black, blue etc). I will be coming back to Leeds to pick it up so ideally the car needs to be able to get to Leeds. Obviously, this is not essential as I can pick up cars near London aswell.
  • Used Car
  • Under £6,000
  • Less than 4 years old
  • Under 40,000 miles
  • No more than a 1.6 litre engine (insurance purposes)
  • Dark colours
  • Sourced near Leeds
Ideas thus far consisted of second hand smart car roadsters, toyota roadster (such a cool car - I won't hear anything bad said about it!) and mazda RX8 and the mazda MX5. Please let me know if you have any better ideas. Feel free to post links to cars found in the comments section.


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9 comments

Dewey Setlak said...

You made a wise and practical decision ! Buying a used car is a good investment. A used car is less expensive than a new one, but it does not necessarily mean that it is less durable and has a lesser performance. It only requires proper handling and regular check up.

Mr. Moneybanks said...

Thanks for the advice Dewey. Still not bought yet.Finding it tough to find a car that matches all of my criteria.

Sebastian Gaydos said...

And in addition to what Dewey had said, there are now lots of places you can go to look for a used car. You can check your area if there are used car lots, manufacturer used car programs, auctions, ex-rental cars, and ex-fleet cars. You can spot great finds there, and sometimes some cars still have warranties in them to ensure that you would get a great deal.

Mr. Moneybanks said...

Thanks Sebastian for the comment. I ended up buying a renault megane privilige, 2008 model, 30000 miles, a 3 month warranty and full MOT and servicing. I paid £6000 for all this. However, I have found that there have been problems with the car and have had to take it back to the dealer quite a few times for replacement lights, starter motor problems, spark plug replacements, passenger seat broken. Sure it was a bargin and the warranty helps me sort most of these problems, but at the end of the day I question whether it was worth all the hassle. Maybe I should have just bought a new car???

Brittanie Holderness said...

I don’t blame you for choosing to buy a used car, especially when the bargain was that good! I’m sorry that you had some trouble with it though. Hopefully this hasn’t completely put you off of the idea of buying a used car. Buying the best parts and taking the car to the best repair service will guarantee that you won’t have to keep going back to spend more money on it, that’s for sure.

Vince Fury said...

Are you employed right now? If you are, then you can ask your company to provide you with novated lease calculator to help you in finding your own car. This has helped me to have our family vehicle.

Derrick Patterson said...

I am looking right now for a company that offers top audi car leasing. Hate to say this but, I prefer Audi over Mazda.

Jean Rook said...

Maybe you can also add a point for "easy/manageable maintenance" in this checklist. Even if it's just a used car we're talking about here, it still helps to consider one that would be easy on the spare parts and service.

Ebony Dixson said...

Attractive car with the desire feature. I prefer it most. novated lease calculator