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Ideas for a new car on a low budget

Discussion in 'Motors' started by semi-pro waster, 7 Mar 2010.

  1. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,829

    Location: Glasgow

    I don't often come into Motors but since my car recently failed its MOT I'm in the market for another car and was hoping for some advice. I don't urgently need a new car by any stretch and I'll be doing without for the next couple of months anyway to save up a little bit of cash to buy with but I'd like to get some ideas now so that I'm ready to take an opportunity should one present itself.

    Basic conditions are that I'd like something a bit faster, a bit more comfortable and a bit more fun than my previous car (a 1995 Nissan Micra 1L). Now I'm aware that anything with more power than a mobility scooter will probably satisfy most of those criteria but that's not quite the end of it as I'm also looking for something that is RWD, has four seats and is a manual. My budget is anywhere up to around £1,500 and less is better although I may be willing to extend it if it is clearly worth it. If it matters I'm currently 26, live in a reasonably nice area and have 2 years NCB.

    At the moment I'm thinking a BMW 32x (E36) is probably the most likely option in terms of meeting the criteria but maybe I'm missing something obvious? If the BMW is the best option then is there anything particularly obvious I should be watching out for? If there's anything else I've missed out that needs known to advise then please ask but I think I've included the pertinent points. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. OpenToSuggestions

    Capodecina

    Joined: 5 Aug 2006

    Posts: 11,018

    Location: Derbyshire

    A BMW for £1500 will require at least £1500 a year to maintain.

    For £1500 get another micra or a 1.25 Fiesta or a 1.8/2.0 Mondeo.
     
  3. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,407

    Whether you should get the BMW or not depends on how handy you are with a spanner. If you are going to need to pay somebody else to fix it every time something needs doing, its a poor choice for £1500.
     
  4. Joshy

    Soldato

    Joined: 15 Jun 2009

    Posts: 5,011

    Location: London

    If you're going to comment in a thread like this please have at least SOME idea about what you're talking about. Please :rolleyes:.

    As Fox says, the sense of a £1,500 E36 really does fall down to your mechanical ability. In fact I'd go as far to say that a similar thing needs to be said about anything that is going to fit your brief. Unless you can fix it yourself you're going to want something that is above all very reliable for £1,500, because having a garage fix a £1,500 makes VERY little sense to me.
     
  5. iaind

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Feb 2009

    Posts: 14,814

    Location: Exeter

    Why does it have to be RWD?
     
  6. paradigm

    Caporegime

    Joined: 26 Aug 2003

    Posts: 36,814

    Location: Staffordshire

    Nothing wrong per-say with a £1500 e36, however you'll probably be looking at a 320 or 325 for your budget, a decent 323 or 328 will be out of reach (which is probably a good thing, the M50 is a much stronger and less prone to failure engine than the M52).

    They are incredibly simple to work on so long as you know which end of a spanner to use ;)
     
  7. ajstan

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jan 2009

    Posts: 2,056

    Location: London

    4 seats, rwd for less than £1500. Really doesn't leave you with much choice.
     
  8. iaind

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Feb 2009

    Posts: 14,814

    Location: Exeter

    I do get the feeling he's decided on the e36 and has set his requirements to match :p
     
  9. merc190

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Aug 2008

    Posts: 168

    pretty reasonable E36 for 1500 quid, no reason why it should cost 1500 quid a year to maintain...but any old car is a gamble.
     
  10. Joshy

    Soldato

    Joined: 15 Jun 2009

    Posts: 5,011

    Location: London

    Actually there is loads of choice!

    I could sit here and reel off loads of 4 seater RWD cars, but absoultely all of them will cause a world of pain the second something goes wrong and it needs to be carted off to a garage to get fixed.
     
  11. merc190

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Aug 2008

    Posts: 168

    Nah, most older ones are fine, if you DIY, RWD config is very pleasant and easy to work on
     
  12. Joshy

    Soldato

    Joined: 15 Jun 2009

    Posts: 5,011

    Location: London

    But this is the point. If you can work on it yourself then a cheap car makes perfect sense, but if you're looking for something that is going to be fixed by a independent garage at a labour rate of £50/hr+ then you're going to want something that is above all reliable.
     
  13. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,686

    Location: On the road....

    If your unlucky and / or don't do any homework looking for one!

    I've just completed my 1st years ownership of an e36 328i SE Auto, its cost me £650 in repairs, servicing and an MOT over the year.

    Obviously, on top of that you have fuel, insurance etc....

    Servicing yourself is the best option, that said, I paid sub £1k for mine (plus a knackered Mondeo) and pay a local garage to look after it and look after it they have.

    As for reliability, until I get made redundant in June, I have a 30mile round trip daily to & from work and the car has never let me down - it even got me to work & back when the water pump failed (!).

    As with any old car, its very much the luck of the draw, you can get the odds slightly in your favour by doing your homework prior to buying one though. :)
     
  14. OpenToSuggestions

    Capodecina

    Joined: 5 Aug 2006

    Posts: 11,018

    Location: Derbyshire

    I do have some idea. Thanks for being a tit.
     
  15. Joshy

    Soldato

    Joined: 15 Jun 2009

    Posts: 5,011

    Location: London

    Some idea? Only a complete moron would make a blanket statement like a £1,500 BMW requiring £1,500 a year to maintain. The post above yours is an excellent example of just how wrong you are.
     
  16. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,829

    Location: Glasgow

    It has to be RWD because I want a RWD car, living in London a car isn't a necessity for me but it's more convenient for me to have one than not. Practically speaking I could just hire a car every few months when I need to do a long trip to vist friends/family but I prefer having a car for doing the little trips as well, it gives me more options and the ability to suit myself much more than if I were to rely on public transport or impose on my flatmate for lifts.

    ajstan is right, of the commonly available cars I know of and that would fit into the budget there isn't a huge amount of choice. It's not that I decided on an E36 and worked up a set of requirements to fit, I had the set of requirements and by process of elimination came to the E36 as being the best fit. I'd be quite happy not to buy a BMW but if it's the one that offers me closest to what I want at a reasonable price then it seems perverse not to go with it.

    Thanks for the advice so far, I've not done a huge amount in terms of working on cars but I can follow instructions from a manual reasonably well and don't mind getting my hands dirty so to speak.
     
  17. OpenToSuggestions

    Capodecina

    Joined: 5 Aug 2006

    Posts: 11,018

    Location: Derbyshire

    A £1500 BMW will be a nail and/or be very old (15+ years).

    It will require care and attention left right and centre.

    You find an example of 15 year old Beemer that is reliable as a 5 year old one and I will take my hat off to you, but you won't beause old cars break, simple as. Old BMW's cost a lot when they break.

    I said at least £1500, it is a ballpark figure, not an OMG will cost the same price as the car to maintain. I was trying to help the op but you insisted in coming into the thread and being a bit of an antisocable, hate filled tard.
     
  18. Gribs

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Nov 2003

    Posts: 2,342

    Location: Skipton

    It's generally much nicer to drive at a guess.

    Depending on how much he can afford to spend on keeping it going I could suggest anything from a 80's/90's Jap coupe to an old Volvo 940 so a running cost budget would be helpful.

    Even a smaller engined e36 is going to feel massively quicker than a micra and shouldn't cost that much to run if you find a decent one and should be easily within budget.
     
  19. Gribs

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Nov 2003

    Posts: 2,342

    Location: Skipton

    From looking at general parts prices since buying mine they don't seem at all expensive. There's not much more to go wrong than a similar aged Ford/Vauxhall and the other bits that are expensive aren't generally critical to running the car. If you can do some work yourself/know a cheap garage then there's no reason to suspect it'll cost that much more to run than any other car.
     
  20. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,407

    My car costs considerably more to run than my previous car - a Ford Mondeo?