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Budget car for under £1000

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    Hi all,

    I need your help. I'm looking to buy my first car, a budget run around.

    I can get pretty much anything under insurance group 20. So anything between 1-20. (based on new 1-50 system)

    I'd like a saloon or full size car like a Mondeo. I'm looking for something reliable and cheap. The cheaper the better. I can get a Peugeot 406 2.0 HDi, but Co-Op won't insurance me on it because it's slightly above their highest allowed group. It's offered to me for £300 as well with 180k on the clock but I know it's got a reliable owner!

    Anyway, any suggestions. It'd be used to get to and from work and college. I don't want anything too s***. Two cars I'm considering are the VW Bora 1.9 TDI or a Toyota Avensis 1.6/1.8. The Toyota is slightly high in insurance.
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    The Bora is a very good car, I had the US version when it was new and I must say it performed very well.

    Is it a TDI 90 or 110 or 130 PS? Do you really need a diesel though?

    You could also look into a Volvo S40 1.6 or a Mitsubishi Lancer if you are into saloon cars
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    Have a look at maybe VW Vento - basically a Golf with a saloon rear end. If you look at the mk3/mk4 models you could pick one up a tidy one with decent mileage for under a grand. If you want something bigger have a look at the Passat too. My '93 Golf is pristine with 80k on the clock and I bought it for £600.
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    Just don't buy a common rail diesel. The early one's are more trouble that they're worth.

    I've driven alot of old diesels, and as much as it pains me to say it, my favourite was by a long shot a Rover! The 620 is old now, cheap ans chips and they go on forever, they seem relatively corrosion resistant too, shame they're so effin ugly. It's basically a slightly reshaped honda accord with the only decent engine Rover ever made in it. Like driving a sofa.

    I don't rate Audi's and VW's, because the A4's and passats have suspension problems at high miles which are costly to fix unless you DIY it, and second hand one's aren't that cheap unless you're happy with 200k miles on the clock.

    Avoid HDi's, french car manufacturers and electronics mix like water and electricity.

    The non HDI french diesels are ok, don't buy anything old and japanese, bits can be stupidly expensive.
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    Volvo 850.
    If you can get the 2 litre 20 valve model you're on to a winner!

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