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    I'm looking to buy my first car and I'm facing the issue of whether to buy an older car at a cheaper price (which could turn out to be great or could cost lots in repair bills) or whether to buy a slightly newer car (which is less likely to require repairs and is cheaper on running costs).

    I've looked at a £5000 car which is 2008 reg and low mileage (12,000) with great miles per gallon, but the thought of locking myself into finance payments for 5 years and paying off that amount of money fills me with doubt and worry. However, if I buy a £2000 - £3000 car which is older (say, 2002) and which has more mileage, then it's going to be less economical to run and also could potentially be problematic as I know some people who've bought cars like that and then they ended up paying loads to garages for repairs.



    Pros of buying a newer car:

    • Cheap fuel costs
    • Cheaper tax
    • More reliable


    Cons of a newer car:

    • Expensive (finance payments, interest costs etc)
      Immediately loses some value as soon as you drive it out the garage


    Pros of buying an older car:

    • Less expensive


    Cons of buying an older car:

    • Can be less reliable and more expensive in the long term
    • Less mpg than a newer model



    What do you think? It's a huge decision and I can't make my mind up.
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    I think you should go for an older car if it's your first. Cheaper insurance. And if you scratch it or anything, you'd be much less gutted if it's an old car rather than scratching a new car.

    Not all old cars are unreliable. I'm looking to sell mine and it's a V-reg, 1999 and it runs just fine.
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    But a second hand but rather newish car. I would advice the Toyota Yaris, I've driven it and its nice.

    I currently drive my brother's Toyota Corolla 07, its a nice car on roads but sometimes its difficult not to bump when turning out of small spaces and parallel parking also it dents with the slightest touches and expensive to repair so I would not advice it. So I would not advice the current gen Corolla.
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    What does category C or D damage mean? I found a car which has been fixed but had cat C damage, it has been fixed but as a first car is this good?
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    (Original post by IntelligenceArtifi)
    I would advice the Toyota Yaris, I've driven it and its nice.
    .
    Yeah, I was wondering about them but aren't they quite expensive on parts if it needs repairing?
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    (Original post by Mamaji)
    What does category C or D damage mean? I found a car which has been fixed but had cat C damage, it has been fixed but as a first car is this good?
    Cat C is damaged but repaired, damaged like stuff to do with engine. Personally, I'd stay well away from buying a Cat C car because the seller can tell you anything just to get it of his/her hands. What happens if you buy it then a week later, something bad happens with it?

    Cat D is damaged but repairable- small stuff like dents or scratches. There can be some good finds with Cat D cars.
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    No point getting a brand new one as your first car, get a second hand but new car.

    I don't know what makes you think old cars are unreliable, it depends on how it's been looked after and who manufactured it.

    My 1993 VW has never broken down on me, starts first time even in ice, and is cheap to look after, not to mention a joy to drive, and it comes with a big culture in the vw scene.

    There are pro's and cons to anything, if you aren't a 'car' person, get a new car, but second hand if you know what I mean. Don't go for something 'youths' generally get though if you want cheap insurance, eg. corsa.
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    (Original post by miss_p)

    Not all old cars are unreliable
    Yeah, it's just a bit of a gamble though. My sister bought an older car 14 months ago and it's turned out to be a real pain, costing lots in repair bills. She's lost money on it and is now having to buy another car because her old one is rubbish.
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    Cat C and D cars will affect resell value [and what you buy it for] and will raise your insurance rates if it's declared as perviously being a write off. Check things like that before buying one. But I know a few people who buy Cat C and D's to do them up and sell them on and they're perfectly good cars! It's mostly just cosmetic damage. Big dents, bits that need rewelding or bending back into shape.
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    (Original post by SkinnyKitty)
    No point getting a brand new one as your first car, get a second hand but new car.

    I don't know what makes you think old cars are unreliable, it depends on how it's been looked after and who manufactured it.
    I didn't say brand new. I said newer (i.e. 2007/2008).

    And also, I didn't say all old cars are unreliable. I just know from the experience of family and friends that they can often be less economical than a newer car, so it's really a bit of a gamble buying an older car.
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    Since I got one myself I've noticed how many 9-10 year old yaris' are still going strong.
    micras seem like a reliable small car too. I'd guess the insurance on these is pretty reasonable for <25 yo lads cos they're seen as old lady cars.

    don't even think there's much reason for a diference between the MPG on a 2008 vs 2002 model - what's your source for that?
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    (Original post by Language_student)
    Yeah, I was wondering about them but aren't they quite expensive on parts if it needs repairing?
    They are reasonable. My brother's Corolla is a nightmare to repair though and it dents way to easy so I would stay away from new corollas.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    don't even think there's much reason for a diference between the MPG on a 2008 vs 2002 model - what's your source for that?
    I've looked around garages and researched online, and a 2008 car (1 litre engine) will usually do about 60 - 65 mpg whereas a 2002 one will often do about 50 mpg.
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    (Original post by Language_student)
    I've looked around garages and researched online, and a 2008 car (1 litre engine) will usually do about 60 - 65 mpg whereas a 2002 one will often do about 50 mpg.

    Depends on how you drive it too ;]

    Haha my car must only do like 25mpg! It's only a 1l.

    I know this sounds silly but sometimes, if you drive a lot for instance, it's more cost effective to go for the bigger engine as you don't have to rev so high and it actually works out cheaper than something smaller.
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    When you chose however take a popular car otherwise repair will be a big trouble. As a new driver you will have bumps. I've just been driving for 14 months and I bang like twice every month. Heck I had my first big crash just yesterday. So chose something popular in the country. Obviously most people are better than me but they still have accidents.
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    (Original post by miss_p)
    I think you should go for an older car if it's your first. Cheaper insurance. And if you scratch it or anything, you'd be much less gutted if it's an old car rather than scratching a new car.

    Not all old cars are unreliable. I'm looking to sell mine and it's a V-reg, 1999 and it runs just fine.
    I agree. Id get an older car for your first car. Then if you do get any scratches or bumps, it wont be as big a deal. Also not all old cars are unreliable, they may be older but most still run fine. Plus theres the fact that its cheaper to buy.
    The bit about insurance isnt always true though. I found out that the newer the car, the cheaper the insurance (probably because they think if you have a new ishcar, you are more likely to look after it rather than crash it). But i guess its different with different people.
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    nothing wrong with an older car!!!! my boyfriend has a honda civic that is quite old and seems pretty much bulletproof mechanically nearly 300,000 miles, it is a k reg (apparently that is 1993 when i put its reg number onto online forms).

    however its probably is good health and condition because he does not drive it too much (maybe around 3,000 miles a year) as his main is a 9 year old honda insight (tax and congestion zone charge freeeeeeee)
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    Well i have a VW polo 2010 model as my first car...and i know i will not mess around with it - trying to be a gay boyracer of some sort...Whatever car you get...when driving treat it as precious as ur bolloks - if ur a boy .... if ur a girl u tend to treat things nicely anyway but this is off topic... treat as ur lifeline simple as that...my view on cars is that newer = safer, cheaper long term (fuel and less problems) and in many cases more appealing unless ur a classic kind of person...Btw thanks to my mum soley she brought me the car for 8.2kk...If u can spend an extra few grand and btw pay in full no point paying using plans as it can mess up very easily eg if u miss a payment prices just soar Hope i helped!
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    A first car? The best ones would be the one that you could buy outright without needing to resort to any financing.
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    (Original post by Erich Hartmann)
    A first car? The best ones would be the one that you could buy outright without needing to resort to any financing.
    +1 on that and keeping it safe
 
 
 
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