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Is it time to consider getting a more powerful car? Watch

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    Hi guys,

    Want your opinions on this for anyone who upgraded from their first car to a better model.
    I currently drive a Nissan Micra K11, so the old version. It's about 16 years old, engine isn't even a litre!
    When i was choosing cars after just passing my test, I was a pretty nervous learner. So a micra seemed adequate enough for speed and short journeys.

    I've been driving for about 10 months now, and use my car a lot more than I thought I would. The worst part is - I use it for long, motorway journeys, averaging out about 1,000-2,000 miles per month.
    The car hasn't had many problems, a few small inexpensive fixes here and there. However, my parents and friends keep telling me it's time to probably look into getting a more powerful vehicle for the type of driving I do.

    One of the main issues is the speed, doing a lot of motorway journeys, it isn't always feasible to drive at 50mph, (where the car is happy) and driving at 70mph makes the car rattle and shake and the revs are quite high. If i always drove at 50mph I'd never get home!

    The other is insurance. Being a new driver, I can't see my insurance being too happy with me getting a bigger engine, despite the fact I haven't crashed.
    I was planning to wait atleast until next year, but I'm scared the car might have died by then!

    Can anyone offer advice on if its time to upgrade from the micra? Or if i should leave it and just continue using it for the type of journeys i do?
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    To be fair it is an old car and will be doing a fair fuel miles - you probably will need to replace it at some stage. What is the current mileage? It shouldn't just die if you keep on top of the servicing and repairs, but that car won't be worth and awful lot of money. Not a huge problem, but something to think about. Also, newer cars will have a higher level of safety build it!

    Re insurance, go looking for a car you like the look of and get a few quotes to see what the cost is. A more powerful car will probably lead to an increase in insurance cost, but as a new driver you are already paying a lot anyway so it might not be a huge increase in terms of %.
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    (Original post by Talon)
    To be fair it is an old car and will be doing a fair fuel miles - you probably will need to replace it at some stage. What is the current mileage? It shouldn't just die if you keep on top of the servicing and repairs, but that car won't be worth and awful lot of money. Not a huge problem, but something to think about. Also, newer cars will have a higher level of safety build it!

    Re insurance, go looking for a car you like the look of and get a few quotes to see what the cost is. A more powerful car will probably lead to an increase in insurance cost, but as a new driver you are already paying a lot anyway so it might not be a huge increase in terms of %.

    The current mileage is just over 100,000. It's next service is due in May (yearly). It passed its MOT in september with no advisories aswell. Which is a good sign for the age of the car. This is my concern, i already struggle with insurance payments currently as they are so high! Can't really afford to have it going any higher.

    I'm only looking to increase it to 1.3-1.4 just to get that extra bit of power on the motorway.

    My car won't be worth anything now if i sell it, the amount of scratches and dents it suffered during my first few weeks of driving really reduced its exterior experience. As i said, I was a nervous learner, I didn't see myself back then doing the type of driving I do now!
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    the average uk driver does 8K miles a year.

    have you become a sales rep? 12-24K miles in a 16 year old Nissan is the heck of a millage.

    it may be that you need a slightly newer car that is slightly bigger, giving cheap insurance but better for longer higher speed journeys.

    that said, my G/f's car is a quite old 1.3? honda civic automatic that was a japanese import and just goes on and on....

    she's driven around Poland, Austria Germany and france with zero issues
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    (Original post by domonict)
    the average uk driver does 8K miles a year.

    have you become a sales rep? 12-24K miles in a 16 year old Nissan is the heck of a millage.

    it may be that you need a slightly newer car that is slightly bigger, giving cheap insurance but better for longer higher speed journeys.

    that said, my G/f's car is a quite old 1.3? honda civic automatic that was a japanese import and just goes on and on....

    she's driven around Poland, Austria Germany and france with zero issues
    I haven't always done that high of mileage, only recently in past few months. Moved away from home, long distance relationship. It all adds up eventually. When i was working i actually commuted by train too! So it's crazy the amount it adds up from just weekend trips

    I've heard Japanese cars just last forever, and in all fairness to the car it copes pretty well. I've had zero problems with it.

    The other day however, it did fail to start up, only because i parked it on a hill, and the fuel went back to the tank over the days I left it. Didn't realise you needed to throttle the engine a little. Recovery guy said it's normal as theres no fuel pumping system to get the petrol moving before the car turns on - which is just poor design is older micras.

    I am worried though (hence the post) the mileage will start to take it's toll, as it is a little car and it's so old. Obviously the more miles you do, the more it wears out the parts and because of the car not costing much, it would be pointless for me to repair any major parts as they're worth more than the car itself.

    Is there any models you would recommend as an upgrade?
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    to be fair, Nissans also go on forever and an old one MIGHT have a cam chain, that goes on and on.
    whereas a more modern car might have a belt, that ages as well as suffers through miles.

    I need to change my belt due to age, not because i have done a big milage, and it isn't cheap.
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    increase to a 1.6, a lot of 1.6 cars have a very low insurance group (ford focus)

    I drive a ford focus mk2.5 1.6l diesel. The car has a suprising amount of pep even in motorways I can do 110 mph quite comfortably.
    im an 18 year old living in london and my insurance is about 2 grand. Its a powerful spacious car for a new driver, not to mention dignified lol.
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    Engine size doesn't neccesarily impact on insurance.
    For example, it costs me EXACTLY the same to insure a 1.8 MGB as it does a 3.5 version.
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    Having owned a variety of vehicles, IMO nothing beats cruising on the motorway like a German sedan. Generally quite torque-y, they can cruise on the motorway at 80MPH on low 2k revs quite happily with your foot barely on the gas pedal, returning 50+MPG if driven economically. Not forgetting to mention that they're usually quite comfortable inside, given the interior quality is usually better and that they're heavier, giving a nice ride. I've driven a 1.8L Toyota Corolla for a while, it was quite comfortable in the 60 MPHs but Engine wouldn't be too happy with anything over 70 for a long period of time. The build quality on BMWs, Mercs & Audis is generally good and even if you buy one with high mileage, it'll still run well. Whereas the Toyota really started to give out at 120k miles, my old BMW 320d was still happy at 150k. You can get a decent 06 BMW for less than £4k, if your insurer is happy with it, that is. Once you try to drive one, you'll notice the difference and value.
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    The only thing I'm going to suggest here is that you wait for the full year until you get a new car so you keep your no claims bonus. Leave at 10 months and you'll get diddly squat, it's do the full year or nothing.

    I upgraded from a 1.1 liter petrol to a 2l turbo diesel for £150 more per year with 1 years no claims. Then again, my car is hardly a boy racer car. It depends more on the car type than the engine size.

    If you do a lot of motorway driving I would highly suggest a newer car. You'll be much more comfortable, not to mention safer. 50mph on the motorway isn't a good idea and I bet the brakes aren't great either.
 
 
 
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