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Any first car thoughts?

henners Dec 4, 2009

  1. henners

    henners Member

    Hi guys,

    A couple who I'm good friends with are looking to buy a first car and have been asking for my help for ages - I'll basically be buying it for them..

    The difficulty is that they're both 25/26 and learning to drive later in life than most - therefore their budget can be a little more than your average banger. Effectively they could push it as far as about £9-10k, but equally have no definitive requirements so would be equally happy spending £2-3k.

    So, wondered if any of you had thoughts about what to get? I know it's a really vague brief - and that's the problem!
    They'd like something reliable and comfortable, but that's not going to cost a fortune to run and equally isn't going to depreciate horrendously.

    My thoughts so far have been fairly VAG centred:
    Golf (Mk 4 or early Mk 5)
    Lupo GTI
    A3 (8Ls and earlier 8Ps)

    Then also been looking at Minis, even some 1 series.

    I guess the questions are
    a) is there any point in spending towards the top end of the budget if they're not looking for massive performance?
    b) should I be putting my snobbery regarding german cars to one side for this one?
    c) one example the lad has seen is a Mk4 GTI (1.8T - 150 BHP i think?) - do you think that's too powerful a car for TWO learner drivers?
    d) is there anything obvious I'm missing??

    After thinking about it for an awful long time now, I'm thinking that a Mini could be the perfect choice - small, fun to drive, not going to kill themselves in it, plenty around to get a good one and can be picked up for well below the top end of the budget.

    Note - Only thing that has been completely vetoed so far is the Fiat 500

    Would really appreciate your thoughts - as this quest is starting to take over my life! :sos:
  2. dan1973

    dan1973 OCD clean

    As first time driver's i would go more toward something which is not going to be a killer on the insurance. I no they are mature but still no claims and all that. As for the car no help here mate, maybe a few testers of a few. I can vouch for the mini being a cracking little motor with a great service package.
  3. Geordie Mike

    Geordie Mike Yeee-haw

    a) No
    b) Yes - you don't see many driving instructors with German cars.
    c) It really depends on their character, but without knowing that, yes. Remember they will really learn to drive once they have passed, and it's probably better to make mistakes in something a little less powerful.
    d) I would have thought insurance costs would play a major part. Are there any possible lifestyle changes (kids?) in the next 1-2 years to think about?

    As a first car I don't think they could go really wrong with a fiesta or a focus, and save the cash for a second car. If they get to really enjoy driving, then they will want to be changing no matter what the first car is.

  4. henners

    henners Member

    Cheers for the opinions guys.

    I would be very surprised if there were plans for kids in the short-medium term, so don't think that needs to be considered. I guess the only other thing which I've been able to extract from them is that they ideally want something that they'll be proud of, possibly something a little different to the normal corsa/fiesta type thing.

    With regards to attitude, neither of them are gonna be loons by any stretch (the girl can drive already and I've had no hesitation in letting her loose in my S3 on some private roads), but would ideally like something with a little poke for when they get a bit more confident - current plan is to keep the car for 2-3 years ideally.
  5. dan1973

    dan1973 OCD clean

    On that note i would go for a mini then or the like mate the coopers a nippy little things.

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