My car is knackered :( Any suggestions about what to replace it with?

My car’s engine is apparently knackered, and I’m going to have to replace it.

Bearing in mind my requirements, which are:

1. inexpensive to run,
2. reliable,
3. something Piglet can travel in (her crate currently rests on the back seat, which isn’t ideal),
4. something that’ll let me nip up to the Lakes/Scotland from time to time, but won’t be used much, and
5. inexpensive to buy,

does anyone have any suggestions about what I should replace it with? I have a pal from the running club who works with and knows a lot about cars, and he’s going to have a look around, but I wondered what y’all think.

*cries a bit*


15 Responses to My car is knackered :( Any suggestions about what to replace it with?

  1. Baz says:

    What was the make and model of the old car? I take it you don’t want to replace like for like?
    Everyone will have their views on this, and my family seem to be Citroen fans. I certainly like the C3, but it may be a bit too high (feels a bit like driving a 2CV sometimes!) for you. The C1 petrol model had some amazing bargain prices earlier this year, too.

  2. peewiglet says:

    Thanks, Baz. The old one’s a BMW 3 series, but I don’t need it now that I don’t do a lot of driving for work any more.

    I’ll have a look at the Citroens, thanks.

  3. Louise says:

    As we have a ‘large’ family and we camp a lot, we’ve got a Vauxhall Zafira, for seat and space versitility. With seven seats, no boot space, five seats, the boot is spacious. Lose the middle three, the boot is enormous! So, a crate for wee piglet would fit well, with rucksack, boots, poles etc. for trips to the Lakes/Scotland. It’s a workhorse and doesn’t appear to cost the earth to run, the insurance is reasonable, ours was just over £200 this year (I think…), the parts are reasonably cheap and easy to get hold of, I could go on, but it’s quite subjective I suppose. Maybe a Vauxhall Meriva would do the job? Not as big as ours but with the same flexibility etc. Happy car hunting!

  4. John Hesp says:

    “As I was travelling home it occurred to me that a camper van would be a very nice way to do it, but since I haven’t got a camper van yet that’ll have to remain a pipe dream for now.”

    Question answered!!

    J 🙂 hn

  5. John Hesp says:

    Oops, just seen you said “inexpensive to buy”. Campers do tend to be quite expensive.

    The Renault Espace we’ve got is the best car I’ve ever owned. Apart from:

    i)…Loads of space (take the back seats out and you can sleep in it – I drove down to Falmouth and brought a dresser and a bureau/desk home – we can get our tandem in it)

    ii)…Revolving front seats

    iii)…High driving position (great on motorway), and easy to drive

    iv)…Good performance

    It’s also cheap to own. It’s fifteen years old now and no sign of rust (it’s galvanised steel and plastic). It’s just got through it’s MOT (cost c £150). If I took it to the scrap yard now depreciation would have been £450/year.

    I’m not suggesting you get something so old, but Espaces (and maybe other similar cars) are incredibly versatile compared to the regular saloon car.

  6. Mark Alvarez says:

    My strategy is buy ’em cheap and run ’em into the ground. We always try to buy late model used cars or something I can get a really good deal on because it’s been sitting on the dealer’s lot unsold. (My current car wasn’t selling because it is a standard shift in a country where most people can only drive automatics. Pathetic.)

    We’ve become a Subaru Outback family. I’ve driven two in a row, beginning in the late ‘90s, and my daughter just traded in the 1995 model she’s been driving since 2000 for a 1996 model, so you can see that they last. (You can also see she’s really moving up in the world!)

    They’re very good for people who often head for the hills. Lots of room for packs and equipment (and dogs) in the back, decent (not great) gas mileage, and all-wheel drive, which comes in handy on muddy dirt roads and tracks. Some people use the Outback as a sort of camper, folding down the back seats and sleeping in the space created. Right now, if someone offered me the car of my choice, it would probably be an Outback. (Well, maybe a MG-TD—in British racing green, of course.):o)

    I have friends who like the smaller Forester, but I understand Subaru has made it bigger and much more expensive than it used to be.

    Best of luck. Shopping for cars is such a drag.

  7. Mango Terrier says:

    Our suggestion would be to trot down to your nearest Skoda dealer. They’;re called Alex Lawrie, in Liverpool. Their number is 08442 098 084. They’ve got a July 2007 Octavia Ambiente Estate, 1.9 Tdi diesel (same as Master has) with 31L on the clock and still 8months warranty to run. Price is £9,495

    In Preston, Simpsons – 01772 722 200 – have an identical vehicle, but March 2007 and with a lower mileage (18K). Price is £11,000

    If your BMW was registered before Feb 29 2000 you can get a combined scrappage + Skoda discount of a new Octavia Estate SE 1.9 Tdi diesel and will pay around £12K.

    Final option is to go for Skoda’s 50% deposit + 2yrs 0% finance. For this deal they discount the VAT equivalent, bringing the price to £13.4K So on the same new vehicle you’d pay £6.7K upfront and then £280 a month over the 2 years.

    Master has had three of these. Phenomenal build quality, 60mpg, huge load area, plus plenty of grunt …

  8. alan.sloman says:

    That’s pretty crappy news, Shirl.

    If the bodywork is okay on the BMW, have you thought about just replacing the engine? That may be a lower cost option?

    Or if you just want to get shot of it then nowadays most cars are pretty good and I would just choose how much you want to pay (surely the major consideration) and then look at what you can get for it?

    A heck of a lot of used low mileage cars are really good value – none of the horrid show-room depreciation to worry about.

  9. Phil W says:

    Toyota Yaris – shopping trolley on wheels!

  10. Baz says:

    Mango Terrier is also spot on. The skoda diesel engine is amazing – with a Fabia you’re basically buying a cheaper priced Golf in my view. Excellent cars.

  11. Paul says:

    Must say IMOA you can’t go wrong in buying a Toyota.

    I’ve had mine for …6 year and in that 6 year Ive put 101k miles on it. And I am yet to buy any exhaust parts, any light bulbs or clutch… And still return 48-51MPG.

    Was going to trade it in (for another Toyota or maybe Mazda3 4 door Vcheap for what you get as people tend to want hatchback and not salons)a few months ago but didn’t because, well theres nothing wrong with it.

  12. Mango Terrier says:

    Waaargh! Is an Octavia! Fabia is fine, but Octavia Estate is basically an Audi A4 at 75% the price with way better build quality. Let the hog-snorting & grunting begin! Even Jeremy Clarkson, bless his little cotton sox, gave the estate a five star rating two weeks ago.

  13. Piglet says:

    Very many thanks to all of y’all for the brilliant suggestions! ♥

    I have a pal here from the running club who’s in the car business, and he’s seeking something out for me. I’m torn between a wee hatchback and the lovely Octavia that Mango Terrier recommends. Pal reckons it’ll be easier to find the Octavia, as lots of peeps are apparently on the lookout for the little hatchbacks.

    I’m trying to strike a compromise between newness and cost. Will let you all know how it goes. Thanks once again, though, for all the help, which is much appreciated ♥

    • John Hesp says:

      Please don’t get a little hatchback Shirl. My sister-in-law was in an accident in a small hatchback. She’s lucky to be alive, but she can hardly walk, which is a bit of a blow to somebody who used to be out walking every day.

      The chances of something happening are small, but the consequences are enormous.


      • Piglet says:

        Good point, thanks, and one I hadn’t considered. I’m very sorry to hear about your sister-in-law 😦

        I was already keen on the Octavia idea–that Mango is a very persuasive terrier–but this makes me even more keen. Thanks!

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