Old 17th July 2004, 21:04   #1
fwgx
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Buying a car (advise please)

I'm after a car now, it's been 4 years since i last drove (on the day of my test) but I want one now and can afford it there abouts.

So I need reccomendations on a good second hand car. I've been looking at mid 90's 3-series bmw's and audi a4's as I think they'll last forever and are good for the money. I've seen a few 1.8 1995 A4's for under 2k and the insurance is ok too. However most have 80k+ miles on the clock, many 100k+, however they've been company cars so well looked after.

My dad had an N reg A6 with over 150k on it when he got rid of it and it was fine, so I think 2k for a car that'll last me a year or so would be a good deal.


What would you get with a 4k budget?

(I'm in the UK btw)

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Old 17th July 2004, 22:03   #2
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I would get a Saxo.
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Old 17th July 2004, 22:31   #3
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I dont know much about cars...in fact very little, however if you'll be buying used, make sure you get it checked out by and independant garage to make sure it has not been in any accidents.

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Old 17th July 2004, 22:34   #4
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A site all about compact cars.
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Old 17th July 2004, 23:03   #5
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Old 18th July 2004, 01:20   #6
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I don't know anything about luxury cars...I'd go with the Audi A4, only because I'm a bit of a VW fan...

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Old 18th July 2004, 03:14   #7
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well if your looking for a sports car, then go with one of those, but i dont know how much money you have. My parents got me a 98 corolla for 4800 including tax and licenseing. One of the best features is over 30 MPG on this car....its great like 5 bucks a week for gas. If your wanting non-sportscar reliable cars, go toyota or honda.

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Old 18th July 2004, 03:23   #8
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I don't know my Audis very well, but I do know my BMWs, here is what I can tell you about the BMW side:

for 4k, I'd say a 91 318i, or 318is, these are nice cars, decent performance, good gas milage, and as long as you make sure that the head gasket has been replaced(almost all should have had this done already), they will be quite reliable, and the body is rock soild. 100k on a BMW is no big deal, the engines in BMWs will last for a very long time.

if you want to go for a later model car, a 91-98 318i or 318is or 318ti fits the bill, from 91-95 the engines got more power every year, the 318ti would be the compact, and would also be the best performer of these cars, it is faster, gets better gas mileage, and handles better than the sedans, due to the fact that it is a couple hundred pounds lighter, and they are typically cheaper that the sedans. you could also get the 316 versions of these cars, but you'll take a serious hit in the power, the 316i engines usually have 30-40 hp less than the 318i models.

if you can swing it, a 320i has more power, but also costs more, as the 320i has a inline six cylinder engine. it will have close to the same gas mileage as the 318i's and 316i's, but will have more power and the engine has a smoother power delivery when compared to the four cylinders in the 318i/316i. personally I'd prefer a manual in all these cars, as it maximizes their performance, gas mileage, and the lifespan of the transmission, but the only car I'd say not to get an automatic in is one of the 316i variants, cause you'll really be missing out on some power.

both the 318i's and 316i's will get better than 30 MPG, I don't know about the 320i, though I'd expect something the the high 20s maybe low 30s

I'd look for a 95 or later 318ti with around 100k with a manual transmission, and a decent service history, and if the owner is a member of the BMW Car Club GB, its a safe bet its maintance is top-notch
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Old 18th July 2004, 03:23   #9
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It's hard for me to make a recomendation for someone in another country, but I'd recomend the 1993 BMW 318i and the 325i. I've never driven either model but I have driven the 95 M3. The BMW 3 series have been winning C&D comparisons for about 13 years in a row, if you care about driving fast at all.
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Old 18th July 2004, 15:20   #10
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A '95 Audi for under 2 grand?

Gosh, the prices in Canada are terrible. If I browse through an Auto Trader magazine I can find what I think to be good deals (Maybe a 1999 Mercedes M-series elegance with all the trimmings for 30 grand CND), but I guess the area's a little too small here to find deals that give you hard-ons.
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Old 18th July 2004, 15:39   #11
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Get a Mini. They rock.

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Old 18th July 2004, 15:42   #12
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Drool.

It might be hard finding a used Mini Cooper at a decent price though, unless you go to one of those auto auctions where they sell off unsold cars.
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Old 18th July 2004, 16:20   #13
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Old 19th July 2004, 01:21   #14
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I recommend an early-to-mid '90s BMW 3-Series too (ones built on the E36 chassis design). This includes the 318, 323, 325 and 328. (And the M3, but those are more costly). I have to admit I'm a bit biased, though.

And when you find one that you think's a good contender for purchase, take it to a BMW repair shop (whether it's a dealership or a third-party shop). Someone who REALLY knows BMWs, because they're quite a different car than other brands. They can tell you whether the car has been properly maintained or not.

My 1995 M3 has 119,000 miles on it, and runs as tight as when it was brand new. It's been incredibly reliable. In the past 4 years, I've had to buy one brake caliper for it. Other than that it's been general maintenance.

Now, for regular maintenance a dealership will want somewhere between $500 and $900 for what they call "Inspection I" and "Inspection II" on the car about once a year. Don't waste your money on it. They are only for keeping up the warranty on new models.

BMWs are built to take care of themselves, and the onboard computer (if it has one) will report anything wrong with the car, from low oil pressure to a burned out tail light, right there on your console. All you need is a simple tune up once a year, so take it to a third-party shop where they'll charge you no more than getting a tune up on a Tercel (just make SURE they are qualified to work on BMWs). They'll change the oil and spark plugs, and check the other fluids, belts, hoses, and anything else that could need replacing. Then there are the other fluid changes (cooling system, brake system, etc.) that will also be cheap to take care of with a good third-party shop.

Everything's computer-controlled on an E36 chassis BMW, so there's no timing or mixture adjustments to worry about. Even the computer chip that controls everything is dirt cheap compared to the ones for other cars. My mother spent almost $1000 on a new computer module for her Pontiac Bonneville. I spent $249 on a brand new custom-programmed module for my BMW.

It's a rumor that BMWs are expensive to maintain, but that's only because the skeptics look at the "Inspection I/II" prices that dealers charge...things you don't need on a car that's out-of-warranty anyway.

If you have a fondness of turning the wrench yourself, know that BMWs are built to be worked on easily. As a performance upgrade, I pulled out the fuel rail and electrical system from the top of my engine, replaced six high-flow fuel injectors, and reassembled everything in 15 minutes, by myself, start to finish. Try that with any other car.

Oh, and whatever you buy, always put synthetic oil in it. It's worth the extra up-front cost, and will actually save you money by going longer between changes than regular oil.

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Old 19th July 2004, 06:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bazman63
If someone offers you a blue Ford Focus with a small dent on the right rear wheel arch, it's mine.

Nicked last Mondat from Shepherds Bush.
my brother wrecked his blue ford focus last monday

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Old 19th July 2004, 13:07   #16
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Cool, thanks guys, I'll definatly give the BM's another look.

A mini would be good, except I can't afford a new one and I'm 6'5" so wouldn't fit in an old one . Also, my sis has a Saxo, so that's out of the question!

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Old 19th July 2004, 13:58   #17
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Mini is very nice but second hand ones are almost as much as new ones (was more a while back when the demand was higher than supply).

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Old 19th July 2004, 17:10   #18
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Ford Crown Victoria.

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Old 20th July 2004, 03:59   #19
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I don't think the British really care for giant cars like that...

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Old 20th July 2004, 04:23   #20
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My bet would be a car that I already drove and LOVED IT. BMW 325i 95. Man, this is car is perfetc. In you country especially, 'cause of the price .. The motor is a special thing. The one I drove (My Uncle's, another BMW Fan) had the muffler already, how can I say ... gone. And the "noise" was just beautiful. Confortable and realiable. Don't worry about 100k+ milage ... for BMWs it doesn't really matter

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Old 20th July 2004, 04:42   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by MidnightViper88
I don't think the British really care for giant cars like that...
But that's the lure! How many Crown Vics do you see driving around in Europe? About as many as there are Aston Martins in the United States. They're not THAT big, they'll fit on the roads and all. Roomy, comfy, reliable, cheap to maintain, and very rare over there. I don't know how much the going rate for a Crown Victoria in Britain is though, or if Ford even offers a right-hand-drive Crown Vic. But still, it's an idea to bat around.

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Old 20th July 2004, 05:00   #22
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The Crown Vic's a nice car for sure. But fuel prices are of prime concern to most Brits shopping for a car.

Petrol prices in the UK are higher than anywhere else in the world. The following is a table showing fuel prices from around the world. Prices are translated to US dollars. And yes, these are PER GALLON prices.

Nation.........City...................Price
UK...............TEESIDE.............$5.64
HONG KONG...HONG KONG.........$5.62
UK...............MILFORD HAVEN...$5.56
UK...............READING.............$5.56
UK...............NORWICH............$5.54

(Article)

Enough to make Americans stop bitching about $2, huh?

3-Series BMWs aren't the most economical vehicles in the world, but they're well in line in their size class, and are a great balance of the things many people look for in daily transportation.

(And of course, as everyone knows, after you drive one you'll never go back. )

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Old 20th July 2004, 11:57   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by General Geoff
But that's the lure! How many Crown Vics do you see driving around in Europe? About as many as there are Aston Martins in the United States. They're not THAT big, they'll fit on the roads and all. Roomy, comfy, reliable, cheap to maintain, and very rare over there. I don't know how much the going rate for a Crown Victoria in Britain is though, or if Ford even offers a right-hand-drive Crown Vic. But still, it's an idea to bat around.
Actualy I doubt that there are more than 20 in the UK, they wont work on British roads. First, there too expencive to run. Second, there arnt any carparking spaces that would fit it (And let you open the door afterwards) And Thridly, People will laugh at you.

Also there poor performance and soggy handling would leave you wallowing around while everybody elce has already driven past you.

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Old 20th July 2004, 15:42   #24
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poor performance and soggy handling? Have you ever driven one?

Get on with the handling/performance or police package, and they handle better than most midsizes. Sure, they're not the fastest in a straight line, but they're not slow by any stretch either.

A BMW 7-series is larger than a Crown Victoria in every dimension. Don't tell me a Crown Vic won't fit on UK roads, because I know it will. Crown Victorias are small compared to some cars and most trucks. About the biggest problem with owning a CV in the UK (or anywhere else in Europe) is gas mileage, which is not stellar. Driving conservatively, you get about 20mpg, which equates to something like 8.5km/l. I never really expected to be taken seriously, but there are a couple of people on a Crown Vic message board I go to who live in the UK and happily own and drive Crown Victorias as daily drivers.

Oh, and there's probably closer to 50 in the entire UK.

EDIT: Why would people laugh at you? Because it's an American car?

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Old 20th July 2004, 16:27   #25
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... don't forget to advantage the advice MidnightViper88 gave us insight to when shopping for a used car.
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Old 20th July 2004, 17:45   #26
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by ScorLibran
[B]The Crown Vic's a nice car for sure. But fuel prices are of prime concern to most Brits shopping for a car.

Petrol prices in the UK are higher than anywhere else in the world. The following is a table showing fuel prices from around the world. Prices are translated to US dollars. And yes, these are PER GALLON prices.

Nation.........City...................Price
UK...............TEESIDE.............$5.64
HONG KONG...HONG KONG.........$5.62
UK...............MILFORD HAVEN...$5.56
UK...............READING.............$5.56
UK...............NORWICH............$5.54


It also stops the poor folk from throwing petrol bombs when they riot.

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Old 20th July 2004, 19:13   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by General Geoff
Get on with the handling/performance or police package, and they handle better than most midsizes. Sure, they're not the fastest in a straight line, but they're not slow by any stretch either.
Might as well get a Mercury Marauder...

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Old 20th July 2004, 20:15   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bazman63
Nation.........City...................Price
UK...............TEESIDE.............$5.64
HONG KONG...HONG KONG.........$5.62
UK...............MILFORD HAVEN...$5.56
UK...............READING.............$5.56
UK...............NORWICH............$5.54
USA..............Atlanta............$1.69 this morning at BJ's!

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Old 20th July 2004, 22:41   #29
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2.13 here in oceanside ca

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Old 20th July 2004, 22:43   #30
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$1.89/99/2.09 in most places around here.


http://www.charlestongasprices.com/

Cheapest prices in Charleston WV. There's a CitGo near me that's $1.98/2.08/2.18

Wont be getting gas there any time soon.

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Old 21st July 2004, 03:27   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by ScorLibran
...

3-Series BMWs aren't the most economical vehicles in the world, but they're well in line in their size class, and are a great balance of the things many people look for in daily transportation.

(And of course, as everyone knows, after you drive one you'll never go back. )
thats why I reccommended one of the 4-cylinders, they get very good gas mileage, hell, my 20-year old 318i gets 40+mpg at highway speeds, and the newer 318i's are much more efficent. and it is true, after you drive a BMW, you'll have a hard time driving anything else.
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Old 21st July 2004, 03:57   #32
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and it is true, after you drive a BMW, you'll have a hard time driving anything else.
Yeah, muscles atrophy, & you get crippled up!

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Old 21st July 2004, 06:16   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaboWaboAddict
USA..............Atlanta............$1.69 this morning at BJ's!
USA.....Atlanta.....$1.69 at QuikTrip today also! (But $1.89 for the kind I haf'ta buy.)

Quote:
Originally posted by CaboWaboAddict
Yeah, muscles atrophy, & you get crippled up!
Actually it's the other way around. You'll get a somewhat-better workout with a BMW in agile driving. You can feel EVERYTHING, but in a very good way (not at all tedious). It doesn't take any more or less muscle to move a BMW around, it just responds more precisely than anything else, and therefore you'll take the car further in the handling department simply because you can. And because it feels good to do so.

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Old 21st July 2004, 12:59   #34
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Scor, get a BJs membership! Premium was going for $1.84. Also, propane is $8.99 for aq 20# cylinder. The membership costs $35. it pays for itself real quick.

Fuel for the BBQ and car - that's what I got it for. Now if they only sold Cabo...

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Old 21st July 2004, 13:21   #35
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Originally posted by CaboWaboAddict
Scor, get a BJs membership! Premium was going for $1.84. Also, propane is $8.99 for aq 20# cylinder. The membership costs $35. it pays for itself real quick.

Fuel for the BBQ and car - that's what I got it for. Now if they only sold Cabo...
I hope you don't mean the propane as fuel for BBQ! Real BBQs burn charcoal, if you use propane you might as well use a cooker...

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Old 21st July 2004, 17:32   #36
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I got a Vauxhall Corsa, hire car delivered yesterday. Terrible car to drive. Too light and every thing is super sensetive. Good MPG. But it handles like the go-cart (soapbox) I made for my nephew.

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Old 21st July 2004, 18:26   #37
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Originally posted by lostonline
I hope you don't mean the propane as fuel for BBQ! Real BBQs burn charcoal, if you use propane you might as well use a cooker...
Yeah, figures. I was thinking someone would respond that way...

OK take your pick on what you want to use...
A Coleman Smoker (Charcoal)
A cast iron hibachi (Charcoal)
A Brinkman full size grill (Charcoal)
A Tim the Toolman Taylor Jenn-Aire Stainless 4 burner Grill (Propane)

I have all four. You can't tell me that propane makes a difference. I can get the full natural wood flavor with my Jenn-Aire, its much less work, and lots faster.

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Old 21st July 2004, 18:39   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaboWaboAddict
Yeah, figures. I was thinking someone would respond that way...

OK take your pick on what you want to use...
A Coleman Smoker (Charcoal)
A cast iron hibachi (Charcoal)
A Brinkman full size grill (Charcoal)
A Tim the Toolman Taylor Jenn-Aire Stainless 4 burner Grill (Propane)

I have all four. You can't tell me that propane makes a difference. I can get the full natural wood flavor with my Jenn-Aire, its much less work, and lots faster.
Fair enough if that works, I just like the traditional bag of charcoal in a cheap BBQ and authentic burnt food

Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
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Homer Simpson
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Old 21st July 2004, 21:55   #39
Bazman63
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BBQs already.

'In this country, it takes all the running you can do to stay in one place.'"
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Old 21st July 2004, 22:33   #40
CaboWaboAddict
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