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Changing car - some advice please


new2tsmoke
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I've been driving an old passat diesel (110bhp) which up until last weekend has been a reliable and economic (but v bland) car. However a couple of big mechanic bills due to main t belt service followed by mechanical failure were I'm lucky didn't totally wreck the engine, has prompted me into wanting a change sooner rather than later. 2 queries - what to buy and how to fund it.

My budget is 8-10k so I think I'm either going to get a nearly new car with v low miles or a beemer which will obviously be older with bigger miles. Have been lookin at a 2008 Vectra 1.9 CDTI (155) SRI with 15k miles(£8995) or a new model 05/06 BMW 320dSE £9-10k or new shape 03/04 BMW 520d SE £9-10k both with around 80k miles. I'm really wanting something that I don't have to worry about mechnically for a few years - don't mind putting the BM's through MOT as long as its going to be a solid car for a good few years. I've read some forums were they say the bmw engine is good for 200k+ miles - just wonder is a 'fresh' vauxhall engine any comparison to a high mileage BM. I also should mention that I'd do probably 15k miles a year and the newer BMW diesels seem to lead the way as far as economy/mpg is concerned so might be worth paying that bit extra which might recoup on reduced fuel bills given the price of fuel.

Second is what's my best way to purchase - having only ever bought a car by cash and/or personal loan, I've no idea about other finance/lease/pcp arrangements. I've about 8k in savings, so am I best spending all my savings (and topping up with personal loan for anything over the 8k) or should I look at what finance the dealer can offer and keep my cash in savings to earn interest?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

PS Have also a hankering for a Z4 2.5 so I may only hold on to my next car for a couple years before mid-life crisis kicks in and get the sports car, so leasing option may be worth looking at ;)

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1st things first. You are a cash buyer in a slow market, you can drive the deal here.

2nd I don't think you do enough miles to get an oil burner. Fuel cost is alot higher so mpg needs to be alot higher. They will also cost more to buy so for you go petrol plus everyone want a diesel so dealer will give a poor deal compared to a petrol for the reasons above.

Car wise, what do want or need? 4/5 door family wagon by the sound of it. Lots of choice outside those two, Audi, Alfa, Mazda, Skoda?

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Hadn't really thought about petrol option - this brings many more possibilities!. Had always reckoned for good economy to do diesel but looking at the mpg stats for petrol BM's they are surprisingly good - 320i is 46mpg combined. Done a quick calc based on 15k miles. For diesel using 55mgp @ 1.07 per litre works out at £5781. For petrol using my assumed mpg of 35 @ 0.96 per litre works out at £8228 which was a bit too uneconomical, but petrol using 46mpg (BMw 320i) @ 0.96 per litre works out at £6260 which ain't too bad. Will have to check/compare the used car prices and see if makes better sense to go petrol - just still worried that high mileage on petrol engine is not an issue.

cheers

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I think whatever you go for in terms of the Petrol v Diesel debate, take your £8k savings in CASH and go out there and drive a very hard bargain.... trust me, something that may be £9.5k screen price will drop into your budget +++

Also, consider stongly buying private - again, drive a hard cash bargain.

The Vectra's are a great car, but get one with Nav on it. The 1.8 are dirt cheap, do 40+mpg all day long on a run and are rock bottom prices. At 140bhp, they are nippy to and do drive very well. +++

Gets my vote! But, if you are ok with MOTs / know a little about what you are looking for, 3yr old petrol cars are givaway at present!

I have just come back from a test drive in an 05 plate Forester 2.5XTn. Every toy on it you want, 0-60 in 6 seconds and big enough to haul any family and their dog around. £8.5k. That was £25k new just 3 years and 38k miles ago.....

Happy hunting! I envy your position..... :)

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Check your calcs, for one year at 15k miles I get £1,325 for the diesel and the petrol is £1,421. Thats an extra of only £96 per year and the car may cost you thousands less. Even if the car was only £1,500 less you would save that extra petrol money in interest on your loan no worries.

Unless you are talking about seriously high mileage like 200k I do not see a petrol engine as having any longevity issues.

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Check your calcs, for one year at 15k miles I get £1,325 for the diesel and the petrol is £1,421. Thats an extra of only £96 per year and the car may cost you thousands less. Even if the car was only £1,500 less you would save that extra petrol money in interest on your loan no worries.

Unless you are talking about seriously high mileage like 200k I do not see a petrol engine as having any longevity issues.

Absolutely - agree 100% with all that +++

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High mileage on ANY new decent petrol or diesel engine is not an issue.

I had a 4.2 A8, bought at 170K - sold at 200K miles. No engine probs. My current A6 2.8 has 170K on the clock and weeps a bit of oil from the variable cam gasket. My daily hack Bora 1.9 TDi has 150K on it - no engine issues.

The Bora does 30K a year, so 3 services and the A6 does about 10K (by wifey).

I get about 55mpg from the Bora on average.

I will not buy a low mileage car. (below 100K). Next car which will replace the Bora might be an auto V6 CDti Vectra/Signum, as I sit crawling in traffic a fair while. (don's flame suit). And I like the V6 engine, but cannot afford the newer V6 dieseled A6/A4.

With diesels, it's a whole new way of driving - you change up at 3K and use the torque. I don't go over 3K with the Bora as there is nothing there performance wise, but at 1.5K rpm - 3K rpm off you go in any gear.

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Check your calcs, for one year at 15k miles I get £1,325 for the diesel and the petrol is £1,421. Thats an extra of only £96 per year and the car may cost you thousands less. Even if the car was only £1,500 less you would save that extra petrol money in interest on your loan no worries.

Unless you are talking about seriously high mileage like 200k I do not see a petrol engine as having any longevity issues.

Fek, my maths is crap, you can tell i'm not an accountant anyway!! - forgot to divide the litre/gallon conversion so my calcs were 4.54 too much! This seriously shifts the goalposts and makes the petrol motor as you guys have suggested seem a real good option. Thanks for the advice so far, gonna hunt through the parkers/what car site and see what the stats are for some petrol motors, anything doing 40+mpg is prob as good as my old passat so good enough. I'm not looking a family car (single bloke) so the sportier the better - think I'll start with BMW/Audi and spread the net from there - again any suggestions welcome!;)

Cheers

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We've had V6 TDI sri spec Vectras and they have been great, couldnt fault them, the V6 oilburner is very nice and you can get SRi Nav as a spec which would be a good choice.

The interiors arent 'Audi' but then our cars haevnt had to visit the dealerships for anything to speak of (we had one had an alternator fault) where as our VAG cars tend to have more niggly little faults, so as a long term car I'd be very tempted to keep one of our vectras.

The signum is great also, rear passenger space is very good, but boot is more limited that the vectra (ours have been estates).

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Agree with all that has been said. You'll get nearer to the mpg claims of the derv cars, but at 15k a year, and with derv 10% more expensive, and the cars being more expensive, I'd stick petrol.

Having said that the 320d is IMHO superior to the 320i in almost every respect, so if you can get one in budget..

As said, great time to be buying - I'd even wait a bit nearer to christmas when even less cars are being bought....

Auto Trader UK - BMW 320 diesel

Auto Trader UK - BMW 3 SERIES 318I SE 1995cc

No need to be buying 80k mile cars when cars with 1/4 of the miles are in budget.

Edited by edo
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Just another 2p on the Petrol v Diesel..... especially around Manufacturer MPG.

I did a 200 mile run in our 1.6 FSI Jetta yesterday. She returned me 47.2 MPG calculated at the pump (actually about 47.8 on the trip computer). VW do NOT specifcy it as being that frugal. That was at normal M'Way speeds and 25 ish miles cross-country.

If my wife drives similar journeys, it returns high 30's (as stated by VW), but NEVER high 40's +++

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Diesel is dead!

Just kidding, while their is this false perception that diesel is going to be half the price it will always have a place as residuals on new cars are higher so overall cost is cheaper.

However, I have gone from a 320d (efficient dynamics) auto esate that cost me £75 to fill up with V-Power and used to return 440-550 miles depending on driving, to a Mercedes E320 estate (petrol V6 auto).

Now you would think that the petrol would drink fuel? well it does if you watch the on board mpg readout, it is only doing 26mpg day to day compared with 38mpg from the BMW. However, when you stop and think about it, it isn't much more to run, it cost me £55 to fill up the other day and returned 405 miles from the tankful.

I can see 35mpg on a run.

To buy a 2005 E320cdi estate it will cost you £18k, to buy the petrol will cost £12k.

Even if you only pay the interest on the £6k difference it works out cheaper to have the petrol. If you also look at the fact in another 3 years the cdi will be worth around £9k and the petrol £6k the diesel when buying at 3 years or older starts to loose more money as well.

Please don't expect to get 46mpg from a BMW petrol though, you will be very disappointed!!! ;)

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Check your calcs, for one year at 15k miles I get £1,325 for the diesel and the petrol is £1,421. Thats an extra of only £96 per year and the car may cost you thousands less. Even if the car was only £1,500 less you would save that extra petrol money in interest on your loan no worries.

Unless you are talking about seriously high mileage like 200k I do not see a petrol engine as having any longevity issues.

Davy, do you mind sharing your calculations?+++

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Check your calcs, for one year at 15k miles I get £1,325 for the diesel and the petrol is £1,421. Thats an extra of only £96 per year and the car may cost you thousands less. Even if the car was only £1,500 less you would save that extra petrol money in interest on your loan no worries.

Unless you are talking about seriously high mileage like 200k I do not see a petrol engine as having any longevity issues.

Davy, do you mind sharing your calculations?+++

Diesel:

15000 miles converted into gallons @ 55mpg (÷ 55) = 273 gallons.

273 gallons converted to litres (x 4.54) = 1239.5 ltrs

1239.5ltrs @£1.07p per ltr = £1326

Therefore 15000 miles will cost you £1326 in diesel at 55mpg.

Petrol:

15000 converted into gallons @ 35mpg (÷ 35) = 428.5 gallons

428.5 gallons converted to litres (x 4.54) = 1945.5 ltrs

1945.5 ltrs @ £0.96p per ltr = £1867.70

Therefore 15000 miles will cost you £1867.70 in petrol at 35mpg.

Difference between the two is £541 in the diesels favour. That's around 10 tankfuls. +++

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Diesel is dead!

Just kidding, while their is this false perception that diesel is going to be half the price it will always have a place as residuals on new cars are higher so overall cost is cheaper.

However, I have gone from a 320d (efficient dynamics) auto esate that cost me £75 to fill up with V-Power and used to return 440-550 miles depending on driving, to a Mercedes E320 estate (petrol V6 auto).

Now you would think that the petrol would drink fuel? well it does if you watch the on board mpg readout, it is only doing 26mpg day to day compared with 38mpg from the BMW. However, when you stop and think about it, it isn't much more to run, it cost me £55 to fill up the other day and returned 405 miles from the tankful.

I can see 35mpg on a run.

To buy a 2005 E320cdi estate it will cost you £18k, to buy the petrol will cost £12k.

Even if you only pay the interest on the £6k difference it works out cheaper to have the petrol. If you also look at the fact in another 3 years the cdi will be worth around £9k and the petrol £6k the diesel when buying at 3 years or older starts to loose more money as well.

Please don't expect to get 46mpg from a BMW petrol though, you will be very disappointed!!! ;)

However, I am starting to enjoy the way diesels drive. They suit my style - relaxed and lazy. A big slug of torque low down, no need to rev the engine to get it going. Much like a big pterol (like my old 4.2 A8). Just that with the petrol, you had that top end ooomph.

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A calculation above is based upon a difference of 20mpg between petrol and diesel, the actual difference in mpg will be much less if you say compare a 320i and a 320d. If you go for a much larger 6 cylinder petrol car then the difference may be 20mpg but then it will be much more powerful and more refined and therefore not a like for like comparison.

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