Blog : Now definitely is the time to buy

Keith Adams

Deals on MINI First models look good right now
Deals on MINI First models look good right now

Love-it-or-hate-it, Christmas is fast approaching, and that means most of us are thinking of anything but buying a new car. Well, I say ‘most of us’ – if you’re afflicted with the bug, you never stop looking, and right now, that could lead you towards some real bargains. Because with the rest of Great Britain thinking about mince pies, presents for mum-in-law and whether they should go for PS3 or XBox 360, car salesmen are bored, bored, bored. And let’s face it, we’re all still going to need mobility.

December is traditionally a quiet time in the trade, and these guys are getting desperate to deal in order to make their targets. Check out the deals on the mainstream Vauxhalls, Fords, Peugeots and Renaults, and if you’re in need of a new car, and looking for new car deals, try someone like Central Contracts. There never has been a better time to go for it. Especially as consumer confidence is at an all-time low, talked down by the likes of Robert Peston and his increasingly gloomy BBC news stories.

I must admit that I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a new car. Not to replace my Rover SD1 or Saab 900T16S, but instead, to pension off the Alfa Romeo 156 (lovely but a bit of an extravagance at the moment) and VW Golf Mk4 TDI (boring, unrewarding but ultimately cheap as chips to run), and replace them with something new, hopefully low maintenance, and British-made. I’ve made no secret of my admiration of the Cowley-built MINI, and I keep looking in that direction. For a base-spec MINI First, I’d be looking at £99 a month with a £4253 deposit or £169 a month with £1500 down… and by my reckoning, and with a little bargaining, that might mean the Golf and Alfa as trade-ins.

Okay, so I’m essentially financing a depreciating asset (and that’s never good), but then as an ownership experience, it’s going to be more satisfying than a baggy old Golf or an Alfa that doesn’t move off the drive very often.

As I said, it’s something that I’m thinking about a lot – and I suspect in the run-up to Christmas, there’s some room to manoeuvre with the dealers. And let’s face it – an £11K MINI still has Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, Variable Valve Technology and Shift Point Display. Which adds up to 53.3mpg. Surely as cheap to fuel as my old Golf.

But there’s always the nearly new option. And, yes, I am sure that I could be silly and get something like a used second hand Porsche 911 for the same money (and yes, there are some bargains right now for the brave with a little money they’d like to fritter on an indulgence), but I’m hearing it’s in the volume sector where the amazing bargains currently reside. Sticking to my British built mantra, it’s interesting to hear that delivery-miles MG6s are starting to filter out into the trade.

My mate Rob Bambridge emailed to say, ‘Have you seen the TSE demos on Autotrader? There are a couple, a 3000 miler and a 1400 miler, for five grand less than list price already.’ For what is effectively a new car that’s just about run-in, that’s an awful lot of car for the money. Would I put my money where my mouth is? Decisions, decisions…

Winter truly is… (pause for dramatic effect)… the time to buy.

MG6 TS with £5K off as a late-used bargain? Must be worth a thought…
Keith Adams
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  1. I reckon you’d get the £1500 just for the Golf, with the right haggling. When I got my C6, i got £2800 for my Suzuki Ignis Sport (there’s a memorable car) – cost £2K as a 50,000 mile 4-year old with a noisy wheelbearing; I replaced the bearing, found a fault with the A/C that meant I couldn’t recharged it, drove it for 8,000 miles and then traded it in.

    I should pop over and have a look at the Alfa. They’re pretty cars, and the V6 is definitely a make-or-break thing; soundtrack to match the chassis, or over-engined?

    Does the MINI qualify for free road tax like the C3 does?

  2. Richard

    If I could do that, even better. I love that Alfa. Anyway, it’s not over-engined in the slightest, although you’d find it a bit soft and underdamped (it’s a Lusso-spec car with Veloce wheels and skirts as far as I can see). The power delivery and general drive of the thing is spot-on really.

    Disappointing 127g/km for emissions. But only disappointing compared with a diesel.

  3. Nearly-new Astons are available for Fiesta money. Lot of car, though the running costs would need factored in.

    £169pm w/ £1500 deposit is a good deal, but then that £1500 is wiped off the car as soon as it’s parked in your driveway.

    A nearly new Avensis diesel would be the sensible hat car, British built, reliable, economical, all the standard toys that any repmobile/exec has these days.

  4. Mini first: how to make you realise that despite spending a considerable sum of money, you couldn’t stretch to anything that was remotely nice. Have you sat in a basic Mini? Everything that makes them interesting is absent, which means its no better than all the other small hatchbacks on the market: no air con, steel wheels, de-tuned engine. It’s a pity they didn’t call it a Mini City!

  5. In trying to save you money Keith, I would advise waiting a few months. There is a 50% chance of the Euro collapsing with Italy alone having to refinance 60 billion Euro of debt by the end of January. If this event happens then car companies will be at the front line of collapse. Then you really will see some bargains. With regard to the MG6 if you could find a base S model with delivery miles for 10k then it would be a good new car purchase providing you are planning to keep it a good number of years. A TSE at 15k still seems expensive to me and will depreciate just as fast. Depends on how you view running costs.

  6. Motorpoint have some very cheap Hyundai I30’s at the moment.

    Still trying to persuade her indoors that a nearly new private owner Perodua Kelisa would be a better bet than a new Ford Ka – zero image but it’s a licence built Daihatsu (owned by Toyota) full of Japanese components that will keep on going for very little money and both local dealers are ex MGR.

  7. @7. Simon Weakley
    Some good deals when the Euro collapses. No money to buy anything though as no-one will have a job and banks wont give out loans or finance.

    Civilisation will soon collapse at this point, the car will just be a mobile burning barricade.

    Get something like an old XUD Citroen that runs on veg oil and get a field to grow the stuff.

  8. I’m firmly of the opinion that if you want a new car, don’t care about it, and just want “something for as little as possible” I was bang on with my C3 Airdream. I just taxed it for another year – free. Was in London pootling about the congestion charging bit last week – no faffing with payments or fines, as it’s exempt. And it can deliver 78mpg at 70mph if you just drive sensibly, though more realistic average is 60-65mpg. I do not drive sensibly; I’m usually with the faster cars on the motorway, short tempered and constantly stuck on the M1 without stop-start tech (the new ones have it, I think) – and I STILL average over 60mpg.

    At this time of year Citroën are keen for deals, and an in-stock C3 Airdream will probably be a ‘car as deposit, 99-150/month’ thing. With bluetooth, big windscreen, aircon, electric windows, remote locking, parking sensors, tinted back windowns, foglights, etc.

    The economy and road tax makes a difference, psychologically and financially.

  9. @Richard Kilpatrick

    You don’t work for Citroen by any chance? 🙂

    A very sensible car, I would like to think of it as the spiritual successor to my old ZX diesel.

    Useful for commuting and long journeys. But I would still yearn for something big and interesting as a weekend car 🙂

  10. If I worked for Citroën, they’d be in trouble. I hate PSA, I hate modern Citroëns as a breed, and dislike Peugeot intensely. The only reason I have a C3 is because I was stuck in a horrible negative equity position with my C6 and no other dealer would touch it – had I had free reign to just replace the C6 with any contract-hired new car I’d probably have an Audi A3 Cabriolet at the moment.

    The C3’s been a pleasant surprise despite my desire to never set foot in a PSA showroom again after the C6.

  11. @6

    Keith, look up a firm called Wizzzards on ebay, they do a lot of repro BL decals for classic Mini.

    I got Mini 30 and Mini 25 sets from them at a fraction of the price of Rover ones. Good quality too.

  12. Keith, dont waste your time with Mini. Mine at 18 months old has bare metal! Rust! and the trim is made and assembled by children. The Peugoet diesel it has is terrific.
    Remember with the “contract” BMW will look for an immaculate car when you give it back or rob you blind.
    A man of your considerable ability could find a suitable cheap smoke and run it for peanuts too.
    Now if its ecomony your after, hows about a diesel clio? My neighbour has one. 67 to the gallon, and its 135,000 miles old. His son ragged it stupid for the first 3 years of its life…and not one thing has fallen off or broken…just service.
    (Amazing site by the way)

  13. My local Ford Direct dealer has recently been cutting £500 off the sticker prices of nearly new Fords (in adverts at least). If part exchanging I guess you could haggle a bit more at this time of year.

    You are right… When Robert Peston “speaks” I notice that share values & pension funds dip the next day… co-incidence or what?

  14. I wonder how much of a new MG6 is going for?
    You’d think they’d be giving them away at the moment 🙂

  15. Never really been a fan of the MINI.
    How can a car that big be called a MINI? it just seems wrong.
    I’m sure people will keep buying them in there millions though. Image is everything after all….

    Why not start a new crusade Keith?
    & go for the MG6. You know it makes sense 🙂

  16. By modern standards, the MINI is still a small car. It’s just that a Fiat 500 can (in my opinion) seat four pretty average adults; small cars are no longer small.

  17. I am changing my car as welll – time for the 75 to be replaced with an X Type estate.

    There are some real deals out there but there seems to be a shortage of cars from when the credit crunch first hit and production scaled back.

    The biggest bargain in my view – The Vauxhall Insignia under £12k for a 60 plate 1.8 SRi (List £23k) is silly money. Just a shame the ride is so awful.

  18. “How can a car that big be called a MINI? it just seems wrong.”

    Thing is it’s no bigger than any other supermini these days.
    They have a low roof line and a wide stance which makes them look bigger than others. I know when i compared the first gen MINI with the 2001 Fiesta the Mini was shorter and lower, but marginally wider.

    I’m not overly keen on the 2nd Gen MINI personally, but big it isn’t.

    (before anyone accuses me of being overly Pro-MINI, i drive a Classic Mini as a daily driver)

  19. @Keith, it’s definitely a Veloce – Lusso have white dials and non ‘carbon’ interior trim.

    You think it’s floppy and wallowy now? Try a Lusso. The V6 never had the springing and damping for the job, they’re over sprung and quite severely under damped.

    British made car – yeah, the MINI. It’s fat, lost the essential MINIness that the R50 had in my eyes, and has a relatively poor reliability record.

    Buy a 500 – absolute belter of a car, and yes, I own one!

    Why come on here and praise foreign and then moan about the state of the British car industry!
    I bet they have a st Georges flag on them during football internationals as well.

  21. Brian, you like the new 500? I tried one – wanted a 500C, tried a 500 – and hated it. That steering system, the massive pillars… didn’t get to take it out of town, so it was constantly kicking in and out of light/heavy steering mode, didn’t get to feel the chassis at all, but the dealer basically ensured I drove it in the one situation I knew I’d totally hate it in – urban, where I want predictable steering and good visibility.

    Paul: The MINI is “Made in Britain”.

  22. I’m very happy with my 500 (Twin Air). The pillars aren’t as big as the 75 (and I do bloody hate that for it’s diabolical visibility), and I sit a long way back in the car, so I find it pretty good visibility wise. It’s no SD1 for forward visibility but then find me any modern car that is particularly amazing in that department, I’d say the 500 is easily class competitive in room and visibility..

    Steering is light in ECO – on Twin Air’s the steering button also puts the engine in a lower torque-but smoother-map, but it does stiffen up markedly on the move. In non ECO mode it’s plenty weighty enough, and nicely responsive, I don’t find myself twirling the wheel too much. The 1.4 has a shit turning circle due to the 6 speed ‘box, but the TA is a short engine for obvious reasons!

    Don’t forget they changed the rear suspension a fair amount in MY2009.5 – less damping, more torsion in the rear beam and it made a big difference in ride comfort apparently.

  23. Hmm, I didn’t see any ECO or similar buttons on the 500 I drove. I think it was a 1.2 Pop or something like that. The ride comfort was fine though, it was just the steering and pillars that I couldn’t stand. The red 500C with beige top and extra chrome bits that we’d have got looked lovely, so I was very disappointed.

    I’d looked for a City button or similar, as I remember the Punto having such a device. Can’t remember what model year it was, only that we were also unable to look at a Panda Cross diesel because they’d discontinued the model (apparently).

  24. 1.2 will have a ‘City’ button – lightens the steering but does bugger all else. On the 1.4 it’s a ‘Sport’ button, which makes the steering heavier.

    On the TA, it’s ‘ECO’ – and drops the engine into an eco map and lightens the steering. IMO, the TA is the one to have, the engine suits the car perfectly. It’s difficult not to giggle when you drive the thing.

    @francis brett, it’s a 2.5 V6 in the Alfa – the legendary Busso V6.

  25. its amazing the ford ka and fiat 500 are the same car underneath,the fiat looks the most resolved of the two and of course its not a mini,a dealer nearby are punting them at £149 a pop per month the usual dealer deals,my girlfriend is a matron at a local hospital and has enquired about the 500 on NHS fleet-she can have one for £170 per month inclusive of tax,insurance,tyres and maintainance which i think is incredible for quite an incredible car.Beats walking.

  26. I quite like the KA, but it doesn’t have the engine choice (only the Fiat 1.2 and the JTDm and I didn’t want either). The Twin Air really attracted me to buying a 500, I liked the car anyway and had considered one, but a drive of the TA convinced me I wanted one.

    The zero tax and congestion charge is a bonus..

  27. @31 thanks for that and what a song that engine sings!im sure they use that 3.2 V6 in something,forgot what!

  28. Will M – Where can I get a nearly new Aston for the price of a Fiesta!? I’ll go there tomorrow, in fact I’ll set off now and buy 2. Amazing when you start talking about good deals everyone has to go one better on what they have heard/found. Youve gone off the scale Will!

  29. I know it’s not British, but new Fiat Pandas can be found for six grand. This must be the ultimate recession car: about the cheapest you can buy new, Fiat quality is a lot better than it was and the Panda comes with a five year warranty, £ 30 road tax and 50 mpg. Some people might say a Nissan Pixo can be had for the same money and has similar running costs, but is let down by an awful one litre engine, a shorter warranty and a more basic interior.

  30. “its amazing the ford ka and fiat 500 are the same car underneath,the fiat looks the most resolved of the two”

    I agree it’s one of the better badge engineered models. You have to look very hard to see the body’s are basically the same. The doors are the give away. Compared to say the Sharan/Galaxy/Alhambra, where they just didn’t seem to bother!

  31. It’s a bit more than badge engineered, the body panels are quite different, the interior very much so; within the realms of the same body structure..

  32. “It’s a bit more than badge engineered, the body panels are quite different, the interior very much so; within the realms of the same body structure..”

    I agree, if you look closely at the two it’s only the bolt ons that are different. The Doors look to be a straight swap. It’s more than a Platform share, The Panda for example is the same platform but a different body shell.

  33. Keith, save your cash mate. The Bini is awful, and not that well made, and in poverty spec will make you look just like an estate agent who isn’t doing very well. Plus you aint a small bloke, and you will look a pudding driving it! The used car trade is on its knees at the moment, and your budget springs to a hell of a lot of nice metal of around 1-2 years old. Forget MG’s, unless you really want to throw tenners on the fire, because if trade are advertising em at over £5k off, they gave sod all for them. Also you will be getting raped on the finance.

  34. You only have to look at the demograph of people whom drive a mini to be put off them,blokes suffering from small man syndrome\25 going on 50,trolley dollies and kebab deliverers.

  35. Whilt the Bini has provoked some love or hate views, at the end of the day they are as common as tits on a Fresian and for that reason alone I just would not get one. Why run with the crowd? everyonen talks of expressing indiviuality etc and then go and gets the usual eurofodder…’Whats the cheapest to run’ matters much more to most people methinks – especially thesedays!

  36. Get the MG6 Keith, you get your picture on facebook, and who knows the marketing team may even listen to your advice on marketing.

  37. @Dennis, it’s a LOT more than bolt ons. Like you can’t turn a Gen 1 Legend into an XX 800, you cannot turn a Gen 2 KA into a 500 (or Panda).

  38. Get the cheapest to buy, run, insure and tax? Sounds like a Poundland shoppers wet dream! That’s the problem with small new cars; you have to make do with a poverty spec supermini whilst you try and kid yourself it’s better than a 5 year old (or less) hot hatch.

    As Clarkson once said, there are lots of ways to save money. All of them are miserable.

  39. I know the Pixo is the ultimate poverty spec new car you can buy with a spec that seems 20 years out of date, no rev counter and wind down windows FFS, but cars like the Hyundai i 20, Fiat Panda and Kia Picanto all come with a decent spec and a long warranty for £ 6-7k. These are bargains in the current economic climate and 50 mpg and low or no tax are very tempting.
    However, for the same money, you can probably pick up a very nice three year old Focus Ghia TDCI with all the gadgets, 120 mph performance and 60 mpg on a long journey. Makes a bit more sense for a bigger person who covers a lot of miles.

  40. I may cause a firestorm here but kias and hyundais and to a certain extent the micra are always going to be a default purchase for people whom just don’t get cars,it gets me from a to b,ok fine.On the other hand,it could be look what I could have had- a mito,guilietta,mini,corsa,fiesta,focus and so on.These cars have a soul,styleand dynamics/gizmos etc only I can’t afford it.I’m not on about warranties and CO2 its about having a washing machine on my drive (tightarse,looser)or something desirable(style,successful)right that should generate 125 extra comments!

  41. 53 – To some extent you could say that the MG6 is a white good, as whilst it is certainly not an ugly car, it ain’t an Alfa,

  42. Get the MINI Keith, even the base models like the First are a hoot to drive as I’m sure you know, + free TLC servicing, built in Oxford and with a ‘feelgood’ ownership factor that you will never get from a souless ‘washing machine’ small car even with a long warranty!

    PS. Strange how the ‘new’ Micra has returned to an old fashioned ‘bland’ shape that looks like a backward step from the previous distinctive design. I guess it is now aimed more at the home market in India where I believe it is now being built?

  43. @54 a very fair popint,but I look at the MG6 and I don’t see chinese/ I see european or british design,I doubt you agree,setting that aside,MG is of course no alfa,but then again an alfa is fiat.Mg now is MG/SAIC such is life.Anyway I miss my 416 GTI(honda engine)so much that was the best car I ever had,what a peach.

  44. I tried to avoid the obvious for the Bini, but someone else did for me LOL. The base Bini does look very cheap & nasty. Those wheeltrims look like they’ve come from Poundland, and the quality issues we are hearing about would mean Keith would be on first name terms with the service manager. The Bini only looks reasonable when you start to add options, and then to make it a half decent spec’d car, you are talking insane levels of cash

  45. 56 -416 Gti, now you’re talking. Elegant, crisp desigm that looked so much better than the Ford and Vauxhall offerings.

    Surely, if you buy the MINI you’ll need to become an estate agent!Could this then mean thay Aronline is rebranded as Propertyonline! Don’t do it, this is the best motoring website on the net.

  46. @58 I miss that car to this day,it could handle too-i thrashed it everywhere and too much wasn’t enough for it.Unfortunatly an ex girlfriend battered it with a spade-so I posted the garden hose through her letterbox while she was away for the weekend,that sort of evened up the score!

  47. Funny enough, looking at downgrading from my JEEP to something smaller now the kids are getting older. Although might wait until this winter is over as the4WD was very handy last year. Currently looking at 2006/2007 Audi A3 Sportbacks, most of the diesels of that era are about 100000+ mileage, but the petrol ones seem to average between 40000 and 60000 miles and are a bit cheaper. They do around 35MPG which I could live with since I get 40MPG from the JEEP at the moment and it’s diesel which is 8p a litre more expensive in Northern Ireland so it probably would even out. All reviews say they are well screwed together, unlike my JEEP.

  48. Thanks Francis, seems to be the 2.0 FSI or the old 1.6 to chose from in my budget, the newer 1.4s and 1.2s seem to appear in later cars. While the 1.6 seems to be a bit noisey and slow from a quick Google, with 2 young kids I’d rather have reliability.

  49. Nice. Bluebirds were bulletproof, from when Nissan built proper cars not pretend-SUVs.

    However, you call that a Q car? This is a Q car:

    Imagine the fun. Pottering about in a Micra, mr BMW/Audi comes up behind, flashing lights etc. then floor it to 13500rpm!! 🙂
    *(Only needs a handbrake sorted and reverse motor fitted to make road legal)

  50. Keith with the MINI you can take a nice drive down to Paul Ricard in the South of France next year and also see the exclusive presentation of another new MINI model!

    MINI United 2012 – Paul Ricard France 11-13th May
    The fourth edition of MINI United is here. From the 11th to 13th of May 2012, MINI fans, owners and lovers from all over the world will flock in their own cars to Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. There, they’ll find an open-air festival with a unique program of racing, test-drives, motorsport events and music. Be there to follow the action with MINI Space.

    “Some 25,000 fans from more than 40 nations flocked to Silverstone in England for the MINI United festival in 2009 to celebrate not only the third Community catch-up but also the 50th anniversary of the brand’s founding. However, the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet offers enough space for even the Silverstone masses to be exceeded in number. Indeed, the event programme is richer in depth and variety than ever before. Live appearances by leading lights of the international music and DJ scene, fun sporting activities, stunt shows and driving experiences on the track, exhibitions of accessories, current MINI and Classic Mini cars on display, and the exclusive presentation of a new MINI model ensure an attractive blend of al fresco party, shared experience and MINI action in every shape and form.
    An extensive entertainment programme for younger MINI fans is guaranteed, as are a broad spread of culinary treats laid on by various restaurants, bars and catering stations. Other essential features of a MINI United festival are the MINI Club Area and Beauty Parking, which serves as both a car park and stage for the more strikingly styled members of the MINI fleet. Indeed, for the majority of the fans at the fourth MINI United festival, driving to the venue in their own MINI will be the perfect way of getting into the mood for a weekend among the MINI Community.”

  51. “Keith with the MINI you can take a nice drive down to Paul Ricard in the South of France next year and also see the exclusive presentation of another new MINI model!
    MINI United 2012 – Paul Ricard France 11-13th May”

    Yes they said that last year, then cancelled it with no reason given 2 months later. I wouldn’t bother spending money on booking hotels etc, because there’s nothing to say they wont pull the plug again.

  52. MINI = British car, good image, excellent residuals

    MG = Chinese care, questionable image, unknown residuals

    Not really a hard decision to make.

  53. @69 also owned by an arrogant german firm that mercilessly milks the brand to stupifying levels-look no further than the mini coupe,in the end only tossers will buy these cars second only to the uber-tossers in 3 series.The problem that people have got and they dont realise it is they have unintentional passive xenophobia when it concerns cars,yet we buy ipods,iphones,ipads and myriad other things right upto the windfarms that are a waste of time at 3million a pop from the chinese so why not a car?when as there been a new car launched recently that has known residuals?they can only be predicted surely?at this price bracket 16k up who cares?a lot of car for small money,the only people whom are questioning the image are people whom have not drove one or some ponce on 5th gear.Its now a new company with new cars it will build its image in the fullness of time.

  54. “The problem that people have got and they dont realise it is they have unintentional passive xenophobia when it concerns cars,yet we buy ipods,iphones,ipads and myriad other things ”

    I’m with you on that.

    It was once the Japanese cars that had a stigma attached, look at them now.

  55. @72 datsun bought a mini laughed thier balls off and gave us the cherry mk1.And just as the oil crisis of the 1970’s took hold in america the only car to have was japanese-and not so long ago the only car to have in america was a camry!

  56. @71 also owned by an arrogant german firm that mercilessly milks the brand to stupifying levels-look no further than the mini coupe,in the end only tossers will buy these cars second only to the uber-tossers in 3 series.

    Who to believe?
    BMW 3 Series 320d SE First Drive
    Autocar Test date 15 November 2011

    Should I buy one?
    If Superman drove a car, in fact, he’d probably drive a new BMW 320d. And the rest of us would be more than happy with any other member of the range. Because be in no doubt, a new world leader has arrived – and it may take a while for the others to catch up.

  57. @ 73, the Cherry 100A was a brilliant car, and was well priced & well spec’d compared to any Britmobile, standard ‘Terry Wogan’, standard heated rear window, front head rests and the ultimate bonus, it started in the morning, regardless of the weather. Shame they rotted just like BL chod. If Keith wants a reliable car, why not go for the DERBY made Avensizzzzzzzz? Yup it may be as boring as plain flour, but it is a tough motor. He wont look like a twunt in it (like he would in a BINI), he would look like a Northampton cabbie instead LOL

  58. @74 i read autocar too and im sure it is a world leader,only i dont need a mag to tell me anything,a mondeo is a great drive too and its always a high end tosser in a 3 series i should know two managers have them at work.
    One of my favourite BMW’s of all time is the previous generation 5 series which i think is perfect.I know they are fine cars but id have a C class over a beemer anyday.

  59. @76 “I know they are fine cars but id have a C class over a beemer anyday.”

    Me too!…I have a 2000 C200K (as well as a classic and New Mini)

  60. New Auris?

    Better cat than anything mentioned so far in these comments, and “made in Britain” if that really means anything to anyone these days.

  61. @7 – And there was a 50% chance it wouldnt and it didnt!

    @44/45 How can an 8 year old (ok 6 year old then) Jag or Aston be described as nearly new?

  62. Used Fiats seem to be a real bargain. You can pick up an 18 month old Punto 1.4 Active in Carlisle for £ 6495, about 2 k less than a similar Fiesta. For all the Fiat name might still mean rust and poor quality to some people, the latest cars are quite well made ( if still with a few niggles), drive well, are well equipped and cheap to run.
    Also the local Dacia dealer can’t sell enough Sanderos, where else can you buy a new car for three grand less than a basic Fiesta( I’m talking about the mid range model) that is bigger than most of its rivals and costs about the same to run?

  63. Get the MINI keith you wont be dissapointed, i have owned 4
    and always got great performance and reliability, its the only car i have EVER owned that when selling on i dont end up in negative equity, i could sell my mini tomorrow and still have £10.000 in my hand its amazing.

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