New or Second Had

  interzone55 10:52 16 Jun 11

For the past 12 years I've always had new cars, but now I'm think it may not be the best idea.

I've got about £11k budget to replace my current Skoda Fabia. I'm currently driving about 450 miles a week, most of that made up of a 65 mile each way commute three days a week. So economy, comfort, reliability and decent driving experience are important.

In my price range is the Kio Rio Diesel (7 year warranty), Fiat Punto & Panda Diesels (cheap and fun to drive, Fiat 500 too small for my frame unfortunately) and Citroen C3 (cheap to insure)

I also have my eye on a 3-year old Mini Cooper D, which is within my £11k budget.

The Mini is the most economical of my selection, and has good seats and driving dynamics, but it's 3-tears old and has 45,000 miles on the clock.

Has anyone here had a "new" Mini, are they reliable? I used to have a Mini when I first started driving, and I used to repair it with a couple of spanners and a lump hammer, but cars now are a little more complex.

I suppose my question is that now cars are on the whole more reliable than they used to be, is it important to buy new any more, or can I buy a 3-year old car with a reasonable amount of confidence?

  woodchip 11:03 16 Jun 11

I test drove a MEREVA AND ZEFIRA Like riding in a Shed after Driving my Renault 2000 Laguna 1.9 tdi that now got nearly 200,000 on the clock and does not use much oil only do the oil changes none added during 5.000 service. I tried a Kia Ceed 2 diesel estate, that I could have got used to and would be the one going for if I bought a new one

  Woolwell 11:21 16 Jun 11

A lot will depend on how the Mini built up the mileage. Many small journeys could cause problems but fewer long journeys could be ok. I like the Honest John reviews and especially the bit "what to look out for" Honest John Mini Cooper D

  wiz-king 11:29 16 Jun 11

Try a Vauxhall Agila, we have had the smallest one for five years and been very happy with it - one we got used to the sound of the three cylinder engine.

  wiz-king 11:32 16 Jun 11

one = once!

  interzone55 11:40 16 Jun 11


Thanks for the Honest John link - very useful


I once had to take GM to court because they repeatedly failed to repair a minor fault on a car - long story but the car was so bad it failed its MOT despite being less than 6 months old. So I'm never having a car from the GM stable again.

  oresome 13:11 16 Jun 11

I tend to buy a car around 12 months old.

There's a significant saving on new, yet at least 2 years manufacturers warranty left.

  Woolwell 13:31 16 Jun 11

I have bought an ex-rental and an ex-demonstrator in the past. Both had significant savings from new, were about 6 months old and were good buys.

  birdface 16:01 16 Jun 11

If you are thinking of getting a Diesel car I would get the TDI version it has that bit extra acceleration when you need it and I would think cheaper to use fuel wise.

It may be over your budget but 2nd hand with low mileage will be every bit as good.

Worth having a look at the price difference.

  anskyber 16:10 16 Jun 11

I have had two minis, a Cooper S and a Cooper D, the D has done 63000 faultless miles in 3 years.

  interzone55 16:34 16 Jun 11


thank you.

I've now found three for sale in dealerships close by, so I'm going to have a look at them all at the weekend. Two are Clubmans, which may be a little more practical.

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