Motorheads? 14 replies

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MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

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#1 2 years ago

Soon I'll be moving to a new flat which is at the outskirts of the city, so I'm pondering whether I should buy a car. So far I managed very well without cars, but then I mostly lived close to the center of the city. So I don't know much about them and would appreciate some advice. I'd use the car mostly for driving a very short distance to work every day (although the bus would work as well), to supermarkets (although you can get most of that stuff delivered nowadays) and occasional weekend trips (although you can generally use public transport for that). It should be a cheap used car that doesn't cost a lot to maintain and ideally has space for my wife, the kid and a pram. I am also looking for ideas on how much I should invest upfront (I'm thinking maybe 5k€?).

I really like the idea of electric cars, but the range limitation makes them less useless for long trips and you lose a lot of money due to limited battery lifetime. Tesla is a little out of my price range (their new car actually isn't that expensive, but it won't be available for another year or so). Currently you don't have to pay value added tax for electric cars here (19%).




Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

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#2 2 years ago

I drive a used Ford Focus and it so far hasn't had any major problems that couldn't be solved at home.  IIRC the tank holds 53 liters and I generally get around 378 km when I need to refuel.  It's a neat little car with a good amount of space and a pretty damn good sound system, so you can enjoy your music or local radio with good fidelity.  

Just a few of the most important things about buying a car:

1) Buy carpet interior.  As I'm sure you know, leather interior is scalding hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winder.  

2.) Don't get white.  It show a LOT of dirt and muck.

and

3.) Check sites like this: Kelley Blue Book

They give nice, thorough reviews that include safety ratings and fuel efficiency.  

Good luck!


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Barbas

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#3 2 years ago

Get yourself a second-hand VW Polo, or a Renault Clio. Should be over a hundred miles in a tank. And go for diesel, though it's louder.


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Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

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#4 2 years ago

Only a hundred miles?  


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Lindale Forum Mod

Mister Angry Rules Guy

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#5 2 years ago

I do suggest a car for outskirts and suburb living. Mass transit is great, but it really is only useful if you live in the city.

That said, I should ask what else you plan to carry. For someone like me, who is routinely hauling guitars, amplifiers, speakers, and a bit of other sound equipment, I would need to have the back seat be empty, or have a very large boot. That means in my case, hatchbacks are most definitely going to be out of the equation. Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo or Golf, or any Mini, they are not a particularly good match for someone with a family. (I'm sorry, Barbas.)

Personally, Volkswagen and Volvo are the brands I would choose. They are cheap, reliable, easy to drive, and should easily have room for two children in the back seat, and plenty of room in the boot for a load of groceries, or suitcases if you plan to take a trip.

The advantage of Volkswagen is that the smaller ones, such as the Jetta, can easily get 40+ miles per gallon. Get a diesel with a manual transmission, and you can probably drive that from Germany to Italy on one tank. There is good reason it is called "People's Car."

The advantage of Volvo is that when one gets into a wreck, Volvo ships pays to have it shipped back to their headquarters, where it is fully examined to figure out if there is a way to prevent (insert damage) from happening. As a result, Volvo is the highest safety rating in existence. They actually care, and it shows.


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

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#6 2 years ago

This is one of those how long is a piece of string questions :p. You can certainly find what you're looking for; cheap (which by my reckoning 5k isn't, but that's by the by,) and meeting all the other criteria; if you're not in a hurry to buy and are prepared to travel to pick the thing up. The difficulty is in knowing what you're looking at when you do the checks, (including checking the relative price of replacement parts!) and go to inspect the vehicle. (There are some good videos on youtube on this point.)

I drive a Vauxhall, specifically a 2003 Corsa, that we acquired for around £1500 with 18,000 miles on the clock and it works fine. Few niggles here and there but in the main, fine.

You want something ~1.2 litres or greater by way of engine size. The one I drive at the moment is about that, and it's got plenty of omph for most driving. You do start to go rather high on the rev counter when you're at 70mph so it's perhaps not ideal for motorway/autobahn cruising, but the engine is designed to do that, and it's not immediately going to explode.

You want a full service history.

Automatic vs manual is a personal preference thing. If you're going to be doing a lot of driving in areas that have congestion I'd recommend an automatic. Changing gears frequently is a pain in the arse (although ameliorated somewhat by finding the average speed of traffic and just sticking there rather than following the car in front.) Manual can be a lot of fun on curvy country roads. Indeed I just did my advanced driving qualification and can't imagine having taken it in an automatic.

Equally many of the instructors have assured me that after driving an automatic as their daily they'd never go back. One of my bosses drives an automatic 2 litre and says that it doesn't have enough omph, but I think he's just a terrible driver considering some of the terrifying rides I've had with him.

YMMV. Select for your preference. Maybe get one that lets you click a lever to select a gear if you decide to go that way.




Barbas

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#7 2 years ago
"Adrian Ţepeş"Only a hundred miles?  

More than that. Come to think of it, a lot more. A relative who drives a Clio can get from Colchester, Essex to Glenrothes, Fife (454.4 miles) and back again on a full tank. I would have done the mathematics at the time, but I was dicked on alcohol.


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MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#8 2 years ago

Thanks for all the input! I am still undecided. I really like electric vehicles, but right now they are not such a good deal, mostly because the batteries are expensive and take so long to load. Also, I will have to fit a pram into the back, that seems to limit me to stationwagon and similar types of family cars (which I don't really like as they are long which makes them less practical in a city).

Some people I know suggested that I pay more upfront for a relatively new car (1 year old) and sell it after 3-4 years. The idea is that you pay about the same per year of useage but don't have to worry so much about repairs.




Lindale Forum Mod

Mister Angry Rules Guy

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#9 2 years ago

Another reason to skip the electrics is because the technology has not been perfected yet.

1: That lithium Ion battery. That was responsible for setting fire to planes in flight, and so was banned from the airline industry. But the creator of said batteries refused to be defeated, so he took his batteries, and started Tesla. Yes. Tesla is using the very batteries that were banned because they explode. Do you really want this in your car? Teslas are great cars, if you prefer bonfires.

2: No one has figured out how to make the car itself recharge itself. Electric cars have a simple solution. Think of a turbine generator. Use the torque of the wheels spinning to generate electricity. That goes into the battery. So, since the car is constantly generating, you have unlimited electricity. The only range limit is your own body. Problem solved. Science, get on this. Invent this.


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#10 2 years ago
"Lindale"2: No one has figured out how to make the car itself recharge itself. Electric cars have a simple solution. Think of a turbine generator. Use the torque of the wheels spinning to generate electricity. That goes into the battery. So, since the car is constantly generating, you have unlimited electricity. The only range limit is your own body. Problem solved. Science, get on this. Invent this.

They kinda have, as regenerative braking. The difficulty is that the energy the generator provides is always less than the energy it took to get the wheels spinning that fast in the first place - (and some of that energy has to go to other sources too, like making the car keep moving.)




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