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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking of buying either a clio or an old astra for my sister as her first car. (Budget of about £1000).

what should I look out for regarding an old astra either the 55 reg generation or the one before that?

In terms of safety, I thought an astra is better than a corsa. . .

Is 1.3 diesel or 1.6 petrol ok above 80k miles?
 

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I'd choose a 1.4 petrol Mk5 Fiesta myself as a good first car over the two you've suggested.

Good on fuel, very well built (certainly better than the Renault), the 1.4 turned out cheaper on insurance than a 1.25 for a young driver when we were looking for my step-son too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd choose a 1.4 petrol Mk5 Fiesta myself as a good first car over the two you've suggested.

Good on fuel, very well built (certainly better than the Renault), the 1.4 turned out cheaper on insurance than a 1.25 for a young driver when we were looking for my step-son too.
What reg is a mk5 fiesta?
 

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What kind of mileage can one expect before trouble?
That's quite an open-ended question really I guess. It all depends on how well serviced and looked after the car has been I suppose.

A neglected car could give problems at 40k, and a meticulously serviced one could be trouble free for 80k plus...

Springs snapping are fairly common on Fords to be fair, my ex wife's Mk6 had both front springs snap at less than 40k miles. But that aside she's had no major issues with that car since she's owned it. She still has it (it's an 04 reg) as has owned it 14 years nearly, we bought it in September 2006.
 

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What about a 1.2 Corsa? Get more for your money, against a Fiesta (newer reg), cheap parts and as safe as most cars of that age. If you budget is a grand. Insurance would be a bit lower than an Astra too.
I personally wouldn't buy a Clio for that sort of money, my brother once owned a Clio 1.5d, was the most unreliable car he'd ever owned, parts were not cheap either.
If I had to go back and buy another older Astra, I'd go for a 57 plate on 1.6xer (115bhp), engine with the 5 speed box. Slightly more power than the previous XEP 1.6 (105), twin port you talk about on a 55 plate, also the xer has no EGR valve either (bonus). The 5 speed box seems reliable. I'd go for the lowest mileage example I could afford with fsh. Unfortunately you may have to pay around 2k though, although I'm not up on older used car prices now. The 1.6xer engine was also continued on to the Astra J, so vaux must have thought it was worth keeping. I liked that engine when I owned my previous 57 plate 1.6 SXI, H for 4.5 years, easy to service, oil filter housing towards the top of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What about a 1.2 Corsa? Get more for your money, against a Fiesta (newer reg), cheap parts and as safe as most cars of that age. If you budget is a grand. Insurance would be a bit lower than an Astra too.
I personally wouldn't buy a Clio for that sort of money, my brother once owned a Clio 1.5d, was the most unreliable car he'd ever owned, parts were not cheap either.
If I had to go back and buy another older Astra, I'd go for a 57 plate on 1.6xer (115bhp), engine with the 5 speed box. Slightly more power than the previous XEP 1.6 (105), twin port you talk about on a 55 plate, also the xer has no EGR valve either (bonus). The 5 speed box seems reliable. I'd go for the lowest mileage example I could afford with fsh. Unfortunately you may have to pay around 2k though, although I'm not up on older used car prices now. The 1.6xer engine was also continued on to the Astra J, so vaux must have thought it was worth keeping. I liked that engine when I owned my previous 57 plate 1.6 SXI, H for 4.5 years, easy to service, oil filter housing towards the top of the engine.
Thanks for that.

I am going to try the auction route then give it a major service and hope there arent hidden treasures.

So far on the list is a 61 reg fiesta, 60 reg focus, 59 reg Golf with 120k miles (diesel), Astra 59 reg and a 11 reg and a 12reg Corsa.

All these cars should be around the 1k mark at auction depending on how busy. . .

Once I add the auction fees I think it might push it to around £1500 but should be a lot cheaper than second hand or dealer.
 

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Thanks for that.

I am going to try the auction route then give it a major service and hope there arent hidden treasures.

So far on the list is a 61 reg fiesta, 60 reg focus, 59 reg Golf with 120k miles (diesel), Astra 59 reg and a 11 reg and a 12reg Corsa.

All these cars should be around the 1k mark at auction depending on how busy. . .

Once I add the auction fees I think it might push it to around £1500 but should be a lot cheaper than second hand or dealer.
Maybe if you could do some basic checks on them just before they go in. Check for ECU lights, sound of the engine from when it starts. It's ages since I've been to a car auction, not sure what pre-action checks you could now do?
Not forgetting a lot of people will put cars through for a reason.
I've always found buying from an action exciting. Think I've bought two way back during the late 80s. One was a pig in poke, other was decent.
 

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your original clio idea was a good shout. the 1.2 petrol 16v is a great engine imo. no common faults as such. we’ve had a few in our family. never had one break down and theyre head and shoulders a better option than a fiesta or corsa.
 

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I actually meant Mk6, sorry :LOL:

Mk6 is 2002 - 2008
Good cars i found my son a 55 plate a few years ago , 50,000 miles on the clock with good bodywork.
1.4 Zetec with the lovely blue dashboard.
Drove well & had 5 doors for practicality , only fault was the common issue with the dashboard screen coming out in cracks at the bottom.
We paid £2400 & apart from wear & tear she ran faultlessly until my sons wife wrote it off last year.
You can’t go wrong with a Fiesta , cheap to run & nice to drive.
Build quality is ok apart from a few bits of trim that tend to fall off but easy to replace.
1.4 engine is a simple old fashioned normally aspirated affair that goes well enough & is a pretty unit.
Shame it got wrote off , apart from rust underneath ( age related ) it could have seen another 2 years on the road.
My sons second car was a Renault Clio 1.6 sport on a 53 plate , he had for 4 years & apart from a sticking throttle flap which made the car struggle to idle it never missed a beat in the 4 years he had it , luckily my lads at the garage cleaned his throttle flap & cured his idling issue.
The lads were upset when he got rid of it because they’d serviced it for him every year & did the few repairs it needed & it ran really sweet & drove well.
The car he replaced it with was a bag of nails & nowhere near as good as that Clio ( Nissan Note 1.4 )
 
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Thanks for that.

I am going to try the auction route then give it a major service and hope there arent hidden treasures.

So far on the list is a 61 reg fiesta, 60 reg focus, 59 reg Golf with 120k miles (diesel), Astra 59 reg and a 11 reg and a 12reg Corsa.

All these cars should be around the 1k mark at auction depending on how busy. . .

Once I add the auction fees I think it might push it to around £1500 but should be a lot cheaper than second hand or dealer.
Watch out for rust on the Focus , the door design means the wheel arches can have mud impacted very heavily inside & can cause rusting if not washed out with a hose every week in winter.
Also because of door design , check bottom leading edges of front doors for stone chip damage ( unless mud flaps fitted )
Steer clear of 1.6 Ti-VCT engine & be wary of the 1.6 Diesel engine which is a Peugeot unit that suffers from a small bore easily clogged pick up pipe that leads to oil starvation as it clogs depriving the turbocharger of oil & wrecking it ( on time servicing is critical )
Ford Fiesta Mk 7 hold on to their money so expect very little for your bucks.
Corsa , make sure it starts & runs well with no warning lights , the steering will feel heavy compared to the other motors your looking at , also the frontal end of a Corsa D is a magnet for stone chips & dents from flying stones which if not painted can lead to rust developing.
Windscreen gets damaged as well from flying stones.
 
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Dammit...driving the world's most boring car
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My tuppence worth. Would never do an auction purchase for more than you are willing to lose. It's a dumping ground.
No test drives, no time to really look it over. Could be an amazing motor, lovingly cared for and a dealer trade in...could have been bought at the last auction and an utter bag of crap that someone needs their money back on!

For a grand I would be on gumtree or ebay for a local seller. Take as long as you like looking it over, wangle a better deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My tuppence worth. Would never do an auction purchase for more than you are willing to lose. It's a dumping ground.
No test drives, no time to really look it over. Could be an amazing motor, lovingly cared for and a dealer trade in...could have been bought at the last auction and an utter bag of crap that someone needs their money back on!

For a grand I would be on gumtree or ebay for a local seller. Take as long as you like looking it over, wangle a better deal.
I think you might be onto something there. Local car auctions said you are not allowed to view the car in person before buying because of kung-flu, we should trust their info and photos, all online apparently, so never mind that option.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok here is one of the finalists. I will try to knock the owner down under 2k.

93450


Its a 1.4 diesel with 85k on the clock, private sale.

Are catalytic converters the thing to look out for in diesel city cars? How can one check?

Plus how do I check if the car is stolen or has money owed on it?
 

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A good hpi check would be worth it, one that covers any finance attached too. A lot of the cheaper hpi checks do not cover attached finance.
With Amy modern diesel engine it's the dpf's that can give issues. Take it for a spin, start it from cold. Just make sure there's no real bad rattles coming from the engine or transmission, check the usual stuff too. Oil and water levels, whilst cold. No ECU earning lights etc. Clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wait a minute, this is cheaper than a corsa? £1700, with 130k miles. . . .

Ok what is the catch? Must be stolen.
93451
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A good hpi check would be worth it, one that covers any finance attached too. A lot of the cheaper hpi checks do not cover attached finance.
With Amy modern diesel engine it's the dpf's that can give issues. Take it for a spin, start it from cold. Just make sure there's no real bad rattles coming from the engine or transmission, check the usual stuff too. Oil and water levels, whilst cold. No ECU earning lights etc. Clutch.
Thanks, I will also buy an app to check (diagnostics) the ecu for other surprises. . .
 
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