Candidates for a new car – the process begins with a look at the market

My poor car is starting to get a bit worn around the edges. It’s been in and out of the garage over the past few months and is costing a few pennies to keep running. I can’t complain as it has been a reasonably well behaved vehicle for the majority of its life and it was bound to start racking up some repair bills at some point.

Whilst I’m sure it still has some miles left in it, I’m starting to think ahead to the next model that might take its place. When it first went into the garage, back in March, I immediately started pondering what it would be like to have a new one come back out again.

I don’t know much about cars or the car buying process, but I think the next one I get, I would like to do properly. The whole thing – finding a nice garage, going for a few test drives, sticking to the prescribed service schedules, even filling in the history books like you are supposed to. I suspect that last one is like when you are a kid and you get new school shoes. You swear you will keep them nice and clean and neat and in the box, but that lasts all of two days before you’re kicking them off and scuffing up the heels.

I’ve owned two cars in my life, the first came from within the family and the second was an impulse buy. That turned out to be a well timed decision, but I certainly hadn’t been expecting to buy a car when I walked away with the keys and a hefty bill. So, this time, it’s fun to look around and ponder the purchase process from the very beginning.

I know three definite facts about the new car that I want:

  1. It should not be a Peugeot. They were mean to Franck.
  2. It should not be a Toyota. Also mean.
  3. I don’t want a diesel. I hate putting my foot down and having nothing happen.

I’ve had a brief look around the car market at the moment, and there a few that catch my eye.

Fiat 500

Seems nice, compact, with no weird bits sticking out.

Nissan Micra

Because, well… to be honest… it looks exactly the same as the Fiat. As an aside, I love the concept of the Nissan Leaf. It’s just not practical for me at the moment, but it looks great and it’d be interesting to do a comparison of the price – how much you would save on fuel versus electricity prices. Presumably fuel will keep going up and up, whilst electricity will have a less drastic upwards curve.


Who doesn’t love a Mini? And they sponsor Crashed Ice. Win! Although I had no idea there were so many different types of Mini. The website is baffling!

So, those are just some early thoughts I have about the potential for new cars. By the time I am in a position to be buying one there may be all sorts of new and exciting things out there. I’m keeping my eye on the market now though, and I might keep a blog-type record of my findings.

11 thoughts on “Candidates for a new car – the process begins with a look at the market

  1. Boring as it seems the most important thing about a car is that it goes every time you jump in it and it delivers you where you want to go. My experience with FIATs is that they are not very good at that. I know so many people who have had problems with them and the first new car I ever bought was a FIAT X1/9 which was a little 2 seater mid-engined car. All the mechanicals were standard and the engine was a gutless 1.5 litre unit so there was no reason why it should not have been reliable. It was so unreliable I used to tell people that I shared it with the dealer. Of course that was a long time ago but I am still far from convinced about them even if Alison says Alphonso is very reliable.

    I haven’t tried the Mini but it is built by BMW and I love my BMWs. I just got a new (old) one today. They run forever, are incredibly reliable even if you skip a service or two and they tend to be fun to drive. If you really want something small you should consider looking at the BMW 1 series. Again I haven’t tried them but the 3 series is fabulous but you may think it is a little big for you. Don’t believe anyone who tells you BMWs are expensive to run. They are not.

  2. Jealous of anyone who can walk into a showroom and drive away with a shiny new car. I want to buy a posh Audi or Alfa Romeo – in reality I just got a 9 year old Vauxhall Astra. Such is life.
    Grandad did that a couple of years ago, just decided he wanted a new car and went and bought a Micra, no test drive or anything! I know you get different variants but his isn’t very comfortable and the engine is weedy (not that he cares, he hardly uses it).

    Mum and my stepdad were recently looking for a car and took the opportunity to test drive all sorts of things, Mazdas, SEATs, VWs.. so you you could do that just because you can. 🙂 She has a MINI soft top, blue, very very nice. Supercharger drinks fuel but she loves it.

    I wouldn’t consider a straight diesel but do think about a turbo. After the initial pause they do take off quite nicely (and you learn to keep a bit of throttle on to keep the turbo on tap), my Focus did that and it was 10 years old and they can only have improved since then. I loved driving it. Great long-range / motorway mileage. But they can cost more if/when they go wrong and the pump price is higher than unleaded now, amazingly.

  3. I always said if I won the lottery I’d buy a Mini. Clearly it would never be as awesome as my old 1981 Mini (may she rest in peace) and it took a really long time for the new ones to grow on me but ohhh you should buy one so I can live vicariously through you 🙂

  4. Jealous of anyone who can walk into a showroom and drive away with a shiny new car. I want to buy a posh Audi

    Ooh, yes. Dream cars is a whole other post 🙂

    you should buy one so I can live vicariously through you

    I shall add it to the pros and cons list!

  5. I don’t have a car & can’t drive but three of my friends have Minis (2 convertible and one clubman). As a passenger I find them really comfortable and the convertibles are fun on sunny days. You can get a lot in them, one of my friends has a real tree at Christmas and both picks it up before Christmas and takes it to the tip afterwards in her car!

  6. Oooh, I love a bit of car shopping. Have you made any decisions / had any test drives yet?

    In my (un-informed) opinion the head would say the Micra and the heart says either the Fiat 500 or the Mini. But as a friend told me recently you’ve got to buy a car you love enough to wash on the weekends so the heart probably wins…..

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