Hi everyone - this one is really off topic, but there are lots of folk here who drive, and I'm sure you all have different cars.

I wrote off my seat leon on Saturday (drove into the back of someone who started to go and then stopped at a roundabout), and am looking for another car. It doesn't need to be as big a st he leon - if I move house now it won't all fit in a car! - and parking a smaller car would be easier in the city. Plus the environmental side of it all.

Money isn't a huge issue - I get a fair amount from the insurance.

Comfort is important - I periodically have to drive for 4-5 hours to my parents, and to various Guide events in the south of Scotland.

Safety is important, I have worked in A+E and seen the state people come in from crashes in, and am amazed that all I got was a sore chest for a few days and a sore neck (which is keeping me up, hence the 4am post).

Don't mind too much what it looks like, although I would like a bright colour (yes, a complete girl on that one, it has to be pretty!)

Needs to be reliable too.

So has anyone any suggestions, or positive/negative comments on the cars they have/had?

Thanks in advance

Sarah Owl

17 Replies

  • pink

    hi ya

    i have a honda jazz 1.4 they do a 1.2 as well and you get it in pink if you want and a nice custard yellow, nice to drive air-con and all the gadgets good size boot hatchback i love it have a look!

    love lisa xx

  • Hi Sarah, I have got a Rover 25 at the moment which is incredibly comfy and with the power steering is a dream to park. It is also very economical, it takes about 1/2 a tank of petrol to drive from Cambridge to Andover (hampshire) and costs bout £35 to fill the tank.

    I know that Rover has ceased to trade but there will still be some decent used ones around and I have found that there is no problem getting parts if needed. I am saving up to have air con put into mine and have been able to find a couple of garages who can do it.

    Probably the best thing to do, if u have the time, is to test drive some different makes and see which you like the best.


  • Hi Owl,

    I drive a Ford Ka they are tiny but, I managed to fit tons of stuff in it when myself and my nana went on holiday together (she has a wheelchair and frame as well)

    I find them very comfy and love driving it, apperently they are quite a reliable car as well. The big plastic bumpers have saved me from a few scrapes as well.


  • Hi Sarah,

    My first car was a Fiesta and you could fit a Futon in the back of it! I found the KA too low and had difficulty getting ouyt of the Bucket / seat! They are quite good and I had virtually no problems with it. Good mileage - Ionly upgrated to a Fusion for the flat loading boot for ease of wheelchair loading.

    For Safety - VW Polos are very good (lots of anti crush bars, SIPS etc) and for ultimate safety and if you can afford one, a Volvo (Swedish Tank!) is very good! ( stick L plates on and every one moves out your way I discovered years ago! LOL)

    The Metro Rover is not good (but may have improved?) regards safety and anti crsuh bars etc.

    Colours - Ford has some lovely colours eg Purple!

    Try the Which? Website or even the magazine for guidance.

    Happy Hunting

    Kate & the Purple Wombat! ( my car!)

  • Hiya,

    I drive a Betty who is a Renult Clio 1.2 16v, Fantastic on petrol! I drive her at least 10 miles daily but weekly i would say 100 - 150 miles a week when I add on weekends. On average she only eats once a month!

    She is lovely to drive and So far so good!

  • I also have a Renault (Ruby is her name), although mine is an old megane scenic so too big 4 yr needs.

    My driving instructor would only teach in renaults because of their good safety record. I have had a few prangs but car is still in good condition with only 1 small dent from where i got impailled on a concrete pillar(long story!!) parts are easy to get and does wellw ith fuel eating.

    Both my mum and my sister also drive renaults and swear by them. Happy hunting!!

  • Like others I drive a red ford KA named ladybug as when I first saw her she was covered in white spots due to having bodywork done but she's all red now though am tempted to stick black spots on. Uptil May I always drove an old fiesta which was g8 till I wrote it off. I love my KA nice smooth drive and very reilable. Best bet is to go round some garages and test drive anything you fancy.

    Have fun


  • I dont think you can go wrong with the new vauxhall astra, has a/c , electrics, cd player, comfortably seats 5, big boot for small car and ecomonical, and has oomph in engine.

    I drove one for three yrs, was happy to get another one this year but kids talked me into a vauxhall zaferia, not sure why they wanted a seven seater for 4 of us lol

  • Hi Sarah,

    I can thoroughly recommend a Volkswagon Polo. My little Volkswagon does 65 miles to the gallon (diesel) - can't work it out in litres, and is built like the proverbial tank. I feel very safe in this motor.

    I'm the world's worst at parking cars but even I can safely park this motor. Only had a few bumps, and the 'bumped' suffered more damage than my little Volkswagon did, including a concrete parking post.

    It's been very reliable, apart from when it sprung a leak on a pipe somewhere under the chassis.

    Before I got my Volkswagon I always drove Ford Fiesta cars. I can thoroughly recommend them too. Managed to squeeze three little kids in the back and numerous pieces of oddly shaped furniture including, - like you Kate - a Futon.

    Best thing is to test drive as many motors as possible. I had set my heart on a bright red Mini this time round, but the boot space is tiny. Still hankering after one though.....



  • thanks everyone - i am off to look tomorrow so we'll see what I end up with (I suspect whatever they have, cos I'm looking for secondhand). I will bear in mind all these comments though


  • Hi Owl, I don’t think we have been introduced. Hmmm, I bid you a warm welcome back to AUK. I think I joined the old boards shortly after you left.

    Cars, mmmm well there’s a subject that woman (ooops, a lot of woman) so don’t want to know much about apart from perhaps the colour, do I have to fill it up, and will it get me from A to B – LOL.

    Well (says he pulling on his Quick-Fit wig and bright blue boiler suit) here’s a few technical things to ponder over.

    For those who have asthma I would recommend a car with good aircon (for me, this is a must have feature).

    ABS brakes is an excellent safety feature that should be included with all cars (for me, this is a must have feature). ABS brakes will stop you skidding into the back of stationary objects regardless of most road conditions.

    Driver, front passenger and side impact air bags is an excellent safety feature. Side impact protection systems are also well worth having.

    ESP (electronic stability program) is an excellent safety feature that should be included with all cars (for me, this is a must have feature). ESP will keep your car from veering out of control and skidding if you have to take corrective/evasive action at both medium and high speed (40 – 70mph). Apparently 70% of all RTAs would be avoided if this was fitted to all cars as standard.

    And finally, in the interest of the environment and public health I would recommend you buy an electric powered car, or instead trade you old banger in for a push bike - LOL. My car is diesel powered, but don’t tell anyone because PM10 particulates from diesel exhaust are bad news (particularly for asthmatics). However, since nearly 80% of all new cars in the UK are diesel powered it would appear that someone forgot to tell the car manufacturers.

    Take hair,


  • would love to manage on a bike, but somehow my lungs aren't agreeable!

    was looking at the electric option, but it doesn't seem very easy to organise.

    Had thought of most of the safety points, although hadn't heard of the electronic thingmy, when I bought the leon I was about to work in A+E so safety was top priority, and having worked there it still is! I've used abs a few times in the ice in aberdeen so wouldn't be without it. THe only good thing about the mireva (of my mother's) that I'm driving just now is the aircon - I think it is now a must have!

    Colour - well I don;t want a grey one that blends into the fog, or puke-green, but not really too bothered!


  • Talking o’ bikes… Me and ma eldest yin are dae’n the Peddle for Scotland charity cycle run on Sunday. Jings, I dinny ken how am gonnie cope. The cycle run is 50 miles between Glasgow and Edinburgh and ma longest cycle run to date is aboot 25 miles. So it looks like am gonnie hae tae get the heed doon and wig between the teeth if am gonnie stond any chance o’ completing the run on Sunday – LOL.

    Take hair,


  • Owl,

    Any joy on the car front yet? We just changed our E reg Honda 2litre for a N reg Rover 1600. The Honda was lovely to drive but heavyish on petrol. We even managed to sell it 4 hours before picking up the 'new' one. My hubby will be driving that one mostly. I have a Peugeot 1900 diesel which i love driving despite it being very ancient. It is a bit like a tank but seeing as I managed to drive the Honda into a field a few years ago I feel the Peugeot holds the road much better. It also does long distance journeys at about 8p a mile and local driving at about 10-15p a mile. Enjoy your car hunt. Why not look in local paper and shop windows for adverts but get your mechanic to check it out first.

    Ange xx

  • As the proud owner of Puff a beastie of a car there are a few things that I have now which I would insist on, power steering for obvious reasons not least of all cos when your chest muscles are sore from coughing you don't want to be over straining them yanking the steering wheel around, pollen filter, Air con to keep your car at nice temp for you and automatic rather than manual the cramps I used to get in my clutch foot esp when in traffic where horrid its so nice not to have that anymore. Cruise control same thing really foot on one position when driving on motorways often meant when I moved it it cramped up.

    The headlights that come on automatically, the can chiller, the automatic windscreen wipers, the reversing sensor, and back doors that automatically slide open when you push a button on the key I can live without but other stuff I now consider essential.


  • didn't get very far at the weekend - managed to try 4 cars, none of which I'm convinced by. The nicest to frive was the golf, but I refuse to pay that much for it! I wish skoda did a golf - sized car - the fabia just lacked oomph. Will have a look at the honda garage sometime this week, and going for a trip to a seat garage (70miles to get there, but if it is the right car, its worth it) maybe next weekend. Think this search may take a while...

  • If safety is important, then go here:

    This is the European New Car Assessment Programme website, and will tell you all you need to know about which are the safest cars.

    Renault do always do well here, as do Peugeot. However, you also said you wanted a reliable car and, on the whole, that means avoiding any French or Italian manufacturer like the plague.

    VW are expensive; Seat or Skoda are a better bet as these are all in effect made by the same company. Otherwise, the best reliability comes from the Japanese. Perhaps a Mazda 3, a Toyota Yaris or a Honda (Civic or Jazz depending on the size you're after) would be well worth a look at...?

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