Car Shopping *sp

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*picture is the product of our last car hunt – okay the kid in me giggled at that.. car hunt*

You may remember yesterday I mentioned that I was considering buying a car of my own. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while but once the worst of winter is out of the way I always talk myself out of it. I live within walking distance to work and on evenings and weekends I can use our family car but on the days I now work from home I’d like to have the option of leaving the house without a huge treck with the kids and fear or whatever the British weather may throw at me. The main thing that’s holding me back isn’t the price of car itself but the upkeep. I could save for a car but there’s no telling what the upkeep will costs might be when you buy one second hand – and lets face it I’m not about to buy a brand new one. I actually didn’t get my license until I was 22 because of the crazy insurance prices associated with learning to drive .. I didn’t see the point if I wasn’t going to be able to drive to run a car – says she who literally drives maybe once a year. The craziest thing for me to wrap my head around is that I’m not a young driver anymore, I can actually do something called ‘matching’ my husbands no claims bonus (god this post just got dull fast, right – I used to work in insurance for about 7 years and it never gets interesting) so my insurance would be dirt cheap but it’s the other bits and pieces I’m nervous of. Random repairs, you never know how fuel efficient a car is going to be until you’re running it. I’ve only once before had a car of my own and that little beauty ran on fumes, it was awesome but you just never know and if I’m honest I’d rather spend my money on lipstick than petrol.

Here are some I’m looking at right now with the help of come of your suggestions..

peugeot_206_hatchback_35994Peugeot 206 – I love the look of these cars and there are so many around you can get a really good deal on one second hand but having driven a Peugeot I’m not sure I’d like it.. everything felt small inside and the pedals were tiny – but it’s cute!


Ford Focus – Not so pretty, I don’t love this one but I think it would be comfortable, easy to drive and cheap to fix.. this is more the sensible choice I think, again lots available so inexpensive, big bonus!

380x280-500-promo-offerFiat 500 – Awww!! This is just about the cutest car there is in my opinion and even Lee likes it so it would be an awesome choice, reliable according to reviews and still small enough that I wont have difficulty parking (I’m a TERRIBLE driver) but this is considerably more that I want to pay for a little runaround.. a girl can dream.

Of course if I didn’t have the kids to consider I’d get a banged up old MX-5 cause I just love them but there are only 2 seats and there’s NOTHING practical about them.. *sigh* – if you have any recommendations of certains makes/models or money saving tips let me know cause I think I might just bite the bullet in the next few months

Miss BB

*Post contains sponsored link



  1. Emily
    28 February, 2014 / 9:54 pm

    my younger brother (he’s 20) has a 206, its soooo cheap for him to run, he insures it himself and everything. I know he’d deffo recommend them! 🙂

    • missbudgetbeauty
      28 February, 2014 / 10:02 pm

      argh, such mixed reviews lol

  2. 28 February, 2014 / 9:54 pm

    I’ve got a 206 and it is awful!! In the past year it’s been to the garage about 7 times, electrics have gone more than once, central locking doesn’t work anymore, passenger electric window doesn’t open, clutch needed replacing, plus multiple problems with the engine (I’m no good with technical words!)
    Everyone told me to not buy a French car, they’re well known for their electrics going wrong a lot. Mpg isn’t great on mine either. However I could just be unlucky!!

    The new shape fiestas are nice, the older style isn’t bad either. Personally though, I just love the Polo!!

  3. 28 February, 2014 / 10:05 pm

    I wouldn’t opt for FIAT in my opinion ( I am a FIAT driver for the last 7 years) and its true what they say Fix It Again Tomorrow (FIAT) yep always a problem! x

  4. Kelly Gardner
    28 February, 2014 / 10:13 pm

    I bought a Ford KA brand new about three and a half years ago and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It is fuel efficient, the tax is in the cheapest band, and it hasn’t given me any problems. I LOVE it! I have owned two mini coopers in the past (also new) and the amount of trouble I had with them was crazy and expensive, the Ford Ka on the other hand hasn’t given me any extra surprise costs. Its also quite cute 🙂

  5. Nicola
    28 February, 2014 / 10:27 pm

    Can’t go wrong with a ford fiesta, so reliable! The new ford ka is nice too!

  6. lindsey carruthers
    28 February, 2014 / 10:57 pm

    I just got a suzuki alto. Ok, its not the most luxurious of cars and I have handbags bigger than the boot But if cheap n cheerful is what u want its a winner! 60 mpg, and £20 road tax! I picked mine up for just under 5k for a 2011 plate with 2 yr warranty. Love it x

  7. Aimee
    28 February, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    Vauxhall astra is my first car and it’s amazing….. A lot of people have said very rare have problems with vauxhall astras and they great cars, last a long time….

    • missbudgetbeauty
      1 March, 2014 / 12:16 am

      We have an Astra now and I’m hoping my husband will want an upgrade so I can take that, haha

  8. 28 February, 2014 / 11:37 pm

    I’ve never heard good things about the 206 – a couple of friends have had them and hated them (and the constant repairs). Fords are good and plenty of space for kids. I have a last model Seat Ibiza Ecomotive which literally does 70mpg on long journeys (60ish when pottering) despite being a 1.4 turbo diesel so if it’s fuel economy you want maybe something like that? As for repairs, get yourself a Haynes Manual and do some of them yourself! I do my own brakes, which is probably the most common “repair” on my car.

  9. em
    28 February, 2014 / 11:47 pm

    I have a Peugeot 107 which is (obv!) the smaller version of the 206 but it has 4 seats and is larger on the inside than a fiat 500, I would totally recommend to anyone, only thing is, it has a super small boot. It costs me practically nothing to run, – tax, insurance, petrol, servicing etc. I did have it from new at 17 but I’ve had it 7 years now and have had absolutely no problems with it.

    My brother has a clio and its a good run around/ decent size for a small car. He’s had it like 4 years now (from new) and its starting to develop the odd problem here & there (most likely due to his poor/teenage boy driving!) and is pretty cheap to run too, but his servicing is more expensive than mine.

    I would avoid a fiat like the plague – they are notorious for going wrong & being expensive to fix. Also in the small/cute category would recommend avoiding a 2nd hand mini cooper – most have major steering issues after a couple of years & servicing/repairs are v. expensive

    Goes without saying but never ever buy an ex-driving instructor or ex-hire car! There’s always tons in the 2nd hand market but you are asking for engine trouble with those!

  10. Jodie
    28 February, 2014 / 11:47 pm

    My family had a ford focus for about 7 years and my grandad actually had it for a year or 2 before that. I don’t think it was new when he bought it either. I don’t think we had any major problems with it at all, my dad only sold it because he wanted something else. I also learned to drive in a focus and unless I’m amazing at parking (I haven’t driven since), they’re easy to park.

  11. el
    1 March, 2014 / 12:24 am

    Have you thought about the Citroen c3? Mines 10 years old, got it for dirt cheap but runs like a dream. Decent fuel consumption and the perfect size for a run around. Small enough for a learner driver but still practical. Prefer it to the brand spanking new corsa I learned in! Think it would be perfect for you!

  12. 1 March, 2014 / 3:25 am

    My other half said get the Focus because on Jalopnik(car forum) they seem to think Ford is a British brand. We call FORD Found On Road Dead, which is funny because we drive a Ford.

  13. 1 March, 2014 / 8:34 am

    I know you’re not looking for a new car but maybe looking for one that’s a couple of years old is a good idea. I have a VW up and it’s amazing. It’s only a one litre but you sure couldn’t tell that when you’re driving, it’s only £42 to fill up a full tank and that lasts you for ever. I commute 40 miles a day 6 days a week and it still lasts me 10 days. Then the tax is only £20 a year, the cars you were looking at will probably set you back at least £100 a year for tax. Plus if the car is less than three years old it you wont have to buy an MOT till it’s third birthday! The car is ridiculously roomy for a tiny car and you could fit your weekly shop and more in the boot! It’s won hundreds of awards plus the which best car award in 2012.

    Definitely worth having a look at!

  14. Melanie
    1 March, 2014 / 8:41 am

    You should look into the peudgeot 107. I have one and I love it.

  15. 1 March, 2014 / 10:44 am

    I’ve got to say, I’m with you on the whole ‘I’d rather spend my money on lipstick than petrol!’ philosophy!

    I gave up driving about 3 years ago as the up keep of my second hand Renault Megan was proving to be too much for me. It literally broke down a week after I bought it and hand ongoing problems the whole time I owned it. It can be a bit hit and miss with second hand cars. I do miss driving and a car would be handy but for now I’ll continue to manage without one. If I was to buy a car, it would consider getting one that runs on Diesel fuel as I believe they’re supposed to be a lot cheaper to run than petrol models. xox

    The Miss Beauty Saver Blog

    • 1 March, 2014 / 10:47 am

      Sorry, I don’t know how that random link got in my comment! x

    • Gracie
      1 March, 2014 / 7:56 pm

      I have a diesel and a petrol. I love my diesel, it’s a 1.4 TDI and is nippy as you like. They only tend to make you back money once you do over 14000 miles a year or something. And they are more to buy. BUT the engines generally tend to go on for longer, mine has done 180,000 and still going 🙂 xx

  16. Caprice
    1 March, 2014 / 12:04 pm

    What about a Citroen c2? I hate ford focuses!!!

    We have a new seat Ibiza atm but had an older one before, we’ve had 3 in total and absolutely love them! Made by the same company that make VW and Audi, but a heck of a lot cheaper!

    Everyone I know that’s had a 206 has had huge problems with them, so probably not your best bet for low running costs.

    I could go on forever 😛 we’ve been looking at a runaround too and I think we’ll be going for a citreon c2 anyway. I love car shopping!

  17. Anisah
    1 March, 2014 / 6:14 pm

    French cars are notoriously rubbish as are the Italians
    Stick to a Vauxhall or Toyota if you’re looking for something small
    They’re cheap to run and insure and are also very reliable

  18. Gracie
    1 March, 2014 / 7:54 pm

    Personally I would go with the focus. Cheaper to buy as it isn’t wanted so much by the ‘kids’ as their first car. Also the focus looks much better with 5 doors and there is more space in it overall.
    The crash tests are pretty much the same for the focus and 206 but the fiat has a 5 star for adults but just a 3 for the kiddies. They are tiny inside and when they say 3 years free motoring that’s all it is. I have read reviews and so many people have had problems especially with the 800cc turbo engine. Boot space is limited and you are a lady that likes to shop. Plus a buggy for Milo it becomes limited.
    On balance I reckon the focus is best for room and fixing etc. I am sure you have but do your research and read the reviews. Fords have good things like heated windscreens that the pug doesn’t. 🙂
    Also the Focus insurance should be cheaper but you have done all that so hey you are the expert!!
    No idea if that has helped but good luck :-).


    • Gracie
      1 March, 2014 / 7:59 pm

      Oh and if it has low mileage check who has owned it before, if they are older the clutch tends to be ruined. Also check where you put the oil in, if there is white in it, there is water in the engine so steer clear as the head could be gone or something… Xxx

  19. Beckie
    2 March, 2014 / 8:31 am

    Stay away from the 206, it is the worst car I owned. Both peugeots I had nothing but problems with. I would go for comfort n practical over pretty everytime. My partner n I both have ford focus’ now and I can’t recommend them enough, we both had them for our last car, just upgraded model. Fantastic car, worked well for a family. I would give this one so,e serious thought xx

  20. 5 March, 2014 / 2:30 pm

    Peugeots are very much like marmite.. Personally I really like them and think they’re lovely to drive. They’re cheap to buy and run and if you don’t get the base model they have the comfiest seats! I’m on my 3rd Pug (first was a small petrol 106 then we got a 206 2l diesel and no we have a 206 1.6l convertible) and will always recommend them. It’s true, there are a few rogue ones but when buying one, go for a higher spec one (v. little difference in insurance) that’s fully serviced and from somebody you can clearly see has looked after it. None of our Pugs have had loads of problems like others talk of but maybe we’re just lucky.. The only money we’ve ever really had to spend on was for general wear and tear.

  21. megan
    6 March, 2014 / 12:52 pm

    my boyfriend had nothing but trouble with peugeots – he had one that wasnt too bad, but eventually died, and the second, the electrics went after a week of him buying it (second hand) and has sworn never to buy one again.

  22. 15 March, 2014 / 7:02 am

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  23. Sian Christine
    17 March, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    Hiya! i’ve got a 2008 1.8 Yaris SR and its the best! I’m 20, been driving just under 2 years and my insurance for this is only £700 a year, it’s nice and big inside, plus it looks pretty sporty. They’re also relativley cheap to pick up 🙂 happy hunting!xx

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