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What small car will I buy?

I'm in serious need of advice! I'm hoping to buy my own car (have full driver's licence and have insurance on home car). My first major dilemma is whether to get petrol or diesel.

I'm living in Dublin and will be commuting to work roughly about 30 mins away with M50. I would be travelling back to "home home" (about every second/third weekend) and that journey would be roughly six hours in total.

My second dilemma is what car to get. I want a good car but also for it to be reasonably small. I'm thinking Volkswagen Polo/SEAT Ibiza/Opel Corsa/Fiat Grande Punto - quite broad I know. My budget would be around €8,000 or €9,000. 

Filed under choosing used car - Asked by Jane Flatley (Dublin) - Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:53


Hi Jane,

First things first. The petrol versus diesel debate. Everyone is very caught up on diesel cars right now and that makes a lot of sense when you are buying new because they have lower road tax, but since small cars tend not to use a lot of fuel, the road tax should be quite low anyway. The mileage you are likely to do might warrant a diesel, but the diesel small cars tend to be a lot more expensive, so in this case I would say that a petrol model would do you fine and still won't cost the earth to run.

The VW Polo is an excellent choice because it is really nicely built and holds its value well too. I did a search for ones with the lowest mileage within your budget from main SIMI dealers (so there is more security and better history checks on the car). A 2007 Volkswagen Polo with just 15,000km on the clock is within your budget and would be a really nice buy. It would be dead cheap to run too. 

This 2008 Ford Fiesta is really nice too; with 11,000km on the clock so it is practically brand new. This is a five-door model so it might be a little more practical. It is at the upper end of your budget but you wouldn't pay the advertised price. 

One I would love you to consider though is the Suzuki Swift. It is a smashing little car. It is really reliable, cute, nicely built and fun to drive. It's a 2008 model with low mileage for less than €9,000. 

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the Renault Clio (it was my wife's first car and it was great) and you could find another one with ridiculously low mileage for less than €9,000 too. Here is one I liked the look of.

You wouldn't really go wrong with any of these. Personally, I'd be really tempted by that low-mileage Polo as a long term investment because you will always get a good bit of your money back. 

I hope all that helps

Answered by: Complete Car Adviser

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