Motoring Discussion > Cheap reliable touring car Buying / Selling
Thread Author: legacylad Replies: 32

 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
Jumping the gun here, but by April, post hip op, I expect to be firing on all cylinders...

Planning Settle >Portsmouth > Santander > Costa Blanca. Accommodation now booked for May, 3 weeks end of season mountain walking with my group. Drive north to Picos for a weeks walking, then stay with French friends who live off the beaten track in the Pyrenees. More walking.

I’m not taking the GR Yaris. I anticipate a fair amount of unmade mountain roads to reach trailheads, lots of opportunities for dings and minor scrapes...travelling solo so need good visibility whilst driving. And reliability. I’m thinking Japanese. I’ll buy before the trip and sell after. £10k ish budget, and fully expect whatever I buy to devalue.

Rav 4. Old model Mazda 3 2.2 diesel ?
 Cheap reliable touring car - Mr Moo
Unless you need some off road capability, I reckon I’d go Toyota Avensis or Mazda6. Both estates. Moot point whether petrol or diesel. The former is perceived to be more reliable, the latter will obviously use less fuel.

I’d also consider a Mondeo or Insignia. Or, you could go all Spanish with a Leon estate? I guess if that went wrong, the locals could fix it easily. Skoda Octavia/Superb probably also worth a look.
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
I won’t need any off road capability. Decent ride height, sensible tyres, spare wheel.

I travel light...probably best to have 4 doors, so hatch or small estate. Focus size is as large as I need, but must be comfortable long distance cruiser, so at the moment I’m ruling out Micra sized stuff.

Although I’ve driven across Europe in a mini and a Spitfire several decades ago.
 Cheap reliable touring car - bathtub tom
I've always thought the answer to 'what car do I need?', has been a Mondeo.

Fortunately, Dunc's not around to correct punctuation.
 Cheap reliable touring car - Runfer D'Hills
Duster maybe?

Would easily cope with an occasional rough track, wouldn’t suffer much from an odd ding, cheap to buy, run, insure or if necessary, repair. Comfortable and spacious enough. Choice of engines and trim to suit most preferences.

Kind of cool in a utilitarian chic way too.
Last edited by: Runfer D'Hills on Thu 13 Oct 22 at 09:25
 Cheap reliable touring car - BiggerBadderDave
I like the Duster. The latest model is rather funky. Auto, aircon and leather (which are musts for me). Plenty of 3 year-olds for sale sub £10k.
 Cheap reliable touring car - VxFan
The Duster I had as a hire car a couple of years ago felt very agricultural, including the speed of the thing.

I spoke to the guy who collected it at the end of the hire period, and he said customers and Enterprise staff had made nothing but negative comments about it. They had tried several times to offload it to another branch of Enterprise, but it eventually comes back again because no one else wants it either.

I guess the newer models are slightly more refined and loved?
 Cheap reliable touring car - Zero
I wouldnt want to drive all the way from t'North to Spain in a Duster.
 Cheap reliable touring car - Runfer D'Hills
>> I wouldnt want to drive all the way from t'North to Spain in a Duster.

I don’t know so much about that, sometimes getting the best out of a basic car can be quite satisfying. I’ve done trips of that magnitude in a Mk1 Panda before now and had great fun.
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
I wouldnt want to drive all the way from t'North to Spain in a Duster.
Nah. I’ll be going on a luxury cruise to Santander from PottyMouth.

My short list was Toyota Rav4, Corolla or old model Mazda3 with the 2.2 diesel. Then my walking pals who live off the beaten track in Espana suggested a Duster. It had previously piqued my interest.

A late model one has Apple Car Play, which for me is an excellent option ( helps me find remote fincas where my campo living friends are, and obscure walk start points, by putting in multi digit coordinates). The others mentioned don’t have this, apart from more recent, and far more expensive, models.

And the Duster has decent visibility....talking of which, most road testers of the GRY mention this. It’s the only negative thing I can say about it. The viz between the top of the touch screen and the large rear view mirror is verging on minimal. Bad enough in the U.K. where you get used to wobbling your head about at junctions....a RHD GRY on the continent would be far far worse.
Last edited by: legacylad on Fri 14 Oct 22 at 21:07
 Cheap reliable touring car - Bobby
Is there not a modificartion for the Yaris visibility issue?

Am sure I saw that in one of "Shmee"s youtube videos
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
>> Is there not a modificartion for the Yaris visibility issue?
>> Am sure I saw that in one of "Shmee"s youtube videos
I’m a member of two GRY Owners Forums and it’s on my ‘to do’ list when I return from Spain November....probably be early 2023 as my hip op is scheduled within days of my return and I won’t be driving for a few weeks or months.

No idea who ‘Shmee’ is...appreciate the heads up...the HUD being a feature I wouldn’t be without these days.
 Cheap reliable touring car - Zero
>> Duster maybe?

>> Kind of cool in a utilitarian chic way too.

Like Crocks. Tho it has to be said most duster drivers wear Hotters (wide fitting)
 Cheap reliable touring car - Kevin
>I won’t need any off road capability. Decent ride height, sensible tyres, spare wheel.

Pity about the budget. Sounds the ideal trip for something like a Macan.
 Cheap reliable touring car - tyrednemotional's cruel to mention that now he Macan't....
 Cheap reliable touring car - Bobby
There does seem to be a history here of buying nice cars and then being too scared to use them!
Get some PPF applied to the Yaris, take it with you, have a hoot and be prepared to maybe spend some of the money you were willing to lose on any repairs needed.
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
FYI...the GR has aluminium doors, boot and bonnet. Carbon fibre roof and is quite a specialised piece of kit. Doubt the local village mechanic can sort out any panel or engine damage.
Hoofing it around single track dirt roads to reach trailheads in mountain country doesn’t seem very sensible to me...most of my pals in this part of the world drive beaten up old bangers, which they specifically have as a second car. Their newer ( second car) stuff are Skoda Yeti 4x4s, Suzuki jeeps, Rav 4 etc. Older stuff are SWB Pajero and Chrysler Jeeps.

Trust me, back in Blighty I use it...I’m definitely not your average holiday maker who pootles around tourist areas, and I scare myself following Spanish resident friends up some of these loose gravel mountain roads with ruddy big unprotected drop offs. Probably no insurance either on my current C3 rental. Recently a French pal, who I was following ( luckily) ripped off some body work from his Pug 2008. At that point I reversed down the narrow dirt track and said a little prayer !

Actually it was a big prayer.
 Cheap reliable touring car - MD
I have heard a couple of tales of the Mazda diesels going pop. Just saying.
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
One way ferry booked Plymouth > Santander early May.

I’ll start looking in earnest next Spring for a reliable car for the trip...Skoda Yeti, Duster, 2008.
Worlds your lobster. Probably a diesel would be ok, given the mileages I’ll cover, even with the fuel price differential. Which may change by then ?
 Cheap reliable touring car - carmalade
Wouldn’t touch anything diesel at that budget. Anything after 2008 is pretty much guaranteed to have a dpf .
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
>> Wouldn’t touch anything diesel at that budget. Anything after 2008 is pretty much guaranteed to
>> have a dpf .
I thought diesels, with a dpf, were fine if you did sufficiently high mileages, or long runs.
Am I wrong ?
Although I wouldn’t want either of the two C3 diesels I had recently as rental cars. Definitely not.
 Cheap reliable touring car - carmalade
Dpf cars can be ok . But you’re buying s/hand and not likely to know previous history.
 Cheap reliable touring car - Dave_
>> Dpf cars can be ok . But you're buying s/hand and not likely to know previous history.

Whatever you buy, budget 500 notes for a good indy to service it and check it over before you travel - while they're under it they can check for e.g. splits in inner tyre sidewalls, condition of brake pipes and suspension mountings. They can also plug in their diagnostic machine and view the history of DPF regens and current % soot and ash levels for your peace of mind. An aircon regas would also be wise.
 Cheap reliable touring car - R.P.
Check out High Peak Autos on YouTube. (the delaership isn't a million miles away from you) - he may have a bargain for you. Another plus is his really well produced videos on real world cars as well as his opinion on cars that he drives and whether you should buy or not.
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
Much appreciated.
I have an experienced mechanic contact who is currently workshop manager at a large indie. He’s also been workshop manager at a few main dealers...Audi, BMW.
He sourced me a cheap runaround after I’d sold the 330 to my nephew, and before the girly SUV was delivered.

Think I’ll touch base with him tomorrow to see if he’s still working or retired...even though my extended road trip is 6 months away.
Another mini trip (2 nights, 3 days walking late March) just been invited to express interest in today...Sierra Mariola, accommodation in Alcoy, then a week on the coast. Jet2 flights cheaper than RYR at moment.
Last edited by: legacylad on Sun 4 Dec 22 at 18:52
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
So I touched base with my time served mechanic pal...he’s currently chief MOT tester at a large independent.

His opening words were “Japanese. Petrol”. I have 3 friends in the U.K., and a French pal, who run 2008s. His experience of them where he works is that the 1.2 Puretech can be super reliable , then without warning it isn’t.

I quite fancy an Arona or Kamiq, and he advised me to avoid the Duster. Strange that as they get excellent owner reviews.

In the first instance I’ll try to find a Rav4 or Suzuki Vitara, preferably the former, which I know will be older for the same money, but he rates them highly..
 Cheap reliable touring car - Runfer D'Hills
I had Kamiq as a hire car a while back. Perfectly pleasant thing, petrol manual. Not over exciting but nothing to criticise really.
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
Friends now joining me for the trip south....ferry crossing and a leisurely drive down to the Costa, with a couple of overnight stays off the beaten track.

My car insurance expires 3 weeks before I sail, so now I’ve a good idea of what to buy ( probably a Vitara 1.4 2018 facelift model) I’ll need to sort insurance.

For a 6 week trip, my insurer won’t allow me to add a second car onto my policy for that duration, so looks like a multi vehicle policy at renewal time.

Any advice appreciated
 Cheap reliable touring car - Runfer D'Hills
We use Admiral’s multi car policies in our household. They have been very easy to deal with and for us anyway, the cheapest or close to, any time we’ve checked. Easy to add or subtract a car or driver as required.
You’d most probably have to buy a year’s insurance for a second car I suppose, but if you then sell it on again you’d get a refund for the unused part of that I’d think.
Give them a call, they actually have humans to talk to and who have been in our experience anyway, quite helpful.
 Cheap reliable touring car - Runfer D'Hills
Just a thunk, but are you planning to keep a second car long term LL?
If not, might it be a good idea just to buy an older but solid thing for a lot less money? The less you spend the less you’ll be at risk of losing sort of thing? Dings not so much of a worry either.
Edit - that bloke from High Peak motors posted a YouTube vid recently about driving a £250 diesel Panda from Stockport to Malaga recently…
Last edited by: Runfer D'Hills on Mon 20 Feb 23 at 15:47
 Cheap reliable touring car - legacylad
Probably. Who knows. Depends how man and machine get on over 6 weeks and a few thousand miles.
But I can afford a higher mileage facelift Vitara, and see absolutely no reason to save my money at my time of life.

I’ve a friend ( two come to think of it) with shed loads of money, rental income from assorted properties, got their health and mental faculties, but won’t part with it.
One in particular gets really upset if I ever mention how little I’ve paid for car hire...his current gripe is a pint of beer increasing by 50cents in his favourite bar, which has a view to die for. He’ll drink his 3 pints of beer, which he doesn’t really like, in a crappy bar just inland and save €4.50.
 Cheap reliable touring car - Runfer D'Hills
Fair enough.
 Cheap reliable touring car - MD
Bit of a plonker then eh! Rodney.
Latest Forum Posts