Discuss What estate car should I buy? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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ed-ectrician

Hello there everyone,

So I'm looking to get an estate car as I have a wife and little daughter and can't afford a van AND a car and even those car-derived vans with seats are well expensive to insure for me. New driver with no 'no claims' etc what a headache!!

So I am looking for something nice and big to get tools etc in and work from but also to use as family car.

So far i have got it down to a few different options. Bear in mind i am poor so would prob be buying a ten year old version of the cars below! Budget is around £800 max unfortunately! Autotrader has most of the cars below fairly cheap.

Vauxhall Astra estate - seems like the best option from doing a bit of research. 200 quid a year cheaper to insure than the cheapest of all the rest
VW passat estate - thought VWs were good (every cab driver in London has one!) but heard different things online
Nissan Almera estate - good reviews
Toyota Avensis estate - good reviews too
Skoda octavia estate - My dad has one - does about 45 mpg around town and 60 on motorway
Volvo - bloody hell I feel like a granddad even suggesting this one! Any ideas here?!

So...what do you reckon. Bear in mind I am not looking for sexy, fun or too powerful i am looking for cheap, economical, reliable! I don't really care if it's a bit boring and family-ish I am a dad now lol! Prob go for a 1.6 - 1.8 engine size. Nothing bigger so insurance and fuel is a bit cheaper.

Any other suggestions or tips for when buying from auto trader or gumtree very welcome!

Thanks

Ed
 

Archy Styrigg

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I'm on my 2nd Ford Focus 1.8 TDCi Zetec estate now.
Had very little trouble with both and spares are easily available if need be.
The Zetec version has harder suspension than the regular ones so you can have a bit of fun as well.
 

Strima

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Had the Astra for many years and it was a solid car. You need to look out for the 1.7 diesel Isuzu engine has been well maintained with timing belt changes etc as the oil pump pulley can work loose, design fault, and the timing belt comes off. Happened to me on the M1 doing 70 officer and cost rough £650 in parts to repair it. Also the alarm sounder batteries a prone to failure but you can just disconnect the unit and still have an alarm.

Recently got a Mk2 Skoda Octavia estate and it is gleaming, the Mk1's are reliable and fairly cheap to maintain.

Whatever you get try and get as much service history as possible.
 

tidyboiler

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Having come from a family of Petrol Heads, I think one or the other of us has had every kind of car on the market.

In my humble opinion, I found Vauxhalls to be very reliable, and also I loved my old Volvo. The insurance was cheap too, cos they are built like battleships and people tend to keep out of your way!!! Toyotas are nice cars too, if you can get a Toyota estate, I don't think you will go far wrong. I drive a Fiat Diablo at work, and they are very nippy too. Gumtree is a good way of finding good value cars near to your postcode, I have bought a few things from there with no trouble. If there was such a thing as an estate car, made by Scimitar, with a 1.6 engine, and made out of fibreglass, then I would snap it up.... don't think they exist though. Good luck. :auto::auto::auto::auto::auto:
 
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Guest123

For £800, it would a Volvo v70 for me every time. Them things will go on past 300,000 miles no problem.

Sent from my HTC Desire C using Tapatalk 2
 

Geordie Spark

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Lost in the ozone - again !!
Having come from a family of Petrol Heads, I think one or the other of us has had every kind of car on the market.

In my humble opinion, I found Vauxhalls to be very reliable, and also I loved my old Volvo. The insurance was cheap too, cos they are built like battleships and people tend to keep out of your way!!! Toyotas are nice cars too, if you can get a Toyota estate, I don't think you will go far wrong. I drive a Fiat Diablo at work, and they are very nippy too. Gumtree is a good way of finding good value cars near to your postcode, I have bought a few things from there with no trouble. If there was such a thing as an estate car, made by Scimitar, with a 1.6 engine, and made out of fibreglass, then I would snap it up.... don't think they exist though. Good luck. :auto::auto::auto::auto::auto:
A 1.6 engine pet ??

It's got to be at least twice that if yer expecting it to haul you & me around !!! :yesnod:
 

ruston

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My mate runs a fleet of Skoda's as taxi's , and as I said on another post they are still going strong with around 300.000 plus miles on.

Lot's of good estates on the road but I like the old Peugeot's simple and reliable , and terrific on diesel.
 

somersetsparks

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I would go for a mk1 focus estate, 1.6 or 1.8. Nice drive cheapish for parts, easy to work on, cheap to buy etc. The focus's are probably the bests fords they made
 

CRAGS

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I had a Focus Estate V reg 1.8 petrol zetec for 4 years could not fault it at all plenty of room went well did not have any problems with it only minor things like battery brakes tyres etc.....Just recently brought another Focus estate 06 1.8 Zetec TDCI this time did not like it at first but its gradually growing on me.
 

Archy Styrigg

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CRAGS, I hope it's Black!

Got rid of my 1st one, then about 2 years later I received a letter from the new owner (just bought it) asking if I had the remote key. No chance, went with the car. Then by pure chance I found it that same day, I'd have just slung it in bin if the letter hadn't come that day.
An exchange of letters/emails key sent. A few weeks later a Christmas card arrives with a Fiver in it.

Just goes to show, "If you don't ask, you don't get"
 
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Rich-B

I have had a Skoda Octavia estate for 7 years now, 103,000 miles now and still going strong, would get another one tomorrow if i could afford it.
 

VoltzElectrical

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My mate runs a fleet of Skoda's as taxi's , and as I said on another post they are still going strong with around 300.000 plus miles on.

Lot's of good estates on the road but I like the old Peugeot's simple and reliable , and terrific on diesel.
I wouldn't entertain a japanese car of that age having had an old toyota. The parts are extortionate. I have a bmw 320d estate at the moment, but i wish i had my peugeot 405 d estate as it was AWESOME.

fully recommend a peugeot estate for comfort and reliability.
 

ruston

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I wouldn't entertain a japanese car of that age having had an old toyota. The parts are extortionate. I have a bmw 320d estate at the moment, but i wish i had my peugeot 405 d estate as it was AWESOME.

fully recommend a peugeot estate for comfort and reliability.

I've still got one lol ancient but off the button , bit of a pet now though lol.Have'nt got the heart to get rid of it.
 

Guitarist

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My Audi A4 estate (Avant) fits loads in the back, and the seats fold flat (unlike some estates). 11 years old and still looks great for something worth about a grand.
 

Strima

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one of these should do the job...

I very nearly bought one of those for a laugh. Just imagine the look on a customers face when you turn up in a battered yellow one...
 

Des 56

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If you can't bring yourself to become the proud owner of a reliant robin

The next best must be a Vauxhall Vectra,big,reliable and plenty of extra cheap ones around,and with scrapyards overflowing with any spares ever needed
 

Archy Styrigg

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If you can't bring yourself to become the proud owner of a reliant robin

The next best must be a Vauxhall Vectra,big,reliable and plenty of extra cheap ones around,and with scrapyards overflowing with any spares ever needed
Well that speaks well for the reliability of Vectras!
Drove one a few times, sh!t car.
 

sparks1973

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anyway....for those on a budget that dont mind the smell of 2 stroke oil and toxic glue vapours theres always the trusty from the east....


 

Archy Styrigg

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anyway....for those on a budget that dont mind the smell of 2 stroke oil and toxic glue vapours theres always the trusty from the east....


At least it won't rust in the desert.

Don't know how good the Nomads are at paying their electrical works bills though.
 
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M

MarkieSparkie

If you want a serious suggestion for a bargain motor for the job, you could do far worse than follow my suggestion to a college in a similar situation… get Volvo 740 estate.
OK the Volvo is a bit of a plain Jane and won’t win any prizes for its styling, it’s more of child’s eye view of what car should look like. 740s are numerous and while the majority of saloons have gone to the automotive graveyard, thanks to lack of demand for large, thirsty, family saloons, however, the estate is still hugely popular in the used car market. Once a premium auto-mobile beloved by Antique Dealers and Mothers for the school run, the old Volvo is now the vehicle of choice for savvy tradesmen who can’t run a van, Window cleaners, Plasterers, Decorators and Plumbers have already realised it’s cheaper to run than a van and can still be used for the domestic duties like the school run when necessary. Most of the saloons have been broken up for spares to keep the wagons rolling, vehicles with huge mileages on the clock still going strong, consuming little oil and running as sweet as a nut.
In the Volvo 740s favour, parts are cheap and plentiful on the second hand market and still readily available new if you are so inclined, this is partly due to the fact that the 940 that replaced it, retained much of the same running gear, but also because there are still so many still in service that there is sufficient demand to continue the parts in production.
The key to 740s longevity is it supreme build quality, arguably Volvo’s very best in the past 80 years. Less corrosion than seen in the 140 and 240 series that preceded it and less complex than the 850s and 940s, the 740 is the best of all worlds; solid build and simple DIY maintenance, hence the high survival rate.
Most 740 models were powered by the tried and tested 2.3 litre four cylinder petrol engine, a powerful and responsive lump, not the most refined or economic (20-33 MPG), but, indestructibility does come at a price, this engine is legendary for it’s ability to do very high mileages, and for being totally bullet-proof. Some owners report that at about 100,000 miles the engine starts to feel loose and fully run-in, returning better MPG figures than earlier in the vehicles life.
The load carrying capacity of the 740 so loved by Antique Dealers, it will swallow whole 3-seater sofas easily with room to spare, makes it particularly attractive to the tradesman, often my mate just uses the huge space behind the rear seats when doing smaller jobs.
The interior is typically simple, hard wearing cloth upholstery and high quality plastics, with large clear instruments and robust switches that feel built to last, my mate's estate has minimal deterioration, quality throughout.
So where is the catch? I hear you ask, well there are only two weak areas, exhausts tend to trap moisture and rot quickly (after-market pattern ones particularly) if a lot of short journeys are completed, and the billowing head lining that is common on most Swedish cars, all that is needed here is re-gluing with a quality contact adhesive.
As you will have gathered my college took my advise and together we found lots of good examples, all of them were less than £500. The best of which was an F registration (1989) family car with two related previous owners, 149,000 miles on the clock, full service history by the local Volvo specialist, with 8 months MOT and 2 months Tax, in superb condition belying it’s age … all for £275… at these sort of prices the fuel cost is bearable… and my mate has had a smile on his face ever since acquiring his 740, he and his family love it.
View attachment 14103
Volvo 740 GLE
 
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