MrMister

Car allowance (car choices)

29 posts in this topic

Hi guys

I didn't think I'd be posting a query with the above title on here, but hey: life is full of surprises!

I'm starting a consultancy role with my current company in a few months and as part of the package they are offering a car allowance of £5k p/a. I don't currently run a car as I live in the city centre (Cardiff) and walk/cycle everywhere (apart from London, when I take a train...)

Part of the role involves driving to visit clients so the car allowance is offered with that in mind. Question is, which car should I be looking at, for what will be probably be once/twice weekly M4 drives and the usual suburban driving? I've only ever had a Peugeot 306 (td) and VW Polo (1.4 petrol) both of which were years ago, so have no direct comparison to modern motors. I was thinking maybe Golf or similar, but then saw a few Honda Civics and Seats, which appeal due to being slightly cheaper and (certainly with the Honda) probably more reliable.

Anyone have any ideas? Insurance wise I'm 30 with a clean licence and no previous claims. I haven't driven since maybe 2007, but I don't think that will have a huge impact.

Any help would be appreciated!

Cheers, MrMister

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they have a company car scheme, or just the car allowance? I assume the latter, but ask about the former too. Get knowledgeable about car tax benefits if it is, but it can be a good way to get a nice new car.

A car will be expensive and not worth it to you financially. Why not keep the allowance and occasionally hire cars as you need them? Likely to be a lot cheaper. Or use one of the hourly schemes, or a car share. Since you have lived without a car, consider continuing to do so.

As for actual car choice, I say Japanese, and 1-4 years old. Choose your size and engine according to your requirements. Go for one that has lots of extras (i.e. the specced up version), as they tend to be better value when factory fitted. Expect to be able to keep it until it is at least 7-10 years old, cars just work nowadays.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a Golf Gti and a Seat Toledo 1.9tdi, both of which I've been extremely happy with. I've also had a BMW 3 series coupe, again a great car. I don't think you you can go wrong with a german or Japanese car, great build quality, so all of your suggestions seem very good. If you want to keep the cost down, then Seat and Skoda (both from the VW stable) are a good bet. Don't know the price of the Civic but they are very well reviewed and owners seem to love them too. I'd certainly test drive one if I was looking for a car at the moment.

Hi guys

I didn't think I'd be posting a query with the above title on here, but hey: life is full of surprises!

I'm starting a consultancy role with my current company in a few months and as part of the package they are offering a car allowance of £5k p/a. I don't currently run a car as I live in the city centre (Cardiff) and walk/cycle everywhere (apart from London, when I take a train...)

Part of the role involves driving to visit clients so the car allowance is offered with that in mind. Question is, which car should I be looking at, for what will be probably be once/twice weekly M4 drives and the usual suburban driving? I've only ever had a Peugeot 306 (td) and VW Polo (1.4 petrol) both of which were years ago, so have no direct comparison to modern motors. I was thinking maybe Golf or similar, but then saw a few Honda Civics and Seats, which appeal due to being slightly cheaper and (certainly with the Honda) probably more reliable.

Anyone have any ideas? Insurance wise I'm 30 with a clean licence and no previous claims. I haven't driven since maybe 2007, but I don't think that will have a huge impact.

Any help would be appreciated!

Cheers, MrMister

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys. It is definitely just the allowance on offer. I've been meaning to sort myself with a car for a while now, mainly because of convenience for visiting friends and family (all are either miles West or East for me) and the train, whilst easy, is not the most flexible.

I'm leaning towards a Honda Civic, simply from the user-reviews and reliability side of things. I will try some test drives (perhaps at a used dealer who has a couple from each stable, as it were). I was thinking 2-4 years old, and yes a higher spec model.

This has been very helpful thus far!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm leaning towards a Honda Civic, simply from the user-reviews and reliability side of things. I will try some test drives (perhaps at a used dealer who has a couple from each stable, as it were). I was thinking 2-4 years old, and yes a higher spec model.

A mate has a Civic and it's excellent, although very similar to my Mazda 6. Since the Mazda top spec TS2 is about the same price as the basic Civic model, it does make the Mazda good value. You could pick up a nice 6 for about £7k, in good nick with low mileage.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Civics are generally excellent, but if you are going diesel make sure you get the 2.2 litre (shared with the Accord) and not one of the older 1.7 or 1.9 Isuzu-derived lumps. The hybrid is worth a look - they seem to be very cheap second-hand.

Golfs are OK, if a little dull. The latest VW common rail diesels are amazingly economical, whether 1.6 or 2.0 litre. The older PD diesels are not so frugal and have had a few reliability issues. The Skoda Octavia is a cheaper, roomier Golf.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I'd buy something like this:

http://retrorides.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=FSW&action=display&thread=129635

Out of the £5k (assuming that it's paid monthly rather than as a lump sum), I'd earmark £1k for emergency repairs or replacement (not that it's likely to be required, but it's nice to have a safety net), another £500 for insurance (it's expensive now), and £100 for personal (any car) RAC cover. Then I'd pocket the rest. :^

But I don't mind running old cars (in fact this would count as a new car for me...), and I'm not bad with a spanner. Something like this should be very reliable (in terms of getting you home) but might need a little more work at services.

I appreciate that you might want something more modern for safety and peace of mind - but don't underestimate the costs of depreciation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had thought about getting an older car, but as I found with my Peugeot (I am also fairly handy with a spanner) I tend to spend more time fiddling with the car than driving it! As it was a Pug 1.9td nearly everything was manually adjustable, so I was hoping for something a bit more modern. I quite like the look of the later Golfs, but they hold value far more than their Japanese equivalents. I'm also not 100% whether a diesel would be benificial as opposed to a petrol, due to the presumably low(ish) mileage. I'm leaning towards a 1.8 or 2.0 Civic, or if I could find one, a GT TDi Golf, but that would be more than 2-4 years old. I guess test-driving is the best option!

I think a Mazda 6 would be a bit large, in all honesty, same as the Passat. Maybe a Bora would be cheaper? Same mechanically as a Golf, I expect?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on how many miles you expect to do. Diesels are a false economy if you're doing 10K or less, marginal between 10 and 20 and make sense above 20K I would say. 5K per year is only 440/month so after tax you'll have about 300-350 at most. If you allow 50/month for insurance (you'll need business use and higher than average miles) tax will be 10-15/month probably, maintenance will be 20-30/month (assume one annual service at £200 + 'something else', eg tyres, brakes) realistically you probably have 200-250/month to buy the car - that's a 6ish -8ish grand loan over 3 years.

I'd second the mazda6 but they aren't the most economical to run (i have the 2.2 diesel sport and get 42-43 with mixed running). A Mazda 3 with 1.6TD or petrol is a good motor. I would say get something lower spec and newer to get the balance of a warranty since you'll be relying on it.

Check the mileage you'll be doing - you may be able to lease something privately if you can stay under 10K miles/year

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diesel is only false economy if you buy new or thereabouts.

I would just buy something like this

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201222474223026/sort/default/usedcars/colour/black/maximum-mileage/up_to_60000_miles/model/a3/make/audi/postcode/tr12sj/radius/1501/page/1?logcode=p

Looks respectable enough to use in your job role, cheap to run and insure and tax.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diesel is only false economy if you buy new or thereabouts.

I would just buy something like this

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201222474223026/sort/default/usedcars/colour/black/maximum-mileage/up_to_60000_miles/model/a3/make/audi/postcode/tr12sj/radius/1501/page/1?logcode=p

Looks respectable enough to use in your job role, cheap to run and insure and tax.

Far too expensive to buy.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great bargains to be had in the 5 year old market for sub 50K milers. Check out Bimmer 325/330i, Merc 220CDi Aventegards, Honda Accord/Civic 2.2ltr diesels and Volvo S60D5 saloons. All fairly pricey when new, but you can get a top spec 5 year old in one of those flavours for surprisingly little money and they'll be good for another 5 years before anything major needs doing. Hondas a little less involving to drive but hold values well after 5 years and reliable. A common consideration these days with reliability is with manual transmissions in higher powered diesels. Dual mass flywheels (all makes of car) have a reputation for self destructing at between 70K and 100K miles and an average repair will be the thick end of £1000 if that happens. BMW turbos in diesels (post 2005) have a reputation for disintegrating at surprisingly low mileages (swirl flaps can fail and destroy the turbo). If looking at diesel, an auto (tiptronic/geartronic option) is well worth hunting down. There's little performance loss these days although fuel economy suffers a little with autos but they do tend IME to be more reliable longer term and make city/town driving more relaxing. I return an average of 42mpg with my S60D5 geartronic (185BHP) auto, so still pretty respectable. For purely economy, there's loads to choose from and if you're only doing shortish mileages, Citroen's C1 petrol is good for 55mpg and cheap insurance, ditto most other small petrol hatchbacks.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had many different company estate cars over the last 22 years if it was my money I would go for the Skoda,my current year old Octavia has performed faultlessly and returns 54 MPG with a lot of city driving,can't fault it at all.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since its a car allowance you will end up with abut £350 a month to spend but do check the terms of the allowance - will the company expect you to have a certain type of car (saloon etc.). And can the company pull the allowance if they so desire?

Assuming all Is okay then if you think about a 4 year horizon to pay the car off it gives you around £14k of car money so a couple of years old car from a dealer with warranty would be ideal.

Alternatively you could take up a pcp scheme and get a new car but if circumstances change you just hand the car keys back with no further liability - today you have a nice surprise but who knows about tomorrow, there's some great deals to be had on new old 1 series bmw's and some seat deals are also v good.

As for cars, try and get something with a good level of kit, a bit special like leather seats maybe. I'm a fan of the seat Leon and the skoda yeti as left field choice alternatives to a golf but around £8k buys you a nice BMW.

Do stick to diesel if you do more than 10k miles.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cobblers. Only remotely true if you do short journeys around town and low annual mileages, otherwise diesel is still the the cheaper long term/longer distance proposition.

Thats what I just said. Diesel is only false economy if you buy new, because of the £2k-£4k premium you pay for it. In the 2nd hand market this premium is no longer there... an 07 40k mile 2.0tdi a3 is the same price as an 07 40k mile 2.0t FSI a3, yet brand new on the configurator, the diesel was £3k more.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.