Well I hope everyone made good use of their Easter weekend (who'd of thought Religion would be useful for something). I spent the entire weekend soaking up knowledge about small cars and now consider myself no longer a car noob.
Having past my test I have found myself irratated being driven about everywhere. Having spent a substational amount on driving lessons, not having the end product after the test makes you feel crippled. So armed with this financially crippling desire I headed down south to my parents in order to get advice on buying my first car.
Magazines offer priceless information in this arena. I got my mits on a Topgear magazine and a What Car? magazine. I decided that my budget will stetch to a car in the "SuperMini" range aka a Hatchback. In this arena you have a massive choice as a third of all the cars on our streets in the UK fall into this category. The main contenders in this division for me were the Nissan Micra, Renault Clio, Seat Ibiza and the Honda Jazz. All score well in magazines and I went to a car supermarket to check out some models. They are all in the 8k price range and offer a mixture of space/performance/drive/style.
When I was at the car supermarket another car caught my eye though, the Peugeot 1007 (pronounced ten-oh-seven after a certain British agent complained). It has mad electric doors rather then hinge based ones. The finishing inside was also of a seperate class compared to all the other cars. Most the cars in this range go for a bland interior, the 1007 Sport however has a much more stylish finish. Peugeot have taken a massive gamble by using electric doors so the extras you get with this car are lavish for the price range.
Having decided on the Peugeot 1007 I then went for a test drive at the local garage (for this alone I was rewarded for £150 in holiday vouchers). I was trying out the 1.4 Petrol Manual and had my first drive on the motorway as I drove it from the showroom to my parents house. The first thing that struck me was the elevated driving position having been used to learning in a Ford Focus. I then let my Dad drive it back so he could form an opinion on it as well.
Having decided that this was the car for me we then entered the strange voodoo that is negotiating a discount on a car. The list price for a 1.4 Sport is £11,500, after saying we were leaving to go test drive the Honda Jazz then suddenly became very willing to reduce their asking price. In the end we managed to get it for £9,500 (way better then the target price listed in What Car?). All that was left was financing for which I decided on going PCP so I pay £149 a month over 3 years with a baloon payment at the end around £4000.
With the deposit down I selected a metallic blue version to be delivered and right now I'm waiting for a phone call from the dealer saying when I can pick it up.
I'm now looking into insurance and Admiral seem the best to go with at the moment. Having a girlfriend gets you a £250 discount too, so if you want a car and you've just passed go get yourself a girlfriend as it pays dividends.