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Buying a new Dacia - advice?

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virginblue4virginblue4 Forumite
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Hi everyone,


I’m after some advice in relation to a new car. 


I’m currently running a 2002 Renault Clio  (automatic) that I’ve had since 2014. In this time, I’ve covered approximately 50,000 miles. When I bought the car, it had 25,000 miles on the clock. 


It’s generally been an ‘ok’ car, but it’s really starting to show it’s age. I’ve had to call the RAC 14 times since I’ve owned the car due to breakdowns - they are generally only minor issues, but it’s extremely inconvenient and I feel like it’s just a ticking time bomb as to when I’m next going to break down, which makes driving quite stressful. Additionally, there is an issue with the gearbox where I have to warm up the car by driving for around 25 minutes before I can get above around 45mph as otherwise there is a very loud clunk and the gearbox goes into ‘safety mode’ and won’t change out of 1st gear until I restart the car. It’s been doing this for 3 years now, it doesn’t cause any major problems but it adds 50 minutes to my commute each day. Additionally the boot is locked into place so I can only access through the rear seats. The cambelt is also due to be replaced in February 2021. 


I commute about 75 miles a day (37 miles each way), but travel by train 80% of the time and drive the remaining 20%. With the pandemic and soon to be returning to work, I will be driving a lot more as I won’t feel comfortable using public transport. Commuting, combined with my usual private driving means I will be travelling approx 20-25k miles per year. 


On top of this, me and my partner are expecting our first child later this year, so I need a car I can rely on to drive us around (my partner doesn’t drive and has no intention of ever doing so), meaning we are a one car household. 


I’m not after a flashy car and I couldn’t care less what it looks like, I just want something reliable that I can keep for as many years as possible and run into the ground. This is leaning me towards a Dacia Sandero (essential trim). 


The cost of this model is £7995. I’ve read the standard engine on this model is slow and not great for motorway driving so it’s recommend to upgrade to a 0.9l turbo which brings the cost to £8,745. I see that there is a Bi-fuel option (Petrol & LPG) which is available for £9,095. Based on my mileage and assuming petrol prices go back up to around £1.25/L in the next few months, this would result in fuel savings of around £1000-£1200 per year, more than justifying the £350 upgrade cost. There is a station that offers LPG within 5 minutes of my house and also one I drive passed on route to work, so accessing LPG shouldn’t be an issue. 


The car has a big boot for its size which will be great for the pushchair / shopping etc and being a new car, should be reliable (backed up with the 3 year / 60,000 mile warranty). 


I’m after any advice on my plan / what people think of Dacias (I’m seeing more and more every time I look around) and any other tips etc. 


Thanks in advance!

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Replies

  • Ditzy_MitzyDitzy_Mitzy Forumite
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    I don't know a lot about Dacias, sorry, but I do know that they are Renaults underneath.  The engine you mention is a Renault unit.  Seeing that you haven't really got on with Renaults, buying another one seems counter intuitive.  You've got quite a healthy budget, you could get something far nicer than a Dacia Sandero for that second hand, a nice Focus or Golf or Merc even.
  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    As per above ... a Dacia is a Renault underneath. (Or, you could say that Renaults are Dacias underneath ... the engines and drive trains for both marques are made in the Renault/Dacia factory in Romania).

    As to the question of a new Dacia vs a 2nd hand other car ... we were in this same position last year. To get near the price of a new Dacia you had to go 3+ years old 2nd hand for other marques. In the end we opted for the Sandero SCE75 (1.0L non-turbo) in Comfort trim, with addition of electric rear windows, front centre armrest and boot liner. If you're doing motorway miles then the 0.9L turbo model would be better ... not that the SCE75 is bad, just it revs quite high ... 70 mph = 4k revs. (The 2007 Honda Jazz we had before was 1.2L and revved at 3k for 70 mph. I think the 0.9L turbo Sandero revs around 3k at 70).
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  • edited 26 May at 1:23PM
    AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    edited 26 May at 1:23PM
    Seeing that you haven't really got on with Renaults, buying another one seems counter intuitive.
    I don't think "haven't got on with" seems fair from the OP's description.

    They bought a (at the time) 12yo car, presumably on the basis of a very low mileage - 2k/year. On something like a Clio with an autobox, that'd scream to me "RUN AWAY". Prime Granny's-last-car fodder. And yet... they've covered the thick end of 10k/year in it with niggles. The RAC have been out repeatedly... We don't know what those issues were, but usually once you get away from the initial period after purchase, that's simply poor maintenance. And yet, despite that, it's still done 10k/year, year-in-year-out, and it's now 18yo. Can't ask for a lot more than that.

    Doubling the mileage in the future definitely suggests this is a good time to change, though. Would I buy a brand spankin' entry-level car to spend that much time in? No. I'd buy something big and comfy and already past the steep bit of the depreciation. But I understand the need for ongoing maintenance on a car for it to be reliable...

    It may be worth remembering, though, that at 3yr/60k, and 20-25k/year, the manufacturer warranty may run out of mileage six months before it runs out of time.
  • virginblue4virginblue4 Forumite
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    I don't know a lot about Dacias, sorry, but I do know that they are Renaults underneath.  The engine you mention is a Renault unit.  Seeing that you haven't really got on with Renaults, buying another one seems counter intuitive.  You've got quite a healthy budget, you could get something far nicer than a Dacia Sandero for that second hand, a nice Focus or Golf or Merc even.
    I have nothing against Renault, the issues I’ve had have been more related to age than anything else. I’d prefer to stay away from 2nd hand cars ideally. 

    DoaM said:
    As per above ... a Dacia is a Renault underneath. (Or, you could say that Renaults are Dacias underneath ... the engines and drive trains for both marques are made in the Renault/Dacia factory in Romania).

    As to the question of a new Dacia vs a 2nd hand other car ... we were in this same position last year. To get near the price of a new Dacia you had to go 3+ years old 2nd hand for other marques. In the end we opted for the Sandero SCE75 (1.0L non-turbo) in Comfort trim, with addition of electric rear windows, front centre armrest and boot liner. If you're doing motorway miles then the 0.9L turbo model would be better ... not that the SCE75 is bad, just it revs quite high ... 70 mph = 4k revs. (The 2007 Honda Jazz we had before was 1.2L and revved at 3k for 70 mph. I think the 0.9L turbo Sandero revs around 3k at 70).
    Are you happy with your choice? How many miles are you driving in it? Any issues?

    Yes, I’m thinking of you with the bi-fuel option for the amount of money I’ll save in fuel. 

    AdrianC said:
    Seeing that you haven't really got on with Renaults, buying another one seems counter intuitive.
    I don't think "haven't got on with" seems fair from the OP's description.

    They bought a (at the time) 12yo car, presumably on the basis of a very low mileage - 2k/year. On something like a Clio with an autobox, that'd scream to me "RUN AWAY". Prime Granny's-last-car fodder. And yet... they've covered the thick end of 10k/year in it with niggles. The RAC have been out repeatedly... We don't know what those issues were, but usually once you get away from the initial period after purchase, that's simply poor maintenance. And yet, despite that, it's still done 10k/year, year-in-year-out, and it's now 18yo. Can't ask for a lot more than that.

    Doubling the mileage in the future definitely suggests this is a good time to change, though. Would I buy a brand spankin' entry-level car to spend that much time in? No. I'd buy something big and comfy and already past the steep bit of the depreciation. But I understand the need for ongoing maintenance on a car for it to be reliable...

    It may be worth remembering, though, that at 3yr/60k, and 20-25k/year, the manufacturer warranty may run out of mileage six months before it runs out of time.
    Thanks for your reply. Yes, I had considered getting something else, but the draw of a new car and having the increased reliability and warranty really is a massive draw for me. Do you know much about extended warranties and if they are worth it, or do you just get fobbed off with being told it’s wear and tear?

    Most of the Clio problems have been coil pencils which every RAC driver has told me is a common fault with these. They haven’t been expensive to sort and to be honest I should have just bought one or two and kept them in the boot to change myself, but it was always one of those thing that I kept saying I’d do and never did!

    Overall, the car has been pretty good. Just after something more reliable that I can keep for a good 5+ years (hopefully longer). 
  • GoudyGoudy Forumite
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    I've had a Dacia Sandero Stepway 0.9 until recently. (just changed it for a new Clio auto)
    Yes they are cheap and there's plenty of space in them, but the handling and ride are pretty rough. There's little sound or vibration insulation and the suspension is very basic so you feel everything and they can wallow around corners.

    Dacia have yet to hear about egronmonics, there's nowhere for your left foot, gear lever a touch too far away, switches down by the handbrake. I hated the seats, when you combine them with the rolly polly suspension you always feel you're about to fall out of them on the slightest of bends.

    I had mine a year and it was totally reliable, but the little 0.9 engine and 5 speed gearbox aren't well matched.
    The motor has little torque unless you constantly stir the gears and mash the throttle. The little motor has trouble pulling 5th unless you really wind it up and the slightest incline or if you slow just a touch, you are sawing away again at the gear lever, it becomes a chore, particularity in traffic, I found myself swearing loudly as the slightest hint of a brake light in front as it meant stirring the cogs again and the change action is fairly horrid as well.

    The motor is 3 cylinders and when it's cold is sounds and feels like it's hammering on the firewall as it wobbles about, it's pretty unpleasant.`
    I believe the diesel is far better bet.

    For the money you are looking at spending, I would look at the Toyota Yaris.
    You should get the remainder of it's five year warranty, they are pretty bomb proof and if you push the boat out a little more, you might be able to find a Hybrid.
  • daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    We had a Smart forfour with the 0.9t, as above it wasn't the best. The power did come in a lump due to the turbo and you needed to keep it spinning to get anywhere, which meant mpg suffered.

    The turbo failed at 15000, we had done 5,000 of those miles,we weren't alone as others reported similar.

     We swapped it for a 1.5 Yaris which is a much better car all round.
  • LeeUKLeeUK Forumite
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    If it were me I'd rather spend that money on a decent comfy spacious used car that is a couple of years old rather than a brand new basic !!!!!! box.
  • knightstyleknightstyle Forumite
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    Looking for value, comfort and reliability I would go for a two year old Dacia Logan, under 20k miles. £7.5k or less from dealer with warranty etc.
  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    The Sandero is no beauty queen, but compared to the fugly Logan it's Miss World. (Which is only a problem when you're not sitting inside it). :D
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  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    The Sandero and Logan are the same car - they just differ at the back.
    Sandero - short overhang, hatch. Logan - long overhang, boot or estate.
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