Buying first car - 2007 Astra 1.6 with 6 prev. Owners?

NS1
NS1 Posts: 7
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My budget is really tight, I saw the above car somewhere for about 600 quid which looks pretty tidy and has a wing mirror cover missing and quite a few scratches and scuffs which doesn't bother me as it probably won't be kept for longer than a year and I know these cars quite well and they always seemed pretty reliable and decent to drive (as far as a passenger can tell). 

They say there is service history but I'm unsure how far back it goes yet. Apparently it drives ok and has done about 120k miles. It's also petrol.

Is there any other questions I should be asking? It's sold through an online seller (with an actual forecourt) and can be delivered.

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  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,429
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    NS1 said:
    My budget is really tight, I saw the above car somewhere for about 600 quid which looks pretty tidy and has a wing mirror cover missing and quite a few scratches and scuffs which doesn't bother me as it probably won't be kept for longer than a year and I know these cars quite well and they always seemed pretty reliable and decent to drive (as far as a passenger can tell). 

    They say there is service history but I'm unsure how far back it goes yet. Apparently it drives ok and has done about 120k miles. It's also petrol.

    Is there any other questions I should be asking? It's sold through an online seller (with an actual forecourt) and can be delivered.
    For a car of that pedigree, you really need to be seeing it and test driving it before purchase - ideally take someone who is knowledgeable about cars with you.

    For a Dealer to sell a car at £600, they need to have bought that at £200 or less.

    At that kind of budget level, you are really looking at if the car works and has long MOT, that is as much as you can hope for.  A private buy might be best.  Do you have any local FB groups or similar where you could post that you are looking for a first car and see what comes up?
  • Cloth_of_Gold
    Cloth_of_Gold Posts: 701
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    edited 9 October 2023 at 7:43PM
    I'm certainly no expert on such things but a couple of things spring to mind, especially if you are on a tight budget. When does the MOT run out? If it's in the next few months you will have the cost of that (not great in itself) but, potentially, the cost of putting right any issues that would cause it to fail. It might pass or have only something cheap that needs fixing, but on the other hand it might not.  Also, what's the tread depth of the tyres? If they are near the legal limit you will have to factor in buying new ones soon (depending on how much mileage you do).
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,234
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    If you can find a £600 car with 12 months mot then there are probably non-mot problems that you will either have to fix or live with.


  • Also - do a forum search on 15 year old second hand cars and the type of problems that can occur
  • facade
    facade Posts: 6,902
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    edited 10 October 2023 at 7:31AM
    Make sure it has a full MOT. Check for advisories on rust to the body structure.
    Check that all the dash warning lights come on when you turn on the ignition, and go out again when the engine starts. especially the ABS, seatbelts, and engine management lights.
    Make sure that the tyres have a decent tread and that the lights work.

    Test drive and make sure all the gears work clutch is good  and it doesn't blow smoke.
    Check the oil is at the right level (the 1.6 can burn oil, and the level goes down quickly)
    Look underneath for major oil leaks.


    Don't believe anything that starts with "It just needs........" or "A new one is only ......".

    What you see is what you get. If something is important to you make sure it is working before you buy.

    Expect to get 12 months out of it, if it passes the next MOT for under a couple of hundred £ you are winning.


    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
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