Need to get a car for the Mrs Advice needed

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Active Member
Dec 16, 2007
Hi guys, my Mrs has been driving a 99 Ka for the past couple of years and it is starting to get a bit worn, i think its going to start giving grief. On top of this she has just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, one of her symptons is a painful left foot which makes it difiicult for her to change gear.

So i think the time has come to look at a new car for her, which will help to cheer her up a bit as well. We are looking for something small, economical and cheap to run and automatic. We have a budget of 3k and would like to get something as new and low mileage as poss.

I was just wondering if there was anyone out there with any advice on the best options out there. I know most of us on here own MBs but there may be a few traders out there or indeed people with personal experience of the following.

Pug 206 1.4lx
Renault clio auto
Corsa auto, 1.2 or diesel (wouldnt consider the 1.0)
fiat punto auto 1.2
fiesta 1.4 auto

Im leaning towards the punto as there are some 53/04 plates out there with ac and city steering for 3200 with low mileage but im not sure about reliability of the car and gear box.

Some of the cars above have sequential gears like the fiat and corsa, but i think the rest have a more conventional standard auto box.

Thanks for any help guys as Im stumped on this one.

Just wondered what fellow Mb club members would consider the best option, i know its all subjective.

my thoughts...

I'd avoid the Fiat - unless it's under warranty, it's a fiat...
pug/renault - would be OK, but make sure you get a good deal
corsa - pretty uninvolving to own, which may make it a good buy!
fiesta - providing it's the mk6 then that is the best of the ones you've chosen i'd say

curve ball - also consider a Skoda Fabia 1.4 Auto - you can get 03/04 models with 40-50k on the clock, with A/C. Much better built than the above and providing you can live with the badge, you've essentially got a VW Polo for much less. :D

Oh, one last thing, try to narrow down to a top 3 then ring about for local dealers to see what they have and take them all for a drive. It may sound great on the phone/paper but until you've actually driven one...
I'd go with either the afore mentioned Skoda or a Nissan Micra. Nissan make good auto boxes and reliable, spacious cars.
The Jazz would also be worth considering, but I think you'll struggle to find one within budget unfortunately.
How about a newer Ka?
Silly question, but do they make a Ford Ka Auto? Never seen one myself!

I agree with dieselman. You could even get her a toyota starlet which has a 1 litre or a 1.3 litre (i think). Very reliable, cheap as hell and they have autoboxes too.
The Jazz would also be worth considering, but I think you'll struggle to find one within budget unfortunately.

Being a Honda fan I would agree, A 1400 Civic auto also being a good choice if you can find one - however I have a curve ball for you in the shape of a different Fiat

A new Fiat 500 - assuming its available as an Auto.
A good frind of mine had just got one for his wife on a 2 year PCP for about £115 a month. We worked out he would loose more in depreciation if he bought it new than he pays for it during his ownership.

Roger said:
Thought I'd share a few pics of the wife's new car.

It's a Fiat 500, it's only 1.2 (60 BHP) but is surpisingly entertaining to drive, just needs a bit more power.

Fiat are making an Arbath version which will be 1.4 turbo with 135 bhp, now that will be fun.

SD530615.jpg 500/SD530616.jpg 500/SD530617.jpg 500/SD530618.jpg

Funky interior: 500/SD530619.jpg

Rev counter inside speedo:


I dont normally like 'retro cars' (ie new mini and beetle) but I think Fiat got it spot on with the 500.


I'm cant remember what deposit if any he paid and he's currently away for a month or so, however it wasnt a lot
This way just defers the evil day for another 2 years, but all servicing and maintenance in that period is in the payments.

It may be worth looking at these options in the current difficult conditions as dealers seem to be doing exceptionally good deals from almost all manufacturers.
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3 grand would get you a nice A class (I can hear sharp intakes of breath from here).
Look for a LOW MILEAGE ONE OWNER example and you could be in for a treat. Auto examples tend to be driven easier. Being a higher roofline car means very easy access and exit form the drivers seat. And that could prove to be a bonus as she may find that a problem as time goes on (not wishing to be a prophet of doom). Just a thought.
My choice would be a Skoda Fabia or a Toyota Yaris. Both are head and shoulders above most of the competition in terms of packaging and reliability.
I know of one girl (well she's 60+ ;) ) who has MS. She has just bought her second Fiat Panda 1200 automatic . ( the dual logic automatic is a servo operated clutch type and not a "full" automatic) Her first car has been faultless ( Pandas and 500's are built in Tichy POLAND and have a much better reliability record than other Fiats) She likes its light controls and higher seating and roofline which make it easy to get in and out.
If you want a conventional autobox then the nissan micra or 1400 fabia is probably your best bet as has been said. The others are mainly CVT or sequential boxes.
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I would go for a Honda Jazz - but you will struggle to find one at that price.

Then a Toyota Yaris - lovely little cars..

If you go for the latest Nissan Micra - steer clear of the 1.0 litre ones they are prone to snap timing belts / chains - better to go for the bigger engine.

Good luck - now is a great buyers market..:rock:
If your wife has MS then she should be entitled to DLA and therefore could lease a brand new car thru Motability at favorable rates.
Nothing French or Italian unless you want trouble sooner rather than later:rolleyes: .

My wifes got anklosing spondylitis.

Used to have a bmw mini and like most small 2 door cars they are a pita to get in and out of due to the length of the door and when seated in the car the seatlbelt is so far back its a struggle to reach, she liked it but i hated the bloody thing:mad:

Shes now got a W203 and seems much happier with it

we've had quite a few Italian cars in the family over the last few years, A couple of Punto's, A Bravo, A Lancia, and an Alfa.

Not had a problem with any of them, so maybe their reputation of old has been overcome.
If your wife has MS then she should be entitled to DLA and therefore could lease a brand new car thru Motability at favorable rates.

I think its a case of how bad the MS is and what level of disability one is claiming ...
I think its a case of how bad the MS is and what level of disability one is claiming ...

Thanks for the replies chaps, To be honest there are so many cars out there which I hadnt even considered, but I dont like the sound of these semi auto things and prefer a good old auto.

I think we are leaning towards a yaris, 1.3 a/c quite tall car for access, and i think reasonably economical and reliable.

As far as the motability schemes and DLA go, you have to be quite severly disabled to actually get any of this.

We were only informed 2 weeks ago and at the moment the symptons are mild numbness/tingling and pains every now and again, they are sometimes constant sometimes come and go, being as MS is so unpredictable i want to get something trusty and reliable for here which is easy to drive, we are a long way off being eligable for any state benefits but you never know as MS is so unique to the individual but being a slow progressive disease I would say she is at least 5-10 years away before it starts to effect mobility significantly and even then in some cases it never progresses, so TBH we just dont know whats going to happen so the main thing is I just want her to feel comfy and confident driving her car which she uses everyday and whatever happens after that we will deal with as and when.

Thanks For the replies once again
Silly question, but do they make a Ford Ka Auto? Never seen one myself!


Good point Will. Sorry - I missed the requirement for auto. AFAIK the current Ka is manual only.

Given the new Ka (coming soon) is based on the Fiat Panda/500 platform, maybe there will be an auto option in the pipeline.

Maybe worth checking some lease deals? some very cheap cars brand new for not a lot of money. No worry about MOTs, warranty etc?

How about a smart car?

Oh and the new Twingo? or one of these..... (At last years Geneva Show)




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