I’m thinking it might be time to upgrade my car at some stage soon.
Some people turn them over every few years. Not me — I’ve been driving a 2000 model Astra hatchback since 2008, almost nine years. The previous car was a 1993 Magna, which I had from 1998 to 2008.
Of course, I drive far less than the average person.
In fact it’s common for the car to not leave the driveway for almost a week at a time.
If we had car share in my area, I’d be seriously considering it. But we don’t, and with weekend PT (other than north-south on the trains) being lacklustre, it’s still needed.
With my sons now moving towards learning to drive, and the Astra nearing 17 years old, I think it’s time to consider an upgrade.
The other big reason? My mechanics told me at the last service a few weeks ago that the next one would be a biggie.
So, if I’m upgrading to a “new” secondhand car, what should I buy?
Car size — probably similar. I want something reasonably economical, and easy to park. A 5 door hatch has been good. Though it needs to be not too squishy in the back seats.
Safety — the prospect of my offspring driving makes me think now is a good time to move to a five-star safety rating, so it would need to be a reasonably recent model.
Goes without saying — aircon, power windows, remote locking, cruise control, all those modern conveniences.
Some kind of modern music connectivity would be nice (though not essential) — who’d have thought a CD player in the car would ever seem old hat?
Auto or manual? Mostly I like driving a manual, but sometimes it’s a pain. The boys started out happy to learn on a manual, but early lessons have proved frustrating — the mysterious workings of the clutch are holding them back from learning everything else. So I’m leaning towards an Automatic, and later they can learn manual driving.
Price — I’m thinking up to about $15K.
Of course hopefully I can probably trade-in or sell the Astra. Private sale might actually be a bit of a chore, given the need to get a Roadworthy. Theoretically it’s worth about $3-4000, though it’s probably not in the best shape. Not that it’s been in any prangs, but it’s aging, and if the mechanic is warning me of costs to come, the best I might get is a couple of thousand from a dealer trade-in.
(I lost the handbook during a service last year, which was annoying. The mechanic swore blind they didn’t have it, but I always put it on the passenger seat when I take it in, and it didn’t show up anywhere at home… until, relief! Months later they rang back to say it had turned up again!)
Toyota Corolla — apparently October 2012 onwards gets a 5-star safety rating. There seem to be quite a few around the $12-15,000 mark.
Hyundai i30 (2015 onwards gets 5-stars, which might price it too high for my budget).
Prius or Mazda 3 would suit but are probably out of my price range.
Any other suggestions?
The real challenge: can I get it done before the rego expires in August? (With a multitude of other things happening, perhaps not.)
- Why does the default search on drive.com.au not filter by location? Do they really think it’s useful for the default results to include cars that might be thousands of kilometres away?
- Carsales.com.au isn’t much better. Start entering criteria in the quick search option; realise you want to filter by age of car and need to go to the Advanced criteria, and it wipes everything you entered so far!