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Small Cars- Cheap To Run BULLSHIT!

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A lot of fun can be had by thrashing the living daylights out of a little car. This fun can also be had without breaking the law, sometimes. The fun can also be gleaned without it costing a fortune in fuel and then when it's time to move on finding a buyer for a small car is relatively easy.

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See I think that's the other problem with modern small engined cars, the weight.

 

Ok so a mk2 Clio/Corsa B/Fiesta mk5 etc would have been epically cheap on fuel and do much better mpg but that's because they weighed the same as an empty crisp packet, modern small cars weigh loads more due to buyers demanding all the mod cons normally only reserved for night cars, plus all the safety shite of reinforced crumple zones, half a dozen airbags at least, abs, traction control, eba, ebd etc etc

 

And it's only going to get worse as manufacturers have all decided their stop gap until they figure out how to get a decent range from electric cars is forced induction/supercharging of small block engines so they produce the same bhp and torque etc as bigger engines while being cleaner and apparently better on the environment, but they are under much more stress reducing mpg and increasing unreliability, don't fancy owning a 1.4 TSi 170 bhp Golf for that very reason.

 

So now that you know that new cars are shit,  are you going to sack off the modern for a twenty year old 1.2 Clio to find out how much better it is to drive?

 

Yes the rainwater will get in and the oil and electrical smoke will get out but the rest of us put up with that.

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I'm getting 100 miles to £10 in one of the biggest cars I've ever owned, certainly the roomiest. It runs on 195/65 x 15 tyres, which are basically the new 155 x 13 and spares are fairly cheap when it needs them, which isn't that often. Best of all, because it's an ugly, unpopular French barge with an undeserved reputation for unreliability it cost me £200 nearly 2 years ago. It's been through two MOTs with me, at an average cost of about £10.

 

6935293720_906776d573_z.jpg

 

Once I'd got the LPG bug I did consider running a proper mingebag car on gas but I sobered up.

 

Incidentally the scrappie was already booked to HIAB it from that spot when I bought it.

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From all the cars I have owned, the best big/small compromise was the Peugeot 306.  It's small enough to park anywhere and big enough to fit the family in. and on country lanes it corners like its on rails. in td flavour its also quick and economical. Bloody superb machines, I vaguely miss mine.

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From all the cars I have owned, the best big/small compromise was the Peugeot 306.  It's small enough to park anywhere and big enough to fit the family in. and on country lanes it corners like its on rails. in td flavour its also quick and economical. Bloody superb machines, I vaguely miss mine.

 

After my 2CV, I think my 306 remains the next car I've done most miles in. Over 40,000 before I inevitably got bored with it. Definitely a record, by quite some margin (think I did about 10,000 myself in the stripey BX). Not too big and rides/handles really well. 

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A lot of fun can be had by thrashing the living daylights out of a little car. This fun can also be had without breaking the law, sometimes. The fun can also be gleaned without it costing a fortune in fuel and then when it's time to move on finding a buyer for a small car is relatively easy.

 

I agree with Will on this one, my festering 1996 almera which cost me £400 2 years ago and has needed nothing more than home servicing and oil changes has returned 45+ MPG over 22,000 miles of motoring. I drive 500 miles a week on single-carriageway A-roads (A32 and A31 for those who care) which alternate between national speed limit and 30mph zones and I regularly take it to 5k rpm before shifting gears.

 

Its a cheap car to buy, own and fill up and is a hoot to drive because 5k rpm in 2nd is 40mpg, and 5k rpm in 3rd is 60mph, meaning you can razz along in it knowing a speeding ticket is pretty difficult to acquire. It will also lug the family's collected tat in relative comfort on motorways when the need arises. I have considered chopping it in several times but since there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it to my knowledge, is cheap to run and actually quite fun when required there isnt anything that I can find which ticks all those boxes for under a couple of grand whenever I bother to look.

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I just have the dilemma that SWMBO ultimately finds the 405 estate too bulky and therefore asked me to trade it for something more compact.

Thus I have started to look into that small car thing for the first time in my life (I can't be bothered with small cars and rather cycle) and my conclusion so far is that small cars are an expensive luxury one simply has to be willing to shell out a shitload of moolah for, in a similar way as to be willing to buy a first class ticket for a train.

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I have to say the economy figures do sometimes make me drive even harder, as it's 'mentally' cheap (as in I know it's economical) to run my car, so I sort of tell myself I might as well hammer it. So that just wastes more fuel, I suppose. 

Surely another factor though is the type of car you actually want: If you enjoy a fast, responsive engine and do a lot of motorway/high speed work then a shitty n/a diesel isn't going to be any good. If you're not arsed about speed (and dare I say enjoyable motoring) and just want something economical to bumble round in, then a thirsty petrol car is probably not going to be any good to you.

 

I know I always twat on about my 306, but it's a pretty horrible car with one redeeming feature: economy. It's hopeless as a sports car, never attracts 'nice car mate' comments and my missus and kids think it's embarrassing. Obviously I didn't buy it for it's performance or it's ability to attract quality flange, so it matters not a jot. 

I don't think I obsess about economy as such, but I'm still determined to get to 5,000 miles before I put diesel in it again, and I'm only about 245 miles short of 3,000 so far. It's definitely cheaper to run than any petrol car I've had so that's all that matters to me.

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As the resident tightwad I would like to say in my defence that perhaps it is just that I have different priorities now. My mileage is not racked up by visiting retail parks bargain hunting (I avoid anywhere were there are other people unless I absolutely have to), it's mostly to and from work, site visits and duty visits to friends/relations. I have cut down by about 5k miles a year as I have become even more anti-social. At the moment any money that I manage to save is used to overpay my mortgage while the interest rates are low and to try to put some away in the hope that I will be able to give up working before I die. (Ok I did pay over the odds recently to buy one of my old cars back, but that was a necessary expense)

 

My priorities were not always this way, I've done the not bothering about fuel consumption for years, perhaps if I had not spent so much on fuel and cars I would have been able to retire by now, but I enjoyed it at the time.

 

No car is that cheap to run these days, it depends on your age and circumstances. Lets just say each to their own.

 

Oh and the few times I travel by train I admit that I will pay the extra to go first class, mainly because there is less chance of having to sit next to anyone.

 

 

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Any cheaply bought old coal burner will cost less to run than its petrol counterpart, no matter what the size.

But they are as much fun to drive as listening to the upcoming New Year's speech of David Cameonbrown or whichever fuckwit will deliver it this time.

Then there is the issue that they make active smoking a healthy pastime in comparison, which is reason enough for me to avoid them when I can.

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Running costs are all a combination of fuel, purchase price, depreciation (appreciation even) and maintenance.

I don't do a huge mileage on my everyday car so fuel isn't the primary concern but am currently averaging 27 to 31 mpg on the 3.2litre 24v automatic merc  - which isn't terrible over the 14,000miles I've now done in 20months. So, far it's been cheaper to run that my C5.

 

The 2CV will do 38 to 44 mpg every day of the year depending on load and wind direction :-). Current running costs minimal, but over the 17 years we've had it has probably now broken even by being worth 10x what it cost to buy.

 

The x1/9 is seemingly miracle powered and does up to 48mpg on shell's best - the motoring mags put it as 26! Just passed its 20th consecutive mot with no advisories it's probably worth half what was paid to the dealer in 1988.

 

My last daily was a C5 HPi which averaged 37.7 if driven by breathing heavily on the pedal. Cost me £4k at 3.5 years old - £15K depreciation in three years!! Sold it 50,000miles and six years later for £700.

 

The one before was a  2.5litre turbo diesel CX which would do 45mpg regardless of how you drove it. Cost about £500 a year in welding alone!

 

Before that was a 2.0litre CX which was about 32mpg. Didn't have it long enough to get real running costs as some moron wrote it off after a major service and bodywork - mile for mile, probably the most expensive car I've had.

 

The one thing I've realised with all cars though, is that they do a damned sight better on fuel before you find out how much fun they are when you put your foot down. Not sure there's a point to all this, apart from agreeing with the original point. Big, heavy, thirsty cars are not necessarily more expensive to run. And on that bombshell...

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I just said heck to it all.

 

I used an American philosophy, and it kinda works.

 

At 45 my car will return about UK 40 mpg. At 70 about 26-28. In city stop-start you might as well just drill a hole in the tank and let it pour out. But I don't do much stop-start and I do a lot of steady-speed cruising.

Seeing as my daily averages 18 ukmpg, 26 seems good. Especially from 5.7 litres hauling 4100 lbs about. 

 

It's not a small car. But, it does do a whole lot of fun things when you push the loud pedal. That by itself makes up 200% for any MPG shortcomings.

 

Horses for courses, definitely.

 

 

--Phil

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I just said heck to it all.

 

I used an American philosophy, and it kinda works.

 

At 45 my car will return about UK 40 mpg. At 70 about 26-28. In city stop-start you might as well just drill a hole in the tank and let it pour out. But I don't do much stop-start and I do a lot of steady-speed cruising.

Seeing as my daily averages 18 ukmpg, 26 seems good. Especially from 5.7 litres hauling 4100 lbs about. 

 

It's not a small car. But, it does do a whole lot of fun things when you push the loud pedal. That by itself makes up 200% for any MPG shortcomings.

 

Horses for courses, definitely.

 

 

--Phil

 

Plus, you pay buttons for fuel! INTERNETANGRYFACE

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Plus, you pay buttons for fuel! INTERNETANGRYFACE

 

 

$0.90 / litre for 87 (R+M)/2  (approx 91 RON)

 

I think maybe I could just about run my lawnmower on it without the pre-ignition blowing the head off.

 

 

--Phil

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Solid flywheel conversion time ... This is assuming it's a 5spd box, it may be different for 6spd.

G60 flywheel (s/hand ebay) and VR6 clutch from ECP or wherever.

Some bolts from VW:

Flywheel Bolts x6 - N90206103

Compression Plate Bolts x6 - N10101001

 

Cheaper than a new clutch and DMF ;)

Yep,

Its a 5 speeder, I was going down the SMF route due to the remap.....get it done when I get 5 mins! 

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