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When looking for a starter car you are looking for the following things:
- Cheap to run (low fuel consumption) - Easy to drive (steering etc) - Comfort (Driver) - Space (mainly driver) - Performance - Low insurance and tax - Durability - Safety - Price
Citroen Saxo 1.1
Cheap to run:
The Citroen Saxo 1.1 was my first starter car, after passing my test. I can hapily say that it is cheap to run... With the exception of staying below 60mph. However, even so, it is not inefficient above 60mph, it just uses much more fuel than other cars at 60mph or above. Its top speed is also not attractive, but as a starter car, you are not as worried about that.
The tank costs around £50 to fill up from near empty (used to be £40). Unfortunatly times are more costly these days with fuel. None the less, this is still relatively cheap.
This car seems to go on forever with one tank of fuel when going around 30-50mph from place to place (good in cities).
Easy to Drive:
The Citroen Saxo 1.1, although without ABS, is pretty easy to drive and get use to. It is very light and mobile. The best part of it being small, is that it is very good down narrow lanes and cities etc. I had many close encounters down narrow lanes but squeezed through.
The Citroen Saxo 1.1 is surprisingly comfortable for a decent amount of time. I had driven many a time going for 3-5 hours at a time without being uncomfortable. The drivers and passenger seat is especially comfortable. This may vary with interior design.
Along with comfort, the space for the driver and front passenger is more than enough... the problem comes for the back passengers which is less spacious, especially with a long front passenger.
The performance of the Citroen Saxo 1.1 is relatively 'nippy' around 20-50mph, and lacks in the top speed ranges... but will eventually reach 70. As a light vehicle, it doesn't require much power to get moving.
Insurance and Tax:
The road tax cost for the Citroen Saxo 1.1 is relatively low, just over £110 as I last recall. Insurance is hard to say due to policies and drivers history etc. However, as a small engine, the insurance is expected to be relatively low.
The durability of my Citroen Saxo was outstanding... And believe me, I gave it a seeing to... only the basic parts needed replacing, and what did was easy to replace...and cheap. As I have basic mechanical skills, replacing parts required was easy and relatively quick. If it wasnt for driving it off-road, I would not have needed to replace as much.
As a cheap car to buy and run, and the design, it is not the safest of vehicles. However, as a starter car it is safe enough. It is equipt with an airbag and passes the rules and regulations. As a car with a low top speed, you will not be going to worry about that.
Ultimately price... This is a really cheap car to buy (managed to buy mine for £950 with new MOT, CAM belt, tax, brake pads). You can easily pick one up for £600 and in working order and MOT.
I hope this was a help, mainly to students looking for their first starter car! :)