I need to replace my car. I've had the current one for about 9 years, and it's starting to get rust spots (which I've had treated). I have two choices at this point, change cars whilst the old one is still basically okay - or run it into the ground. The thing is, I can do without the expense of a change. Couldn't everyone? However, it's at the point when I really should make a change... or wait.

It'd be nice to make a change, it won't hurt to find out, and I wouldn't want inertia to decide the question for me.

There are two things which I can't get excited about, cars and mobile phones. Both seem to be things that are fundamentally pricey for what they offer. What I want from a car is a decent fuel economy, a reasonable acceleration (not too bothered about top speed, as long as I can get to the limits) and headroom. I don't understand it when people pay tens of thousands for what, to me, seem small gains - the difference between walking and driving is obvious. The difference between driving a car that can do 70mph and a car that can do 150 but is not allowed to go above 70mph doesn't seem to be worth an extra grand, let alone 10 grand. What I want from a phone is a cheap contract, and ideally a data plan (though I don't have one now)... but 30 quid a month for that?

I simply don't understand the 'new year/new phone' or 'new car' mindset, it just seems.... wasteful, and the thought of going to look at cars is something that fills me with boredom, the the sense that someone is about to try and rip me off. It'd be nice if I didn't have to find out about financing at the same time!

If capital costs were lower, I'd go electric, most of my journeys are less than 20 miles (and I don't use the car unless it's more than a couple of miles as a rule) and the savings in running costs would pay for car hire for the occasional long journey. Unfortunately right now, the capital cost is prohibitive.

So, these are the requirements:

  • Decent headroom (I'm tall in torso).
  • Decent financing.
  • Not a 'family' car, but I wouldn't be averse to rear doors.
  • Reasonable fuel economy.
  • Don't need it to be 'sporty', as long as it isn't dawdling getting up to speed.
  • Dealers that don't look like they'd cause oil slicks if they went into the sea.

Decent headroom shouldn't mean a 'big car', I've had a Ford Ka for 9 years, and found it to be pretty good except for the small boot... and I find it more roomy (for the head) than some higher end German cars I've been in.

Before that a Ford Sierra (changed when engine started to go). That had electric windows. This was a bigger car, and I did like that - but I didn't miss it.

Before that I had an MG metro (changed when it started to have rust issues).

What next? Kia? Skoda? What should I be looking at, car people?