11 August 2013

Fancy a change

Going on the hunt for the next Definitely Motoring fleet car...

I HAVE owned my Peugeot 206 for around 18 months by now. But now, I actually fancy a change of wheels. Really? Well yeah...I do in fact.

I think I've already realised that I can't keep the same car for too long. The longest I've owned a car for is two years and that was my old Ford Ka. On average, most people own their cars between 3 and 5 years. 

There's not much wrong with the Peugeot, so that's not the reason I want to be parting with it in the near future. Throughout the time I've had the 206, it's served me well and very much provided some fun and hassle free motoring.

Under my ownership, all the 206 needed was general maintenance to keep it going. That included replacing parts due to wear and tear - you need to remember that this is a 12 year old motor. Parts that were replaced and fitted were: tyres (at the front), brakes, exhaust back box and a handbrake cable. Prior to this, the Peugeot had its MOT and passed. It's due another MOT next month. Yikes! That's coming up quickly. So is the service that will be due after that.

So what have I lined up as my potential next car?

As I'm starting to get bored of my 206. I have been shortlisting cars that could potentially be the replacement for the Pug. Like before, I'm not getting a car on finance and will be on a modest budget for my next purchase.

The one car that I have really been keen on the idea of getting, is a Ford Focus.

I'm looking at getting an original Focus (pictured), which looks to be a good choice for me. Firstly, I think the sharp lines and the rakish profile still looks modern. Along with its rival, the fourth generation Volkswagen Golf, the Focus is one of the C-Segment hatchbacks that haven't dated quickly like the Vauxhall Astra and the Toyota Corolla. Claude Lobo's designs on "New Edge" Fords from the late 1990s and the early 2000s design wise have aged well.

Aesthetics isn't the only reason I want a Focus. It's also a car that's been recommended for keen drivers. From the motoring press to owners of the mid-range Ford, it has been highly rated for its sharp handling. I am one of those who'd just like to go out of a drive for the sake of doing it. I am one of those people that do genuinely enjoy driving.

Furthermore, the Focus is not just form, there's also function too as it's a practical family hatchback. With plenty of boot and interior space. Which will always be handy for carrying passengers, luggage, shopping, trips to the skip - all the other important things.

The original Focus was a huge success for Ford. In fact, it was Britain's best selling car for the six years it was in production from 1998-2004. With the age they are and how many are still are on the road, that means I shouldn't get the first one I see. I can afford to be choosy on which Focus I want and they will be cheap to buy.

There's more good news. I got an insurance quote and that a Focus is cheaper to insure than the Peugeot I currently own - and that was a 1.6 Zetec model. Surely that's a good enough reason for me to get a Focus don't you think?

The Focus looks to be an attractive proposition to me. Reliability has been good and being a Ford, they should be relatively simple and inexpensive to own as well. Unlike the Ka I previously owned, they are a lot less prone to rusting. Anyway, I'll need to start saving up for now for my new set of wheels. It'll be a matter of time when I'll part with my Peugeot 206 and probably have a Focus on my driveway.

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