Pur­chas­ing a small au­to­matic

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

Do you have any ad­vice on buy­ing a small used au­to­matic for my daugh­ter? Her cur­rent el­derly VW Polo has had it! Fol­low­ing the recent ar­ti­cle in CM on the Honda Jazz, this is on my list, along with a Skoda Fabia or an­other Polo. We have about £4000 to spend. Ge­orge Smith

The au­to­matic ve­hi­cles avail­able for around £4000 are a 2010 Honda Jazz, 2011 Suzuki Alto, 2012 Vaux­hall Corsa, as well as the Polo, Skoda and SEAT op­tions. The fact that the Honda Jazz is slightly older than the oth­ers is a tes­ta­ment to the all-round re­li­a­bil­ity of the Honda name.

I would be wary of the Vaux­hall Corsa Easytronic. While it’s a good and re­li­able ve­hi­cle, it does not per­form like a con­ven­tional au­to­matic and does re­quire a cer­tain driv­ing style. I would not avoid it al­to­gether, but do give it a long test-drive to en­sure that your daugh­ter would be happy with it.

My per­sonal pick would be the Honda Jazz, but with any used ve­hi­cle, the im­por­tant points are to check the ser­vice his­tory and pre­vi­ous own­er­ship. Give it a lengthy test-drive to en­sure that the driv­ing po­si­tion is com­pat­i­ble with your pos­ture. Also check out the pre­vi­ous MOT his­tory on www.gov.uk/

check-mot-his­tory, which will not only tell you any pre­vi­ous fail­ure points, but will also let you know what ad­vi­sories have been noted by the tester.

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