Car Mechanics (UK)

Sum­mer of ’69

- FIAT S.p.A. · Fiat Tipo

Al­low me to go slightly off mes­sage here. I know Car Me­chan­ics is all about buy­ing, fix­ing and run­ning used cars, but its ethos is also about saving money. Which leads me to the cur­rent deal Fiat are run­ning on their Tipo. It is alarm­ingly good value. At the time of writ­ing – and right in the mid­dle of 69-plate fever – you can buy a 1.4 five-door hatch­back for £10,795. No hag­gling. No trav­el­ling. All the kit you could ex­pect or rea­son­ably need. With a three-year war­ranty of sorts – if you want three years of main dealer ser­vic­ing (and I would) add £199 to those fig­ures.

The deal my lo­cal Fiat dealer was of­fer­ing was £179 down, £179 PCM with an APR of 5.9. That’s not far off a good per­sonal loan rate, but the thing to re­mem­ber with proper car fi­nance is that you can hand it back if you get a rogue ex­am­ple or you just get sick of it. Add the ser­vic­ing of­fer and that means £185 per month. What do you want for nowt?

I know some peo­ple have it in for Fi­ats, but this has never been my ex­pe­ri­ence from the days of the orig­i­nal Tipo right up to the lat­est Panda.

Twenty-one years ago to the week, I was sell­ing Rover 214Sis for this price and that was only be­cause Rover had given us a strong in­cen­tive in or­der to mop up dis­placed Metro cus­tomers. Is it any won­der there is no mar­gin in new cars any­more?

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