First, hello there!
I had the misfortune a few weeks ago of being wiped out on the motorway driving a Fiat Panda - a women pulled out in front of me, I had quite a nasty crash and as an upshot the Panda is currently not looking particularly recognisable as a car. Insurance write-off, needing to look for a new car with a budget of £3000 tops.
I'm 24 and a teacher, no kids or anything, so immediately looked at Focuses, Fiestas, Micras (the horror), Astras (almost died of boredem just looking at them), Citroen C3s, Corsas.....after a few days trawling Autotrader it dawned on me just how drab these mainstream borewagons are. Thing is, choosing anything more daring inevitably leads you to check on whatcar or parkers for reliability reports, then sigh and go back to looking at Ford Fiestas.
At one point I just half-heartedly checked Alfa Romeo and was astounded at how affordable the 147 is. From this point on, I'm in love. I printed out endless pictures of them and showed them to people. I read up on them, I just developed a totally irrational love affar then & there.
So yeah, I've discovered a 2001 147 with 80k on the clock for £1999.
2001 ALFA ROMEO 147 1.6 TS Lusso
I'm now ridiculously tempted to completely go against the advice of everyone - parents, even my girlfriend, and seriously look into buying this. I'm really worried though, because although I'd class myself as a car (and Alfa) enthusiast, I'd be getting a car that's far higher mileage than ideal, far higher insurance group, potentially far more expensive to run. I've read up on the Cambelt change, the importance of full service history (which this has) etc, but I guess it's the mileage that really concerns me. At 80k I'd be worried that it's getting close to the dreaded 100, and with only a limited knowledge of the nuts and bolts of cars, would worry that it'd start to disintegrate, even that the mpg wasn't badly affected by the high miles/wear and tear?
If anyone could offer any advice on what to look out for when viewing it, what to look for in the service history and the general viability of buying & running an 80k 147 when you're not exactly rich, that would be awesome and I'd probably send you flowers or something.
My parents especially are incredibly practical about stuff like this and would choose a Skoda over one of these any day because it's not 'sensible'. I just figure - I don't want to be sensible, I want to enjoy driving. But I don't want it to be a total headache either.