Advice for first time Spider buyer please - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Just my 2c, but I had the Spider LE 2.2JTS when I had just turned 22, although I had owned cars and been the main driver on the policy since 17. Anyway, I was able to get a very reasonable 750 through direct line and bare in mind that was a new car, so the value the insurance was being based on, was much higher. Point being, search around because it doesn't have to cost a fortune! I put my Dad as a named driver and that hugely reduced the premium, but I should mention I had an excess in the region of 750 - ouch.

On the car itself, I loved the feeling of driving with the roof down (still miss it) and cruising across Europe was a total joy. The car just brings a smile to your face and I don't think any convertible under 40k can compare looks wise. I did however, have big problems with the roof intermittently working, once whilst it started raining - not an enjoyable experience. I would check that this is sound by opening and closing it quite a few times, "hood failure" I think was the message I got. Also as this was my only car, it became very frustrating in the winter, such as the doors being very difficult to open due to the auto-dropping windows. Something to consider if this will be your sons only car.

Besides the roof problem, do not take what the MPG figures say, as gospel. I was averaging about 27mpg on a run and on shortish journeys, was only able to get about 22mpg. It's not cheap to run. Also bare in mind that if you go for the 19" wheels - a must IMO, then the tyres firstly don't last long (c.6-8k) and secondly, were about 220 a wheel.

Apart from a few niggles and the high running costs, I would take another one in a second (sadly I need 4 seats for work) - purely for the looks, the way it made me smile and even though the 2.2 isn't the quickest, it has a gorgeous sound on a sunny day with the roof down!
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I am the son, my dad has just pointed me towards this thread.

Moel, I realise it is a pretty silly car to be getting as a first time car but that is definately a lot of the appeal! The full situation isn't on this thread but basically the next few years are the only time I will be able to afford/get away with having a car like this due to my career and other commitments so I thought I would grasp the opportunity, before I have to worry about housing costs and all that exciting stuff (and no I don't live at home). You can only live the dream once!

So I have done a bit of research, obviously I don't know much or anything about living with a car but I better make my own mistakes first and then give up on fancy cars and buy a Volvo. The Alfa Spider is definately the best car I have found to suit what i wanted/can afford so we were hoping for some advice on the small issues, which this thread has been really helpful with thanks, and the best places to find a good deal.

I am pretty certain about the 2.2 so I am keeping my eyes open now for a good deal and hopefully can find some insurance that I can afford!

Thanks for all the help.
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Hi STU77,
Eveyones free to make his/her mistakes car wise and an Alfa Spider is a good mistake to make!

I have owned my spider for about 2 years and have loved every minute. Sadly i dont enought mileage to really justify the cost of tax/insurance/warrenty so it might be going in the spring/summer..............

Anyways, what problems have I had...........

Not long after getting the car the gearbox got a bit notchy, like the syncromesh was going.
This was changed under warrenty and now has a nice clean manly action. Whilst they were changing the box they did break the lamba sensor but this was soon fixed.

Also around that time the hill holder switch on the clutch went but it could have all been to do with changing the box.

The last service I reported wind noise from the near side and they replaced the roof seal on that side (not realy much better, but ha).

Thats it for tech problems, now for the problems living with it ...............

The handling was a bit off untill I fitted an underbonet sway bar. This is a must if you want to enjoy the car on country lanes.

The lights were poor out of the box but have been adjusted to point down the road a bit better.

No roof control on the remote. Fixed with a 'smart top module'!

Windows/doors freeze in winter. This is fixed with a bit of silicon oil on the rubbers.

Oh and not enough dry days to put the roof down

Just to make getting around a bit easyier I fitted a pioner sat nav unit and just for the hell of it illuminated sills as well.

To sum up, I have loved every minute of my time with the car and only wish I could have driven it more. It might not be a sports car handling wise but it is the best looking cruiser on the road.
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I'd say hurry up and buy it, but you may already be too late. The best time to buy a soft top is in the winter as obviously they are less desirable a that time of year...
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advice , buyer , spider , time

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