Register Login
Shop4Parts - UK's largest online superstore for FIAT and Alfa Romeo parts
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 22-01-2019   #1
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

Hi all,

This is my first post. I ramble a bit (a LOT) so I apologise in advance, but Iíd really value your opinion! Sorry if itís in the wrong category.

Iím 18. Before you scoff at my madness, please read on! Iíve been offered a Fiat Coupe for a good price. I really love it. Not for the speed but the beauty of it. It drives well and looks in good order inside and out. Itís a low price so Iím a bit uncertain as to why, and I know that it definitely is not a first time buyer car. I spent over 6 hours (in one day!), researching insurance, viewed the car, and then spent another 2 hours or more researching insurance. Itís not gonna be possible for me to insure it yet... and still afford to live! But ever since I was little I was involved in classic car shows, up til my dad died in 2006. I shouldnít let my heart rule my head, but part of this is probably to do with delayed grief. Anyway.

My mum also likes the car and weíve got a plan: if we can store it in a garage for a few years (but take it out on mumís insurance a few times a year - so insure it for around 1,000 miles a year annually - so it doesnít deteriorate too much!), Iíll build up my no claims in a smaller car. This already stretches funds a bit (buying the Fiat and smaller car, as well as insurance for the small car and for me to contribute so mum can drive the Fiat) but weíre hoping it would also be a good project. Itís the first car thatís inspired me to want to pass my test and learn about cars and insurance - and to work for it! Probably because itís the first car Iíve just randomly fallen in love with and seen as Ďmy owní.

So: store in garage. Iíll try to learn how to fix it up, care for it, and will otherwise ensure itís serviced more regularly than people normally do for cars. Each year it should go out in good weather - hopefully every month or every few months. In the meantime I try to build up my no claims. Iíll earn for it, and at the end of 2-5 years, hope to have a nice Fiat to drive casually (not too regularly if it will endanger it!) when I can afford the insurance... or otherwise I hope that the value will at least be maintained. Last thing I want to do is get this car and then lose everything Iíve spent on it. Hopefully itíll maintain its value if I can care for it well enough? A bit of an investment if nothing else?

But ultimately I hope to learn from it (I know itís not an easy one to start on! But I like a challenge...), have it as an investment, partake in classic car shows, and perhaps one day Iíll be able to drive it! But it still seems like too much of a luxury to buy this car... Iíll hopefully be at uni studying physics soon, I must be mad! But itís such a tangible idea, and just about affordable. Itís the first thing thatís really motivated me to work and learn about cars more! Iíve always wanted to learn about cars but itís seemed too daunting. This feels more attainable. But I see the MASSIVE impracticalities. I just donít want to give up on it. I know thereís the Ďthereíll always be anotherí argument but... argh!

So far Iíve noted that the rear bump stops need replacing, thereís a few small patches of rust on the inside of the wheel arches*, the fibreglass at the back at the bottom has a patch of the paint thatís crackled off, and the rods to keep the bonnet up no longer hold it up... Iím hoping to learn to replace/fix/patch up these things on my own with mentoring from the internet and some family friends whoíve renovated bikes/cars etc. Before proceeding though, weíre going to see it again and have a closer look - with a mechanic too!

Sorry for the essay. I really, really do appreciate any advice. Please be aware though - my heart is set on it. My head says itís a bad idea, I know Iím young and have other things that I will actually *need*, but I really do love it. Iím normally very conscientious and careful with money, and tend to save up and spend it on specific, nice, practical items. But this is a bit of an anomaly.

Thanks again!

Amber
Likes Michael Dranfield liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides


Last edited by AmberKnownAsAsh; 22-01-2019 at 12:16.
AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 22-01-2019   #2
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Faringdon, Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 6,026
Thanks: 471
Trader Rating: 1
portland_bill has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

Italian cars generally tug at the heart. This can sometimes be a very bad thing if you buy a duff one. The Coupe is, sadly, one of the strongest pulls, but also potentially one of the most expensive if things start to go wrong. So many were thrashed and not cared for early in their lives, that they will suddenly become a money pit.
A good one though, will always bring a smile.

The first couple of years of production used 4cyl engines, with or without a turbo. Rarer, so parts might be more scarce, but possible cheaper to insure.
Then it moved to the 5cyl. Glorious noise from the engine, but physically takes up a lot of room in the engine bay. This makes maintenance more expensive, as everything is tight and takes longer to access. Officially a cambelt needs engine out, but it is possible to do in-situ, but does involve moving the engine, so an engine crane is still necessary. I think a clutch is also engine out, whereas most vehicles can be done with just gearbox removal.
A non-turbo should be cheaper to insure, and to maintain, and is quite brisk enough.
If it has had a recent cambelt and clutch, risks are lower.
Have a good browse in this section and read the issues other owners have had.

Cars deteriorate if not used. They wear if used. Always a difficult balance with a cherished car. If Mum could use it at least once a week, it is likely to work better. Mum would then be the majority driver, so no issues with insuring it in her name with you as named driver.

No-one can answer this for you. But try very hard to allow the head to rule and research fully, then some more. Good luck.
Thanks AmberKnownAsAsh thanked for this post
Likes AmberKnownAsAsh liked this post
__________________
13 years motor trade, 16 years motor industry. 14 years Driving Instructor & 7 years Fleet Trainer
Panda Alessi
portland_bill is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 22-01-2019   #3
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Buxton Derbyshire
Posts: 541
Thanks: 26
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

Very nice car and one day I would like one,based on a Tipo floor pan,but if your buying one to learn how to maintain and repair cars it's one hell of an undertaking,
Thanks AmberKnownAsAsh thanked for this post
Likes AmberKnownAsAsh liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

Michael Dranfield is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 23-01-2019   #4
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Italian cars generally tug at the heart. This can sometimes be a very bad thing if you buy a duff one. The Coupe is, sadly, one of the strongest pulls, but also potentially one of the most expensive if things start to go wrong. So many were thrashed and not cared for early in their lives, that they will suddenly become a money pit.
A good one though, will always bring a smile.

The first couple of years of production used 4cyl engines, with or without a turbo. Rarer, so parts might be more scarce, but possible cheaper to insure.
Then it moved to the 5cyl. Glorious noise from the engine, but physically takes up a lot of room in the engine bay. This makes maintenance more expensive, as everything is tight and takes longer to access. Officially a cambelt needs engine out, but it is possible to do in-situ, but does involve moving the engine, so an engine crane is still necessary. I think a clutch is also engine out, whereas most vehicles can be done with just gearbox removal.
A non-turbo should be cheaper to insure, and to maintain, and is quite brisk enough.
If it has had a recent cambelt and clutch, risks are lower.
Have a good browse in this section and read the issues other owners have had.

Cars deteriorate if not used. They wear if used. Always a difficult balance with a cherished car. If Mum could use it at least once a week, it is likely to work better. Mum would then be the majority driver, so no issues with insuring it in her name with you as named driver.

No-one can answer this for you. But try very hard to allow the head to rule and research fully, then some more. Good luck.
Hi portland_bill,
Thank you so much for your reply! I thought the forum would email if I got a reply - but I was mistaken, hence my late one!

I have done a little more research and am having a Ďclassic car inspectorí look over it with me tomorrow - that will help me to make my final decision! Itís a 1997 turbo one... I think Iíve located some parts on eBay, but still need to get used to all the different terms regarding the nuances of each edition of the car. Hmm, good to know. I donít have an engine crane. When we viewed it, it drove well though. I definitely intend to check the cam belt. Iíll bare that in mind, but will probably attempt to cross those bridges (clutch / engine out problems) when I come to them...! Iíll have a further look, but have to make a decision soon as the dealer has another person booked in to view it! Iíve accepted that if it really isnít working out, Iíll have to accept my losses and move on. Iíd sell it if possible. This is the second time Iíve heard Ďmoney pití used in relation to one of these cars, so I am a little worried... Iím hoping Iíll learn something from it before this becomes a major issue, and can then move on if necessary!

I shall definitely see if mum will be up for driving it more than once a month then! We checked her insurance and itís a cost Iíd be willing/able to cover, realistically, if I work hard enough throughout the year (including tax). One thing concerns me: on the gov website, it says tax for 1998cc is £225 a year... but is into the thousands for Ďfirst registrationí... itís already been registered by a previous owner, I believe... but does this apply to the first time any new owner registers it? Sorry if thatís a silly question.

I really appreciate your advice and expertise, thank you!
Best wishes,
Amber
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides


Last edited by AmberKnownAsAsh; 23-01-2019 at 23:32.
AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 23-01-2019   #5
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by Michael Dranfield View Post
Very nice car and one day I would like one,based on a Tipo floor pan,but if your buying one to learn how to maintain and repair cars it's one hell of an undertaking,
Hi Michael,
Thanks for your reply! I seem to deal better with tangible (yet major) challenges... So I think Iíll give it a go!

Best wishes,
Amber
Likes Michael Dranfield liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 23-01-2019   #6
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 416
Thanks: 27
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

My advice. Don't do it.

The reality will be a long way from the dream and it'll end up deteriorating in a lockup / garage.

Buy what you can afford to run today, once you've got a stack of miles under your belt, what you want from a car may well change - and the Coupe could end up being an expensive mistake.

Even insuring it as your mum's car will be expensive unless she has a 2nd lot of no claims to apply to it - and many classic policies would exclude you from even being a named driver.
Thanks AmberKnownAsAsh thanked for this post
Likes AmberKnownAsAsh liked this post
__________________
Alfa 75 TSpark / Fiat Seicento Sporting / Toyota Alphard Campervan / Porsche Boxster S / BMW 520d Lux / BMW R1100S / Ducati 750SS
Schumi2001 is online now Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 24-01-2019   #7
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: highlands
Posts: 2,420
Thanks: 98
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

Eighteen & a Coupe. They are money pits even when you know what you are doing. As pointed out insurance will be difficult to say the least. I've owned my Coupe for over ten years & have spent thousands, it's away at the moment having a very expensive refurbish. They do get under your skin. I would hazard a guess that if you really looked under the skin in the right places, it will be riddled with rust. Best of luck.......
Thanks AmberKnownAsAsh thanked for this post
Likes AmberKnownAsAsh liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

jimboy is online now Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 24-01-2019   #8
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Faringdon, Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 6,026
Thanks: 471
Trader Rating: 1
portland_bill has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

Quote Originally Posted by AmberKnownAsAsh View Post
it says tax for 1998cc is £225 a year... but is into the thousands for Ďfirst registrationí... itís already been registered by a previous owner, I believe... but does this apply to the first time any new owner registers it? Sorry if thatís a silly question.

I really appreciate your advice and expertise, thank you!
Best wishes,
Amber
The big cost for first registration is really for the first registration only, so paid only once, by the first owner. All subsequent owners will pay the £225/yr.
Try not to put idea into the government's heads, or they might think to introduce the big charge at every owner change.
__________________
13 years motor trade, 16 years motor industry. 14 years Driving Instructor & 7 years Fleet Trainer
Panda Alessi
portland_bill is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 25-01-2019   #9
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
The big cost for first registration is really for the first registration only, so paid only once, by the first owner. All subsequent owners will pay the £225/yr.
Try not to put idea into the government's heads, or they might think to introduce the big charge at every owner change.
Ahh I thought (hoped!) as much, thanks for clarifying!
Best wishes,
Amber
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 25-01-2019   #10
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by Schumi2001 View Post
My advice. Don't do it.

The reality will be a long way from the dream and it'll end up deteriorating in a lockup / garage.

Buy what you can afford to run today, once you've got a stack of miles under your belt, what you want from a car may well change - and the Coupe could end up being an expensive mistake.

Even insuring it as your mum's car will be expensive unless she has a 2nd lot of no claims to apply to it - and many classic policies would exclude you from even being a named driver.
Hi Schumi,
Thanks for your reply!
I am concerned about the reality vs dream thing... I can tend to idealise things. But I think that Iíll be able to learn something from it - even if it just to be more careful next time!

Iíve had a massive range of opinions, so I think whatever decision I make, itíll be the wrong one! I value your advice though, and shall double check things. We found out how much it would be for mum, and the preliminary quote sounded achievable.... so I canít say Iíve decided against it... I love the things that come with it too - discussing things on the forum, classic car meets etc... but yeah. I need to think it through.

Thanks again!
Best wishes,
Amber
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 25-01-2019   #11
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by jimboy View Post
Eighteen & a Coupe. They are money pits even when you know what you are doing. As pointed out insurance will be difficult to say the least. I've owned my Coupe for over ten years & have spent thousands, it's away at the moment having a very expensive refurbish. They do get under your skin. I would hazard a guess that if you really looked under the skin in the right places, it will be riddled with rust. Best of luck.......
Hi jimboy,
Thanks for your reply!

I feel that the motivation it gives me will at least help me learn a few things, but I am concerned about the money pit thing. Perhaps there is something brilliant about them though, for so many people to have dedicated so much to them and to have kept them so long! Perhaps Iíll get that same reward from it - hence itíd be worthwhile. But perhaps not. Argh, itís been in my head for the last 6 days straight and Iím running round in loops! Itís almost the only thing Iíve been thinking about - Iím surprised I still know what a Fiat is! Like that problem when you say a word too many times and then the word sounds funny...! Alas I digress...

In the meantime I have had a classic car inspector out to look at it - and youíre right about the rust. Lots of it seems to be more a cosmetic (sand, treat, prime, paint) type of issue though, which Iím happy to try. The inspector also urged me to forget about trying to make it perfect and just enjoy the car! I figured Iíd try to do both. But yeah... the rust is worrying. Though the inspector also said he was surprised it wasnít as rusty as he thought it would be, and he rust seemed normal for the age etc. If you could spare the time, Iíd appreciate your thoughts on my other post - which is actually mostly about rust!

Thanks again,
Best wishes,
Amber
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 25-01-2019   #12
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Faringdon, Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 6,026
Thanks: 471
Trader Rating: 1
portland_bill has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

I understand the draw of the Coupe, but if you really wish to learn about cars, without learning to hate them, something easier to work on might be a better start.

Here's a thought that will immediately make you reel in horror. What about a 2004-12 Panda? Looks mundane, fails in the street cred stakes, not high performance. Looks like you've borrowed your auntie's car.
Plenty about, lots of colours to choose from, mostly cheap to buy, cheap to insure, and cheap to run. A simple engine, reliable, easy to work on, been around years in various specs, with major issues being rare.
Not prone to rust, except the rear axle, and lots of threads on her about fixing that. All the usual faults are well documented on here, and easy fixes.
Surprisingly a lot more fun to own and drive than its looks suggest

Puntos might be more desirable, but be careful of rust in the sills and rear axle mounts on older models. More likely to have been misused.

Trying to balance heart and head is difficult, good luck.
Thanks AmberKnownAsAsh thanked for this post
Likes AmberKnownAsAsh liked this post
__________________
13 years motor trade, 16 years motor industry. 14 years Driving Instructor & 7 years Fleet Trainer
Panda Alessi

Last edited by portland_bill; 25-01-2019 at 08:52.
portland_bill is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 25-01-2019   #13
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 742
Thanks: 56
Trader Rating: 0
irc has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Fiat for young enthusiast... advice very much appreciated!

You could definitely consider a Panda.

Insurance for young drivers is comparatively low

Parts are cheap

Reliable and economical compared to the other "usual" choices of young drivers.

At least that was the feedback from my son when he was 17.

It wasn't unusual for him to be the "designated driver" when most of his mates had problems with their cars. Or they couldn't afford fuel/tyres/repairs.
Thanks AmberKnownAsAsh thanked for this post
Likes AmberKnownAsAsh liked this post
__________________
irc
Panda Sporting MultiJet 1.3 "Diesel Weasel"
Panda Sporting MultiJet 1.3 "Pig"
Panda Eleganza Dualogic 1.2 "Magic Panda"

Last edited by irc; 25-01-2019 at 09:07. Reason: Fixing typos
irc is online now Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 26-01-2019   #14
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by irc View Post
You could definitely consider a Panda.

Insurance for young drivers is comparatively low

Parts are cheap

Reliable and economical compared to the other "usual" choices of young drivers.

At least that was the feedback from my son when he was 17.

It wasn't unusual for him to be the "designated driver" when most of his mates had problems with their cars. Or they couldn't afford fuel/tyres/repairs.
Hi irc,
Thanks for your reply! Sorry for my late one.
Iíve got the coupe for a (very tricky) project, but am soon going to look for a more practical Ďa to bí car when I can afford it and have made my peace with my recent expenditure 😅. For that, Iíll probably be looking for a 1.0L or 1.2L 3dr, relatively new (but hopefully cheap!!!) economical, low tax vehicle, like a Panda or Nissan Micra... as youíve suggested!

So for an Ďa to bí car I definitely agree!
Thanks again and best wishes,
Amber
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 27-01-2019   #15
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
I understand the draw of the Coupe, but if you really wish to learn about cars, without learning to hate them, something easier to work on might be a better start.

Here's a thought that will immediately make you reel in horror. What about a 2004-12 Panda? Looks mundane, fails in the street cred stakes, not high performance. Looks like you've borrowed your auntie's car.
Plenty about, lots of colours to choose from, mostly cheap to buy, cheap to insure, and cheap to run. A simple engine, reliable, easy to work on, been around years in various specs, with major issues being rare.
Not prone to rust, except the rear axle, and lots of threads on her about fixing that. All the usual faults are well documented on here, and easy fixes.
Surprisingly a lot more fun to own and drive than its looks suggest

Puntos might be more desirable, but be careful of rust in the sills and rear axle mounts on older models. More likely to have been misused.

Trying to balance heart and head is difficult, good luck.
Hi portland_bill,
Sorry for my late reply on this thread!
As you may have read, Iíve bought it now (and probably screwed myself over...). But I accept it as a project: a challenge that I will learn from (even if the only thing I learn is Ďwhat not to do if youíd like a healthy bank account..!í).

I never truly considered the Coupe as an Ďa to bí car - I knew I was buying into a Ďfair weather carí... if that! And I 100% agree that the panda would be a good practical car - honestly I donít really care what my practical car looks like, so long as itís safe, relatively reliable, and relatively cheap to buy/tax/insure/maintain. I was toying with forgoing the project car in favour of a more expensive practical car... but hey, head and heart. So this is the compromise heart gets coupe, head gets practical car. Just the heart got the majority of the budget!
Okay Iím very sleep deprived, Iíll stop rambling now!

Thank you so much for your continued help,
Best wishes,
Amber
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

AmberKnownAsAsh is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Reply
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
62reg 1.2 fiat is having a meltdown. Any help/advice appreciated! Thanks Matt488 Tech Talk 0 21-03-2017 21:02
Punto (Mk2/2b) Your help and advice would be so much appreciated! karenrosie Newbie Central 1 21-06-2012 22:26
(T) Advice appreciated Nicky Swans Punto (Mk1) 7 15-06-2010 13:02
Any help/advice much appreciated... Thomas FIAT Boo Archives 2 26-10-2008 15:40
(T) Advice appreciated. myworlduk Stilo 4 02-04-2006 11:59