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VW Polo (1994-99)

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£19.99 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
45 Reviews
  • Reliability
  • Cheap to run
  • No remote central locking
  • Electrics might cause problems
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    45 Reviews
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      04.08.2014 13:23
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      A great economical reliable car

      I purchased my 1996 VW Polo in 2006. This is my second car after owning a fast but very temperamental Toyota Carina. I feel in love with this car straight away and had to quickly name her Polly the P Reg Polo!

      My Polly is always reliable. I have had her for 8 years and I have only had to pay out for a new battery, clutch cable and two new thermostats and so repairs have been few and far between. The thermostat is a bit of a strange one through as after the car overheated I had it changed and then just one year later the same thing – I am keeping my fingers crossed that this same thing doesn’t happen again this year.

      My car does leak a little through the sun roof but only during really powerful rain and it’s not enough to bother me. I have taken to putting silicone gel bags by the fuse box to stop the damp interfering with the electrics and this works just fine.

      It is comfortable with enough room in the back. My Polo is a 3 door car and I guess this would be a bit annoying if you had passengers regularly. It also doesn’t come with the mod cons of standard cars nowadays as it doesn’t have central locking or electric windows. It also doesn’t come with any cup holders! The cup holder thing is what annoys me the most.

      It only costs around £35 to fill up a tank of petrol that lasts for ages and so a great economical car. It’s small and easy to park – what more could a girl want?!

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      14.01.2014 19:10

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      If you can afford the VW price for a new Polo it's certainly worth it.Ive had mine for a month and wouldn't be without itHandles effortlessly and just feels so right.The ride is smooth and progressive and the car has enough powerTo make progress where the need arises.The boot is surprisingly spacious but there is minimal leg room in the back seats.If your budget can extend to a Polo you won't be disappointed!The whole feel of the car is solid and reliable,yet stylish I'm glad I was able to find that extra money to buy one and have never looked back

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      22.06.2012 18:11
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      Brilliant Car, Espcially For First Time Drivers

      I am only 20 years old but I have already been in possession of two years in my short driving stint. And I have the pleasure to say that both these cars were Volkswagen Polos. My first Polo was from 1996 and the most recent one is from 1999.

      For a first cars I could not ask for anymore. Although both do not have power steering they are so easy to handle and maneuver.

      Also when picking up speed this little bullet can really fly, easily reaching speeds of 100 mph , which is impressive for a one litre engine. Which springs me to the cost efficiency of the car. One litre engines do not drink petrol like some of the larger cars and therefore will be cost effective for any driver, it was a major help to me, since as a student I need as many funds as I can. The engine is however a little bit loud but when all the advantages are considered a little bit of noise is no problem.

      I love my car and would highly reccomend that any parents looking for a first car for their children should definitley keep an eye out for a Polo. Speaking from experience I know these cars are the perfect teachers to bring up new drivers in the harsh driving world.

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        18.09.2011 16:34
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        Fantastic, reliable, cheap car to run

        Way back at the start of 2005, I bought my 1999 T reg 1.4 Polo for £3000 from a local VW dealer. It came with a years tax and warranty. The warranty came in handy as shortly after I purchased it, it needed some work doing and whilst they were under the bonnet - they noticed another problem. I can't remember exactly what it was, other than the part wasn't expensive but the labour would have been as the engine needed to come out. Anyway the VW people fixed it all up and it was as good as new in a couple of days and was all done under the warranty.

        Even with my dodgy driving skills - the car has been extremely reliable. It's only ever broken down once (touch wood!) and that was my fault for putting off taking it to the garage. These days it does seem to have it's share of problems but considering its age and its done over 100,000 miles - I would expect any car of that age and mileage to need repairing. When it does need repairs - I've found that the parts have never been too expensive either.

        The road tax is reasonable, £70ish pounds for six months duty. Insurance has always been reasonable, I currently pay around £25 a month fully comp. Fuel, well, fuel is expensive regardless at the moment but it's not as bad as other cars. I haven't filled the tank to capacity for a long time but £10 in fuel will do approximately 100 miles.

        The seats are comfortable - by no means luxury but comfortable. I've done long journeys of 500 plus miles in the car and have been quite happy as have my passengers. My Polo has four doors and I find that there is sufficient room in the back for passengers. A long journey in my Polo with tall passengers might not be ideal though. The boot also has sufficient space, although I wouldn't consider it to be a family car - I think the boot would probably be too small for a buggy. For my needs though - it's perfect.

        I would thoroughly recommend VW Polo's if you are looking for a small, reliable and cheap to run car.

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          08.09.2011 10:32
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          A sound investment.

          When I heard that an old school friend was selling his 1999 T-reg VW Polo for £500, I thought that it was something I should invest in. At the time I was driving a 1993 Nissan Micra - which resembled a tin can - so the time had come to buy a replacement.

          I bought the car with 10 months MOT and four months tax remaining - so it's fair to say that I snagged myself a bargain. That said, there was a pretty large dint in the driver's door, from an accident that he had six months previously. Lucky for me, my step-dad is a car enthusiast and offered to fix it for me. Other than that, the bodywork on the car was okay generally, however there were a few tiny rust spots on the driver's door. My Nissan Micra was six years older than my Polo and it certainly had better paintwork!

          The car came will a full service history - and it's fair to say that the previous owners had all taken good care of it. Coincidentally, through this history, I discovered that the person I bough the car from had purchased it for £750 - so they haven't really lost much money on it. However, when the car was originally bought in 1999, it cost £6100 - so it's a lot of money over the years - like all cars do.

          When I bought it my Polo had 80,000 miles on the clock - which is slightly below average for a car of its age. That said, I am told that it will drive well over 100,000 and considering I drive about 5,000 miles a year, I'm hoping to have this car for a while.

          The interior is quite spacious; especially considering it only has a one litre engine. You could easily fit four adults in it without feeling cramped - and it also has four doors - which is an added bonus. The boot is also quite deep and has a fair amount of storage. However, the chairs are quite worn and old fashioned looking, but this is probably something that could be fined up if it was that much of an issue.

          My car also came with a CD player installed - this isn't a standard feature. It also has manual windows and it doesn't have central locking.

          When you drive this car, it feels quite wide, compared to other one litre cars. It also takes quite a while to pick up speed, but it will go to 80 mph without shaking.

          The gears are quite smooth to change and in general it's quite an easy car to drive, although the steering is heavy if you have a full load of passengers.

          I feel quite safe driving it because it feels like quite a sturdy car and it also comes with airbags.

          It has also been quite reliable so far - I haven't had to pay any money out on repairs and so it has always started upon the first attempt.

          To drive the car is very efficient. I believe that it's insurance group 7 - which is fairly low. I am 26, I have been driving for four years, I have three points on my licence and I live on a inner city estate, so my insurance comes in at about £70 per month. The annual tax price is £125.

          Petrol-wise this car is fantastic - it costs me £50 to fill the tank up - and this usually lasts me for the month. Despite running around here, there and everywhere the petrol doesn't seem to go down quickly at all. It's certainly more efficient than my old Micra!

          Overall I'd say this is a great little runaround. It is economical, reliable and it feels safe to drive. If you're looking for a cheap car, or if you're a new driver, then I highly recommend that you consider a VW Polo.

          Five stars.

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            28.06.2011 23:47

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            Great car to drive

            I have recently bought a 1999 1.4 Polo after having a great experience driving my sister's. VWs are generally 'great little runners' but I think if you are a new driver or even an experienced driver looking for a small car then this is the car for you!

            Although petrol prices are ever increasing, I can fill mine up from half a tank for around £30.

            The two Polos I have driven have had no trouble climbing steep hills, which is a great bonus in the countryside!

            In addition, the driving experience is great. They are smooth and light (with power steering!) and there is plenty of space in the front and back. For a small car, the boot is huge in my opinion! You can easily fit a week's shopping in it whereas in other makes of cars I've been in, the boot space can barely fir a suitcase in it.

            Everything in the engine is easily accessible and easy to locate, which is great if you are doing any repair work yourself!

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            26.01.2011 23:03
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            Loved this car, think I will have to buy another!

            When I was 18 and first passed my driving test I had no idea what car to buy! A mechanic I knew had a polo that he'd been working on, as it had a few things that needed fixing, once he'd finished he put it up for sale. Having being reassured by many people that German cars were reliable and trusty, and after a quick test drive, I decided to buy it. My particular polo was a black 1999 (T reg) model with 3 doors and a 1.9 diesel engine. I really loved my car and was gutted to sell it when I went away to university, but there was nowhere to park it at Halls Of Residence, and as I was going to be a student I thought it best not to have to endure the costs of running it. Anyway, here goes my review, I'm not very clued up on cars, but I shall write about it the best I can!

            --The look--

            The car is fairly small but definitely large enough to not feel cramped. I personally think this is a 'cute' looking car, small and simple, and it was perfect for what I was looking for! As I mentioned, mine was black, which looked good, and the paintwork was still in excellent condition despite it being a few years old. The inside of the car looked a little dated, but as I said it was a few years old with it being a 1999 model-and it was 2007 when I bought it. The uphoulstry was again a bit dated and slightly old fashioned looking, but it wasn't really an issue as it looked ok and was good quality.

            --Features--

            Well it was a pretty basic car but the main features mine had were electric windows, CD player (not sure if it came with one or if the previous owner installed it, but there was definitely the capability for one at least), decent sized very deep boot and glove box, and power steering. As it is quite an old car it's basic but sufficient and was perfect for a first car (although I would still buy it now.)

            --Reliability--

            When I owned the car I was driving to work and back every day which was a 25 mile round trip, as well as using it most evenings and weekends for days out, shopping, visiting friends etc. So basically I was using the car rather a lot, and it was always reliable. The only couple of times it didn't start were at first, and this was down to a flat battery. Once I replaced it this wasn't an issue. Apart from that the car served me very well over the 2 1/2 years that I owned it, never breaking down, and always being consistently nice to drive.

            --Driving the car--

            I enjoyed driving my polo immensly, partly because I like driving, and partly because of the car. On first starting the car, the engine would be quite loud, I guess maybe due to it being a 1.9 diesel.....but as I said I don't really know about cars! It would be quite slow to pick up speed, but not sluggish at all, and once it did get going it could easily cruise at a nice fast (not too fast) pace. The gears changed nice and smoothly, and the car was fairly easy to handle round corners and bends. The brakes were fairly good, not as sharp as some newer cars I've driven, but they were reliable and safe.

            --Cost--

            The cost of the car itself seemed quite average at around £1500, when it was 8 years old and only had about 45000 miles on the clock. Obviously car prices vary depending where or who you buy from. The cost of running this car was pretty amazing as a full tank would last me ages, and I once did a 400 mile trip in it, and used £35 worth of fuel which I was very impressed with. The tax wasn't so cheap at about £200 a year unfortunately, and the insurance seemed pretty average. I paid around £1000 for my first years insurance but bare in mind I was 18 and had only just passed my test. When deciding on what car to buy I got insurance quotes for quite a few models, and £1000 a year was pretty much the norm.

            --Issues--

            The main issues I can remember having over the course of my time with car were:

            The clutch cable snapped (not a big or expensive repair, but is VERY annoying when this happens as makes the car extremely difficult to drive)

            I had to buy a new exhaust, this was an expensive job, that was just due to the cars age.

            The tracking needs sorting out several times but I think she was down to me having the odd minor bump in the car rather than it being the cars fault!

            A couple of minor and inexpensive things needed replacing which I can't remember, again just down the car's age.

            I don't think this was too bad, and I expected it to need a few things doing to it as it got older and things inevitabely need replacing.

            --Summary--

            In conclusion, I loved this car, and I really do miss it! I'm looking at buying a car soon and 99% sure it will be a Polo again. It is a simple car that I enjoyed driving a lot, and was reliable. One thing I forgot to mention in my review was that I once crashed in a plastic post whilst driving at around 60mph and the car didn't even have a scratch on it and I was absolutely fine! And another time I crashed into a kind of metal wall and there was just a little crack in the number plate, so clearly a robust car! Good if you're a bad driver like me..........

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              10.01.2011 16:20
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              Well worth the extra money!

              Although I no longer own this model of Polo (I now have a 05 plate Polo!) I did indeed buy this older model polo twice... for reasons which I will explain in due course!

              *The Car(s)*
              In both instances I bought a Silver 6 door 1.4 polo - the first with a rather sporty looking black and red fabric interior, and the second slightly less exciting light blue and grey interior. The VW in my experience was always that little bit better than other brands; while friends opted for the slightly cheaper Corsa's and alike, I always felt that my Polo had something a bit more about it. The boot space was much bigger. The interior was that much nicer (I always liked the VW blue and red dash lights colour scheme and bought a matching stereo to it looked great at night - simple things please simple minds eh). It had air conditioning(in one)/a sun roof (in the other), heated wing mirrors. It seated 4/5 adults comfortably. And, quite frankly, sat in the drivers seat you felt that this was a good solid bit of machinery!

              The driving was light and easy and controls were simple to use. The fuel consumption on the 1.4 was good - and although it was much lower in insurance than the Golfs, you could barely tell the difference between these Polos and the Golfs of the same year and frequently friends would refer to "your Golf" (Yay!)

              *The accident*
              So, one day I'm doing the same old commute to work... and wham! I'm involved in a Road Traffic Accident. Three cars were involved, thankfully no one was hurt. The cars however, were. The cars involved were Audi TT, my little Polo, and a Vauxhall Astra. Needless to say, despite my VW Polo being a complete write off, and the Audi sustaining slight (but expensive - being Audi!) damage - it was the Astra who come off worse - it had simply crumpled at the slightest impact. Needless to say this one also went to car heaven (again, thankfully the driver was quite alright).

              My Polo however had done me proud. Despite the fact that I had another car in my drivers door and the length of the bonnet was half what it used to be, I was fine! To this day however, I cringe at the idea of what may have happened I had been driving the flimsy Vauxhall, or indeed on of my friend's little Corsa's.

              So moved was I by this fact, that as soon as the insurance cheque came through, I searched for the same car again, and bought one!

              *The problems*
              I am now on my third Polo - having let my second retire. All three of them have had slight "electrical issues". The Engine Light comes up on the dash board and I would groan knowingly. With the first Polo (still under the VW used car warranty) I spent 9 MONTHS in and out the local VW garage with this intermittent light - and although they could make it go away - it always came back, and no one knew why! On the plus side, being VW, they felt so bad about the continuing problem that they would frequently let me have a much nicer loan-car than usual - lending me their brand new convertible Beetle for a bank holiday weekend for example (in fact I got to drive most of the under-two-litre engine sized VW range that year!) Turned out, the new stereo (you know, the one with the coordinating lights - and fitted by VW I might add) had caused an electrical short when the car sped up. Apparently VW Polo stereo's compensate for the noise of the engine the faster you go. See - just that little bit more of the extra touches!

              Other than these electrical problems I had no real trouble with my second Polo. I did have a problem with the electric windows as the car became older and had spent a number of years parked outside in the cold and wet. I was told that this is quite a common problem in the older cars because rain water eventually collects in the door around the window - but I believe it is simple enough to fix.

              Another problem is of course that VWs generally are not cheap to fix - they are also not as cheap to purchase as other makes. This must however be weighed up against the fact that VWs hold their value much better than a lot of other makes of car. When I sent my ten year old Polo into retirement, it was a bit beaten up and old, but still achieved a four figure sum. A colleague of mine selling her four year old Astra estate struggled to get the same figure! These cars are just so coveted!


              *So there you have it*
              All in all I would always recommend VW, particularly these Polos, and indeed have put my money where my mouth is in investing a third (albeit newer) Polo. Polos particularly are that happy middle-ground, you have all the quality of the VW name and service, without the higher insurance and engine size of the Golf.

              This particular model I would definitely recommend for a first car, or student car. They are a bit nippy, have a bit of street-cred and have a few nice touches, they look good (much better than the ones they brought out subsequently with the round headlights!) but most importantly - in my opinion and experience - they are strudy little cars!

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              06.08.2010 19:36
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              The perfect car for any journey.

              Although I no longer drive this car, it is the car that I plan to buy myself when I am out of uni.

              I used to drive a T reg 1litre 3dr Polo. It was the cutest thing in my mind and a joy to drive around. The engine was a little noisy at times and it wasn't the most powerful car, but throughout all those years of my mother owning this, we have never experienced many problems.

              As expected from a VW car, everything in the car feels solid. I also felt very safe driving this car as it has a tough body, unlike other super minis such as the Micra.

              The drivers seat is quite low compared to other cars that I have driven. It really emphasizes the smallness of this vehicle. I have to say that the low seat was one of the things that I do not miss about driving a polo. This is also not great for anyone with long legs. I am quite short yet my knees almost touched the steering wheel when I drove this car.

              I really like the gear sticks on VW cars as I feel more in control when switching gears due to the dramatic difference in position of the gears. With other cars, I find it really easy to slip into the wrong gear.

              The steering wheel is quite thin in comparison to other cars, which for me makes it feel as though the car is of a slightly older make. But that's just me.

              This car is great for reversing as it's little (especially the 3dr version) and I feel that there is maximum possible view on the rear windscreen.

              The first car that I drove since passing my driving test and I am pleased to say that I will definitely be getting my very own Polo once I can afford one. A brilliant car. And I fully trust VW.

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              21.07.2010 19:19

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              I have had my 1997 Polo se for two years now,having bought it off a friend. Its a fast & nippy little motor and has brilliant petrol consumption for nipping around the lanes.Although Iv had some work done on it, considering its age it has never failed to start even in the snowy winters we've had lately. The problem I have with it presently is that the boot lock has jammed;I know this seems trivial compared to other problems people have with their Polo but I need to clear out the boot.The only thing that Ive tried is to spray WD 40 into the key hole and also onto the lock itself but it is still being stubborn. I love this car,its been reliable and comfortable and warm in the winter.

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              04.07.2010 17:02
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              This is a great first car and small family car!

              This was my first owned car and what a great choice it was! It is one of the cheapest cars on the market for its quality, and coupled with the small insurance policy as well as low fuel consumption, over the years, the car really does work out to be extremely cheap compared to so many of the other cars out there on the market.

              It's an attractive stylish vehicle and very well recognised in the UK as a reliable, common vehicle. The service charge is very small and something rarely goes very wrong with the vehicle without an influence from the driver, although the clutch has been known to break and has to be replaced, but remains fine after the replacement, although in my experience it has been perfectly fine.

              The car may seem small although there is ample passenger seat space, both front and back, and even my eldest son who is 6' 4.5" comfortably fits in the back, and front passenger seat. The back also has plenty of space for luggage, I've been known to fit 2 to 3 average sized suitcases in there, although of course there was a bit of a squeeze and some of my rear view occupied by the luggage.

              The car can struggle to reach extremely high speeds, and easily runs out of speed at high speeds, although it's not really designed to be driven at 70 mph for example, so it's actually suitable for the roads. The car also handles extremely well on the street and the breaks work very well. Other than the clutch, and issues with reaching very high speeds without struggling, this is an excellent first car and small family car too!

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                16.03.2010 22:34
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                Great little car that will go on and on and on!!!!

                Whilst being pretty much forced to buy this car by my dad at the age of 18 he assured me it would be a good purchse. First of all the interior is fantastically put together and the seats after 13 years of wear and tair are still as good as new. All the panels fit perfectly and plastics take alot to scratch them. The exterior i have had problems with as it has started to rust very badly. However what do expect with a car built in 1997. The engine though has been brilliant its only a 1 litre so its had some hard slogs on the motorway and hard acceleration and it still runs smooth and sweet. I have in my 3 years owning it no problems with the engine, just the rust. It has passed its MOT with flying colours everytime. My main love about this car is its ride quality, i have been in alot of friends cars such as corsa, punto, saxo and none havethe smooth ride the polo has. Dont expect though to turn round corners fast without your face hitting the side window as the body roll is hideous. NOT FOR THE BOY RACER

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                  20.02.2010 03:38
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                  Raise extra money and buy a VW Golf

                  This is my first car and already have spent alot of money on repairs. A common problem with this model seems to be the clutch cable which I have already had replaced. The drivers side electric window didnt work, the engine management light has been on endless times and my exhaust has blown twice. All this in the space of two years. Reliability isn't the best feature of the car thats for sure.
                  Although its a little pricey on repairs, its a compact, nippy car for going out and about in the city. Petrol consumption is avarage on roughly 35mpg so it wont brake the bank on fuel. The insurance group and the tax on the 1.4 model is also a reasonable price.
                  When inside, your at a nice hight with narrow pillows so you get a wide view of the road. Interior is full of strong plastics which is a typical of a VW. The dash board has the basic equipment which is a radio am/fm, fan and air con. The Polo can hold 4 adults quite comfortably but legroom in the rear is a little cramped.
                  Overall its a good car for popping out and seeing friends. But you feel you pay more to keep it going than its worth.

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                  17.01.2010 15:16

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                  very happy with this car

                  This is my first car and i am very happy with it! i own Polo 1997 P Reg and i have had it for nearly a year now. I have only bought it for under £400 and the only thing that went wrong with it was the clutch that broke but it wasnt expensive to get it replaced and the heating in the car broke but that was easy to get it fixed too. Overall i am happy with the car and my new car is gonna be Volkswagen too, because i found them pretty reliable. I drive over 20 miles a day so cant really complain. Also one more thing that wasnt good about this car was, that the co2 emissions were pretty high and the smoke coming out of the exhaust can get pretty bad when the engine is really hot. When i took my car for MOT they told me next year it would fail it because of that. So i have to get a new car but considering i have had the car about 10 months and its still gonna be fine for another year as i have only just had the MOT done, its been really good value for money for me and the car has been very reliable.

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                  22.11.2009 00:38
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                  Heaven in a car

                  We brought our 1997 1.4 petrol polo from a salvage yard over 10 years ago with little damage. Its been repaired and made road legal and has been running non stop since. The only time i had a problem with it was last winter when the RAC man explained to me that it the battery installed by another person had been the wrong type. It was a battery fit for a larger car possibly a van, and that had it not been for the great quality of the car and its parts, the battery would have eventually burned out the alternator, but in my case, all it did was discharge the battery (luckily for me). It still does around 360 miles in london (so stop start traffic) but have gotten 500 miles with a full tank of petrol, £35, but based on the current 109.9p petrol price. Great runner, only thing ive replaced since buying it were the tyres, one battery and the wind screen wipers, all the rest are original parts and even the air con is a fresh as a cold breeze in the summer.

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