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Should I buy a classic Nissan Figaro or a Fiat 500?

I have a company car that my 22-year-old daughter can drive, but not after April 2013 as the insurance changes. I am looking to get a fun car (budget around £7000) for she and I to drive that is cheap to run. My heart is drawn to a 1991 Nissan Figaro as I fancy a 'classic' to keep long term. My wife said that a Fiat 500 would be a better bet and more reliable, although I think that there would be less depreciation and more 'fun' factor with the Nissan. Nearing retirement, whatever I buy will end up as my local runaround car.

Asked on 12 January 2013 by PC, via email

Answered by Honest John
A Figaro is basically a 20-year-old Mk 1 Micra tin box with a pretty but rust-prone body styled after a 1950s Goggomobile. Buying one is courting disaster. And they are not 'fun' to drive. Your wife is right. If my experience of FIAT 500s is typical, nothing goes wrong with them for at least four years and eight months (so far). They also do well in their entry in www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar

What few faults are listed are for more than 100,000 FIAT 500s on UK roads. A lot better than any Mini or for any Volkswagen model.
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