I may need to buy a new car… yes – NEED.

Just last week I tweeted that my 20 year old Corolla has done 210 000km and is still going strong, and I was so pleased… just 2 days later – i hear a boiling noise in the engine, yes, boiling, like a kettle.

Take it to mechanic… he says something along the lines of head cylinder, pressure testing, skimming and replacing head gasket. And quotes me R6300… PLUS i need a service, so add R1000 and add whatever else they find wrong in the service (will be a bit – i am overdue on my service)… so i’m looking at about 8 to 10 thousand rand to fix my 20 year old car with 210 000 on the clock.


Peter was talking to his dad about it today, and he said a friend of his is selling a car. The family has 3 cars, and have no need for the 3rd car – hence the sale.


its a 2004 Peugeot 206. 5-door.

It has 85 000km on the clock. It’s just driven to Cape Town and back (from Pretoria). It had a service (R4200) in January. Its tyres are in good condition. It’s silver. Power steering, aircon, central locking – all the things most people have, but I dont. Also a back wind-screen wiper :) and you can control the radio from a doo-hickey by the flickers. The hooter sounds cute too.

A picture… off google – didnt take one of The Car… seen one Silver Peugeot 206, seen ‘em all, right?

it is rather spacious for a small little car… the boot is not as big as my Corolla… but I dont really use the boot that much!

She is selling it for R45 000.

Its in really good condition from what we can see… we don’t know much about cars though ;)

Now… when you are looking at purchasing something so big and expensive (especially when it is second hand) you kind of HAVE to find stuff that is wrong/not ideal with it, right?

So, this is what we came up with:

The steering wheel is quite worn… like the rubber coating or whatever … Peter says he thinks it’s from all the funny handcream the old lady must wear ;)

It has a couple of teeny tiny thin shallow scratches around the keyhole thingy. (what car older than 2 months doesn’t??)

There is a little scuff on the plasticy piece on the door (nothing a black permanent marker couldn’t hide).

We took it for a little test drive… the brakes are really responsive, power steering is good… no rattles or rumbles.

Seems like a pretty good deal – i think.

here’s the inside:

But what is the best course of action for my Toyota…? do i sell it as is… any idea what i could get for it?? – bearing in mind the above mentioned problem AND it has a HUGE HUGE HUGE dent in the back left door. Like, seriously, it is bigger than you imagine – i am NOT over-exaggerating.

Do I fix & service it?

Do i panel beat the door?

What would I get for it if it were in working order?

What if I sell it to these dudes who buy crappy cars and fix ‘em up and sell ‘em? (I sold my old red Cub to them)

Please, please help me decide what is best…??


I know one shouldn’t rush into things like this… but i can’t drive my toyota, and i kinda need a car, like soon… it just seems like all this happened at the right time… well, finding a reasonable car at a reasonable price (i think)… not my car breaking and costing a fortune to fix.

So, i like, need a decision in the next 2 days. I can’t afford a NEW new car… so thats not an option.

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14 Responses to “Car Decisions”

  1. Wenchy says: |

    Buy the new car!

  2. Wayne says: |

    very low mileage. Avg mileage in uk would be 11000 MILES per year, and if this car is average it would sell for around R31500. You’d probably get £350 for your corolla.
    Check out this site:

    based on mileage and your comments, I’d say this us an ok deal! But I would ask why a car which had been looked after required such an expensive service in Jan ( what was wrong )

    good luck!

  3. angel says: |

    I would do the cash for cars thing with the old one.
    The other one sounds like a great deal, but I am personally very wary of the French imports…

  4. Virginia says: |

    Yes, the service does sound a bit pricey, but you only do them every 40000kms (with a small service in between – costs much less – about R900/R1400) and if it cost that much she must have gone to the dealer- might be worth asking – the dealer service department will know if it has had any accidents. I like French cars- they are not as popular with thieves and they are very reliable- i have never been stuck on the side of the road. The price sounds very good, sell the old car to the cash back cheapy guys lots of luck :) Virginia

  5. Laura says: |

    I cant say whether its a good buy but I can say SELL THE OLD ONE!

    I had my golf for 15 years and eventually was spending R2000 – R3000 a month for repairs! Its not worth it!

  6. Tanya says: |

    Thx guys :)
    Re: the R4000 service: it got a new cambelt… Is that expensive??

    Am talking to my dad today… See what he says.

    Also, @angel (and other french haters). I am hoping that my 50% french heritage will work in my favour and le peugeot and I can see eye to eye. Perhaps if I greet the car everymorning with ‘bonjour mademoiselle’ it’ll be cool ;) hehe

  7. Paul says: |

    If there is wear on the steering wheel that means it has been driven a lot, handcream does not do that. Also parts and service on French cars are higher than average. And when parts are required they are seldom in stock. I have a mate who waited 3 months for parts to arrive from the dealer.

  8. Michael says: |

    A recommendation with any vehicle purchase (and yes, I do recommend getting a replacement for your Corolla ASAP) is to get AA to do a full check on the car.

    Even if you are buying from a close friend and know the vehicles full history, the AA check should find anything that you (or the current owner) may have missed (This is normally paid for by the current owner).

    I would be surprised if you get more than R10 000 for your Toyota (even if it was fixed up) so fixing it wouldn’t be worth your money for selling. Rather dump it on the ‘fix ‘em up’ guys as is.

    Peugeot service budget (through dealership):
    Major Service: R 1500 – R2500
    Minor Service: R 900 – R 1500

    If brakes require replacement you will be looking at R 2500 to R3000 added onto those costs for parts and labor.

    Good luck :)

  9. Petervs says: |

    What we will do is find out what was involved in the service, i have a feeling it was breaks as they were very responsive when we took it for a drive.
    And we will Definatly get the AA to check it out !

  10. Alet says: |

    I would make a plan and buy the car! So exciting!

  11. Michael says: |

    “Re: the R4000 service: it got a new cambelt… Is that expensive??”\

    Cam belt is usually done around 90 000 KM on all petrol cars and is usually the most expensive service you need to do on a car, next replacement should be around 180 000 KM.
    R4000 for that + service is normal.

    On face value, seems like a good buy…

  12. tanya says: |

    Thanks Michael… the old biddy who is selling probably did a full PROPER service so she can sell with a clear conscience … she does counselling at the church… so i think she is pretty trustworthy and stuff… hehe.thanks a mill for your advice!!

  13. Timmee says: |

    The worn steering wheel is common on these particular cars. It’s not handcream but sun / heat. Get a cheery cover.

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