After over half a year living in Germany, it is getting time to buy a car. What car is however quite open, but I’ve already been looking for some months.

In fact, I’ve been thinking about this since I moved here, see the link above. The Fox belonging to my girlfriends parents is still the benchmark, along with their 05 Touran with the smallest petrol engine. Both runs out of breath a bit too quickly on the Autobahn, although the Touran is more stable.

We’re only staying here in Germany for another three years, and not looking to spend a heap of money on something spectacular. These criterias should give something decent, but old:

Manual gearbox (yes)
5-6 gears
Petrol engine
More comfortable than a VW Fox
New(ish) TÜV Prüfung
Cheap insurance
Bremen area (Hamburg acceptable in case of good deals)

I would like something bigger than a Polo/Corsa, but the amount of doors doesn’t matter. I don’t really want a wagon either, or anything bigger than a BMW 3-series due to parking. The fuel economy is usually inverse proportional to the amount of power produced in this price segment, so I can live with less power if I spend less money on fuel.


What have I found so far?

1998 Saab 9-3 2.0i


+ Interesting car
+ 131 hp Non-Turbo
+ Good shape, should be reliable
+ 2 previous owners
+ New TÜV
+ Cheap at 1499€
+ Insurance at 480€/year
= 235 000 km
- 20 years old, facelift of older model
- Located outside Hamburg

2006 Ford Focus 1.4 Trend


+ Only 12 years old
+ Only 106 000 km
+ Good shape
+ 2 previous owners
+ Rally pedigree (sort of)
+ Located just down the street
= As basic as it gets
= TÜV until 06/2019
= Insurance at 500€/year
- Only 80 hp from a 1.4
- Expensive at 2990€

2002 Mazda 323 F 1.6 Sportive


+ Reliable
+ Decent looking
+ Enough power
+ Located in another part of the city
= TÜV until 09/2019
- 225 000 km rather high for such a car
- Previous owners
- Rear fender rust
- 2200€
- Insurance 560€/year

2004 Nissan Almera 1.5 Visia


+ Reliable
+ Only 104.000 km
+ Enough power
+ 2 previous owners
+ Complete service history
+ Located in another part of the city
= TÜV until 07/2019
= 2199€
- Boring
- Insurance at 520€/year

Opel Vectra 1.8



+ Good condition
+ Cheap at 1250€
+ 186.000 km
+ TÜV until 04/2020
= Not far away from Bremen
- A bit boring
- Insurance 630€/year

At this point, the Saab looks like the best deal to me. It’s old, but also a lot more car for the money than the others. I’ll probably spend more money on fuel though. I’ll update the post when I find new cars. What do you think oppo?