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Which automatic car to buy?

slummymummyslummymummy Posts: 69
edited 27. May 2011, 07:02 in Living with Arthritis archive
I need some advice....

Last year (pre-RA) I bought an automatic Nissan Almera car. Unfortunately, it's now very difficult for me to drive, because of pain in hands and feet and knees.

I'm going to have to change to an automatic, but have never driven them before and have no idea where to start looking. It needs to be 5-door and have a fairly generous boot (to fit a pram). Does anyone have any ideas???? It needs to glide and feel like driving in butter :? :shock:

I really am too ill and too worn out to spend hours walking around car showrooms (again!). My buget is about £5000.

Thanks, much appreciated.

Slummy x

P.S. I don't think I qualifiy for motability as I don't get mobility component of DLA

Comments

  • greyherongreyheron Posts: 167
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there!

    I drive a Nissan Almera automatic - I was bit confused cos you said at the beginning of your post that you drive an automatic but then that you needed to get one ??? But anyway, if you like the Almera you can get an automatic version - I've driven automatic Nissans for years and have never had problems with them (tempting fate!). For your budget it would need to be a 'pre-owned' one but with the current state of the retail market you might be able to drive a hard bargain!

    Good luck with it.

    Wendy
  • daisychaindaisychain Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    I found that Renault do a good range in automatics, I have a Renault Scenic Megane automatic which I find very comfortable and easy to drive .It is the older shape model but I think the newer one is a similar size. It is not too big but big enough for 3 children in the back and it has a bit of height which is an advantage. Good Luck with your search.
  • livinglegendlivinglegend Posts: 1,425
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Go to any car dealer, new or second hand, and ask about automatics. Any that you think are suitable, take them out for a test drive. Open and close doors, climb in and out, including the rear seats. If you normally have to lift, say a wheelchair or pram in and out, take it with you and try if it is easy to do so and if it fits in OK. :arrow:

    Shop around several garages rather than just one and take your time choosing the right car. Take a camera and photograph the garage, then any cars you like, as this helps you to remember them and most importantly, where they are. :)

    In the present economic climate, buyers are staying away from both new and second hand cars. Haggle over the price and get an MOT, road tax and a tank of fuel thrown in. If you don't like the deal, leave it and go somewhere else.

    Is buying a car the same as the theatre, where to wish 'good luck' is taboo; you would say 'break a leg'. In this case what could be the words used for buying a car :?:

    Joseph 8)
    Josephm0310.gif
  • katekellykatekelly Posts: 975
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Slummymummy
    I changed my automatic Vauxhall Zafira at christmas for a Vauxhall Astra. I loved my Zafira although it was a bit thirsty on fuel. Visibility was great, power steering excellent- I can't think of a negative for it other than the fuel consumption. It was easy to get in and out of. No bending over to strap in car seats etc. Oh just thought of a negative -being a 7 seater I was usually the one doing the school party runs!!!
    Now that my eldest has left home there was no need for a larger car and so after testing the Astra I went for that. It's quite nippy and again power-steering responsive and the doors open wide enough for me to get out of. I do miss being a bit higher when I'm driving and the visibility isn't as good because you are lower in the car. Boot space is good and the tail gate isn't too heavy to close.
    Hope that is of some help.
    Love Kate
  • colinbcolinb Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    similar to others here, my wife chose the renault scenic automatic, and finds it not just great to drive, but great to get in and out of..of all the cars we looked at she found it easiest because there is virtually no sill at door..floor is just about flat.boot is certainly big enough for a pram, tho we chose the "grand" version which has a far larger boot which can take her scooter in one go without losing any seats. word of wrning though- most dealers will not have automatic versions of cars(if its new ones you are looking at) for you to try.also you may find it easier if you look for a full automatic, rather than a semi-automatic....full auto requires no quick moves of feet to get brakes on/off on hills etc as it holds the car from rolling back at hils, junctions etc.

    good luck with the hunt!!
    colin
  • sassysoresassysore Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a Citroen C4 automatic and love it. My main problem is with my knees and hip. As its my right knee that is much worse, I still struggle with the automatic for the accelerator, but I had a left hand one fitted which is great! (Apart from the first few times I used it!!!!!) Takes a bit of getting used to
  • grampyalgrampyal Posts: 81
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If you dont do a big milage go for a big car. I find it so much easier to get into a car you step Up into than one you have to crawl into esp. with knee problems. Have now got used to using left foot for brake as its not needed for clutch. I have a Range Rover which now you can get for couple of thousand( bought mine too soon) watch year as tax can be high on newer models. I was thinking of a more ecoonomical car but worked out that as I only do about 4000 miles a year if I got a car that did twice what mine does it would take me 15 years to get back the initial cost before I start saving. So decided to stick with the luxury and comfort not to mention the better view of road from high ride and therefore safer driving.
  • slummymummyslummymummy Posts: 69
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oops, yes, I did mean to say that I currently drive a manual (not an automatic). It's a 53 reg, so I suppose it must have power steering?? :?: As you can see, cars are not my strong point. :lol:

    Thanks for all the really useful tips. I have been dreading doing the rounds of car dealers again. At least now I'll have a starting point of cars to try.

    You really are all wonderful, and I'm soooo glad I found this site.
  • sharmainesharmaine Posts: 1,638
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I need some advice....

    Last year (pre-RA) I bought an automatic Nissan Almera car. Unfortunately, it's now very difficult for me to drive, because of pain in hands and feet and knees.

    I'm going to have to change to an automatic, but have never driven them before and have no idea where to start looking. It needs to be 5-door and have a fairly generous boot (to fit a pram). Does anyone have any ideas???? It needs to glide and feel like driving in butter :? :shock:

    I really am too ill and too worn out to spend hours walking around car showrooms (again!). My buget is about £5000.

    Hi
    I used to have a Ford Ka - and it was a killer! I bought a second hand Ford Focus Ghia - an automatic last April and it is lovely to drive. The seats are comfortable and the ride is smooth. It also has a generous boot. It has made driving a lot easier and comfortable.
    It took me ages to find the right car. I looked at quite a few I found some of the dealers difficult. They only wanted to help with the search if you were buying new cars. However, with the credit crunch you may have more support. I found Fords very helpful and I'm truly delighted with my purchase.

    Thanks, much appreciated.

    Slummy x

    P.S. I don't think I qualifiy for motability as I don't get mobility component of DLA
  • methogirlmethogirl Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I recommend a Ford Focus .. Love it. So comfortable and easy to drive. Heated front & rear windscreen means no scrapping the ice off. :)
  • jenzie06jenzie06 Posts: 708
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I drive a VW golf, I find it really comfy (as much as anything can be with RA) and its semi automatic too so you can either have fully automatic or be able to change gear.

    With regard to your budget, have you thought of an ex-motability car? They usually don't get completely thrashed, some only used for the weekly shop. Mine's a motability car and when I was choosing it the car salesman showed me a motability car that had just been handed in after the three year hire - it only had 4000 miles on the clock!!
  • plmb48plmb48 Posts: 125
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I need some advice....

    Last year (pre-RA) I bought an automatic Nissan Almera car. Unfortunately, it's now very difficult for me to drive, because of pain in hands and feet and knees.

    I'm going to have to change to an automatic, but have never driven them before and have no idea where to start looking. It needs to be 5-door and have a fairly generous boot (to fit a pram). Does anyone have any ideas???? It needs to glide and feel like driving in butter :? :shock:

    I really am too ill and too worn out to spend hours walking around car showrooms (again!). My buget is about £5000.hi slummymummy i always have autos fiat renault both do automatics with electric stearing as you say like driving through butter .pauline

    Thanks, much appreciated.

    Slummy x

    P.S. I don't think I qualifiy for motability as I don't get mobility component of DLA
  • slummymummyslummymummy Posts: 69
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much for the really useful advice. I have been searching on 'auto-traider' website for suitable cars.

    I like the sound of the Ford Focus, that has both front and rear heated windows. One thing I dislike about winter is defrosting windows in the dark before I drive to work. This would be great. I have found a couple in my area.

    I will also take a look at Range Rovers, VW Golfs, Fiats, Zafiras, and Renaults.

    Thankfully the Methotrexate is finally beginning to kick in, and I'm feeling well enough to face the dealers again. :roll:

    Slummy x
  • ichabod6ichabod6 Posts: 963
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I drive a Mercedes A140. A good high driver's seat
    and it's easy to get in and out which is a blessing for
    those with loads of painful joints.
  • eugenegeugeneg Posts: 36
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I need some advice....

    Last year (pre-RA) I bought an automatic Nissan Almera car. Unfortunately, it's now very difficult for me to drive, because of pain in hands and feet and knees.

    I'm going to have to change to an automatic, but have never driven them before and have no idea where to start looking. It needs to be 5-door and have a fairly generous boot (to fit a pram). Does anyone have any ideas???? It needs to glide and feel like driving in butter :? :shock:

    I really am too ill and too worn out to spend hours walking around car showrooms (again!). My buget is about £5000.

    Thanks, much appreciated.

    Slummy x

    P.S. I don't think I qualifiy for motability as I don't get mobility component of DLA

    Hi Slummy,

    Second time today I've responded to one of your posts! I too am in the market for an auto. I have a manual 307 I've owned since new but where my left knee has been operated on in the past, the constant gear/clutch scenario is doing me in. I drive over 200 miles a week plus business miles on top! I'm thinking of staying with a 307 but in Auto of course, or a 407. I have driven (through work) plenty of VW Passat's & Jetta's both in auto and they are great cars, very comfy and the DSG box they come with is a breeze to use. I have also found the Focus an easy one to get on with. I very nearly bought a C4 Picasso earlier this year, before the brown stuff hit the fan with the credit crunch, and that was a joy to drive, plenty of room the full auto gear system very good. I haven't ventured into any dealerships lately but I have been looking on-line at the likes of Motorpoint etc. and the prices are falling.

    Good luck with your shopping, I'll let you know how I get on.

    Eugene.
  • CompositorCompositor Posts: 122
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Slummy, I have driven manual cars most of my driving life, but, after having both knee joints replaced and a few years thereafter, I found particularly on longish journeys my knees tended to stiffen-up. It became a little bit of a concern for me, always having the grandkids in and the possibility of me having to make an emergency stop at some stage, would I/they/or anyone else be safe due to my stiffness reactions in my knees. So, as a consequence, I changed my car to automatic and now feel a lot more safe and secure. I drive a Vauxhall Zafira which i find easy to get and a good spaceous car, also, very reliable. Good luck Slummy, hope you get what you want. John x
  • CompositorCompositor Posts: 122
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    WHOOPS that's me told...sorry x
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Range rovers on a budget of £5,000? Toy ones then?......x

    Thank you so much for the really useful advice. I have been searching on 'auto-traider' website for suitable cars.

    I like the sound of the Ford Focus, that has both front and rear heated windows. One thing I dislike about winter is defrosting windows in the dark before I drive to work. This would be great. I have found a couple in my area.

    I will also take a look at Range Rovers, VW Golfs, Fiats, Zafiras, and Renaults.

    Thankfully the Methotrexate is finally beginning to kick in, and I'm feeling well enough to face the dealers again. :roll:

    Slummy x
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It might have been feasible in Oct 08 when she posted about this. Now, who knows? I wonder what she did get in the end, and why she never came back to tell us? :roll:
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
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