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Should I Buy A Classic Mini?

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#16 cal844


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:12 PM

Buy a 998 a+ engined car preferably with servo assisted brakes.. When you go to view cars, take somene who nows minis inside out!

#17 rally1380


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:28 PM

Only buy a mini if......


1 - you like having oil and grease constantly under you finger nails,


2 - like having no money in your bank account,


3 - know how to use tools or know someone who does (because it will break down)


4 - realise that they're not as quick* or comfortable or safe as modern cars......


5 - ....but you will feel a whole lot cooler and people love seeing mini's on the road so you won't be hated (you will get other mini drivers flashing you (lights, not bodies!))


6 - you have a garage as they all leak.



* I know some minis are very quick, but realistically they are slow compared to the equivialnt modern euro or jap box.

#18 Stuart_BRG


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:23 PM

My first car was a Mini Piccadilly, and we're talking 1997, so that car was already 11 years old then and I survived. On the other hand, my father had mechanical knowledge so that helped. Be prepared to live with a car with faults though, it's not like modern car ownership where the thing will just run and run without lifting the bonnet up once in a while. I remmeber my speedometer didn't work for longer than I care to remember. O_O Unless you have a pretty sizable budget you'll have to live / overcome some issues, and even then most have some kind of minor niggles you learn to live with (we call them character!) Mine does even though it's pretty cosseted!

#19 willjyoung1997

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:01 PM

thank you for all the replies. i get the feeling that its very enjoyable to drive and maintain. the one worry i have is that people say it brakes down often, is that true with all or just poorly managed minis. my first car would just be to go to local areas near where i live like school and to see my friends. i wouldn't plan on using the motorway that much. what would be the right price for a good enough one for these short journeys. i have about 3-4k in the bank is that  enough or too low? thanks

#20 Cambelt


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:08 PM

I paid 1600 this weekend for a mini Mayfair with a 1275 engine in so I can see having enough to afford one in fairly good condition

#21 AVV IT


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:17 PM

Seriously though (following my earlier suggestion about buying two), you're probably not going to get the most unbiased of opinions here when it comes to owning a mini.

In terms of safety, the ageing design and lack of safety features doesn't make the classic mini anywhere near as safe as a modern car. That doesnt make it unsafe, or mean that you shouldnt have one as a first car, but it is something to take into consideration, especially if safety is a particular concern to you. As much as I'd love for my son to have a classic mini one day, I think that when he reaches driving age, I'd much prefer him to have the protection of modern vehicle design, crumple zones, air bags and a decent NCAP rating, at least for the first few years anyway.

#22 Ben_O


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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:19 PM

thank you for all the replies. i get the feeling that its very enjoyable to drive and maintain. the one worry i have is that people say it brakes down often, is that true with all or just poorly managed minis. my first car would just be to go to local areas near where i live like school and to see my friends. i wouldn't plan on using the motorway that much. what would be the right price for a good enough one for these short journeys. i have about 3-4k in the bank is that  enough or too low? thanks

As long as you correctly maintain the car regularly and check it over often (even if it seems fine) then you will be ok. If they do go wrong, then they are simple to repair.

At the end of the day, if your car keeps breaking down mini or not, then there has to be something wrong! 


For your budget you would be able to get a decent example but i would avoid 'pretty' ones that have been modified and stick to a nice standard, well maintained Mini that is sound. especially body wise.


Plenty of low mileage lady owned cars about with history to back them up. Just make sure that you know what you are buying before parting with any cash!


Good luck



#23 montyc


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Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:30 PM

Im 23 so a bit older but only passed my test in december and bought my 89 city (998cc) a week later for just over 2 grand. Having had it for around 4 months and having done around 4000 miles, it has had no mechanical faliures at all. The only thing that has gone wrong was my light switch broke so no lights untill i replaced the switch (7 quid) and just recently had a new rear shock put on for 16 quid.

Insurance has not been an issue. I pay 700 for me and the wife insured on the mini and her little car. So thats affordable for me and was always going to be expensive as a new driver.

I bougt it because i love minis, and i know nothing about cars and want to learn, so most weekends im covered in grime with some part on the living room floor seeing how it works. If something goes wrong im fairly confident i can work out how to fix it as unlike modern cars it isnt controlled by a computer.

Great fun to drive and enjoy but i recognise its a classic car and as such will need attention on the weekends.

If thats the kind of car you want and you want to be hands on then go for it, one of the cheapest cars to insure and one of the most fun.

#24 Hopper30


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Posted 25 April 2014 - 06:08 PM

Buy one, I've had many sports cars, mr2, vx220, ae86, integra type r, 200sx and the mini is as more fun to drive then all of the(excluding the ae86).

#25 Yellowmini998


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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:00 PM

I passed my test in August last year and have driven my mini ever since.
The insurance is quite high for a 1 litre car, but I have friends paying £3500+ for their corsas etc.
If you find a really decent one that doesn't need body work then it'll probably cost a lot to buy, however I brought what I'd describe as a rolling project with my boyfriend welding both sills, a panels, floor and under one rear quarter window.
Plus projects are more fun and make you appreciate the car a lot more.
And everyone loves seeing a mini zoom past :)

#26 brownspeed


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:50 AM

if properly maintained and looked after they are relatively reliable; I say relatively since even the newest examples are 14 yr old now and its likely with the budget you have you'll be buying something older.- but they are fairly straightforward and cheap to repair.- especially compared to similar aged euroboxes

most components bolt on; thus if you've access to spanners and are willing you should be able to sort most mechanical repairs yourself.

bodywork is another matter however-I would not advise you buy a crusty wreck.

most importantly you should get insurance quotes, at your age these will be big numbers and that may determine whether you buy a mini now or wait a while.

my lad turns 21 this year, so when my project hits the road he should be able to get classic insurance- like you he'll be doing limited mileage.

good luck :highfive:

Edited by brownspeed, 26 April 2014 - 08:51 AM.

#27 scrumpix


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

my first car was a mk2 1000. Brilliant fun still enjoying mini's today with a 94 cooper

#28 psmini


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:10 AM

I bought my Mayfair for £2500 a year ago. I've spent a fair bit on it since but on improvements rather than things that needed sorting. I think it would be fine to use everyday. The things that do break are not massively expensive to fix so if you start with a decent, unmolested base mini that's been looked after, you'll be ok.

#29 harryp990


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:09 AM


I bought my first mini in the summer of last year with 59000miles on the clock. If I'm honest, the bloke I bought it off was a bit dodgy but he didn't really know what he was selling. Got it for £2000 for a 91 Mini Cooper in racing green. It's now got 65000 miles on it (a decent chunk on the motorway) and I've not had to do much work on it. Costs about £25 to fill although my fuel gauge doesn't work so I'm not really sure how much from empty but it can't be much more than that :P the engine has not had any problems and there's only a little surface rust here and there on the body. I use it everyday by the way :) I've had little stuff but as it's my daily driver I find a way to get by :P

In terms of owning a mini... I adore him. Nuff said :P yes you want one.

He is my second car, after sharing a Peugeot with my sister, and as much as I love him, I'd probably recommend driving something else first. It just settles you into driving if you drive something a little more modern first. It's only my opinion, but I'd save up for a year or so while you look for a decent specimen, then go for it :) I don't really think about how safe (or should I say unsafe) I am while I'm driving, because it's far too much fun :) the looks you get are wicked too :P

Soooo in conclusion, YES get a mini, but maybe drive something else for a year ish first :)

#30 willava182


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:21 AM

At the end of the day.. you will have the best and the worst of times with a Mini.


At times you will smile every time you see it, just waiting to get back in it and tear up some more rubber :P


But then there will be times where everything brakes at the same time and every time you look at it you wish you bought another car....



It may sink a hole in your pocket, but its worth it. I have learnt so much about cars in the year owning mine, and have met some great people and had some 'interesting experiences'


but most of all, picking up girls is easier ;)

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