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Can A Mini Be A Daily Motorway Driver?


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#16 JellySenpai


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Posted 06 March 2017 - 11:58 PM

Thank you for all your honest opinions. I guess I'll look for a different car. And maybe one day Ill be able to own a mini

#17 minimans


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:49 AM

Just do it mate, I drove my 1380 for 4 years 5 days a week from San Dimas to Pasadena Ca. round trip 48 miles rain or shine (well not much rain in southern Cal!) Just put a good sound system in it and a comfy seat....................

But you will wear it out faster than a Bini and your ears will bleed after a bit...............................

#18 Midas Mk1

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 07:56 AM

Live once, have no regrets. Try it, and if you dont like it, move on from it?



Best worth trying, than never trying at all. 

(Just got to work with a big grin on my face.. ) 

#19 greenmini1275


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:15 AM

If needs be wear ear plugs. I've done it on long journeys.

#20 cooperdan


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 09:03 AM

Would i do it now, likely not no


when i was young 100% i did and i loved it for 7 year,. Might aswell give it crack if you can as previously mentioned.


You only live once!

#21 Spider


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 09:33 AM

Not the same as doing it in a Mini, but I do big trips in the Moke, usually at least 1 a year, a shorter trip is circa 5 000 km but usually around 10 000 km, over anything from 2 to 5 weeks, often covering 600 km a day, though have done 1000 km a few times. in my younger days, travelling 2 up, we'd go for 2 to 3 days travelling 24 hr a day, only stopping for fuel!


To do this I do try to keep some fitness as it really does take it out of me, often I find I need a good 1 to 3 weeks after to 'get over it'.


If needs be wear ear plugs. I've done it on long journeys.


I too have been doing this the past 5 or so years and I find it helps a lot, in more ways then first may appear. I don't have them in all day, but a few hours at a stretch is helpful.

#22 ings


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 09:50 AM

Why driving a boring car? Minis make every travel fun.

Buy the haynes manual and learn how to fix a car.

#23 Cooperman


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:29 AM

If one is determined to drive an old classic car as a daily motorway driver there are better choices than a classic Mini.

The MGB-GT is a good choice as is an early 1980's VW Golf.

But the reality is that any classic car which will increase in value will be expensive to keep on the road, especially when the body corrosion is taken into account. The stuff they put on the roads in Winter will soon cause a classic Mini to rust, or any other classic for that matter.

Classic Minis are great fun to own, but for modern traffic conditions they are not really ideal. If you drove 300+ miles per week I guarantee you will soon get fed up with it and having to spend so much time servicing and repairing it will son take the enjoyment away. It's different when it is just kept as a classic for weekends, runs and shows as you can do the maintenance when you feel like it, but to come home in the evening and have to do work before you can go to work in it the next day is another matter.

A Mini in a condition to do a high mileage will cost a lot, probably well over £3000, and for that you can get a really good modern car and the running costs for a modern will allow you to save the cash you won't be spending on keeping a Mini going towards buying a restoration Mini project car.

I mentioned my Grandson who had a Cooper MPI as his first car, but soon tired of it, sold it and bought a Fiesta 1.25 Zetec. With the money he got for the Mini he bought both the Fiesta and an MGB-GT requiring a major restoration. He is 22 now and although the MGB is still under restoration due to my restoration 850 Mini taking up workshop space, we will be getting on with it hopefully next year.

#24 Carlos W

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:39 AM

At that kind of weekly mileage I'd be buying a decent deisel which will return 50+mpg


My 2.2 litre diesel Mazda returns that kind of mpg and is very comfortable to drive on long journeys. 


It's got 100k miles on it and apart from service items it currently needs a wheel bearing. 


You'd be having to service a mini every month 

#25 Ethel


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

If the OP is talking about an hour's driving twice a day, three days a week, I don't see a problem if they really want a Mini.


Whether a Mini is the right choice of car will be down to their blend of running costs and requirements - passengers, occasional luggage...


You can certainly do better for budget motoring, with less initial outlay. 

#26 tiger99


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:42 PM

I did this for over 3 years in a City E, with no problems at all, a long time ago. It is very necessary to stick to the recommended service intervals. All 8 grease nipples at least every 2000 miles (can be done in less than 5 minutes with practice), oil (GTX in those days) and filter every 6000, plugs and air filter every 12000, get rid of points and fit electronic ignition. The rear brakes must be adjusted at least every 6000. Before you start a period of intense usage, change the things that wear unseen and cause damage such as knuckle joints, which are cheap, Check the hydraulics very carefully. I would change all seals and hoses automatically on a new car with unknown history. Fresh DOT4 fluid every 18 months. New CV gaiters and GENUINE hub bearings. Attend to rustproofing annually. Others may add to that list...


Once the vital bits are in good order, and PROPERLY assembled, ball joints especially, it will go on for a long time with very little unscheduled maintenance.


After that Mini came a well-worn diesel Cavalier. I again changed all hydraulics, dampers, suspension bushes and track rod ends. After that it drove like new and was similarly thrashed up the motorway for several years. More civilised than the Mini but also more sluggish as it was only a 1.5. About the same fuel costs. Mechanically, nothing ever except tyres, brake pads and discs with every second set of pads, and a rubber exhaust buffer costing 35p in those days, which fell out occasionally, until I started to carry a spare. Oh, and one injection pipe pinholed and sprayed under the bonnet with diesel, but it limped home on 3 cylinders. Rust, and an idiot who collided with it, finished it off.


Next one was a Maestro TDi. Ate front hub bearings, otherwise only tyres, pads and discs, and one cylinder head skin when the gasket blew.


Then an inherited early Focus TDi. Same again, routine pads and disks, regular and vitally important timing belt. Later, at about 120k, it was needing all sorts of stuff like ball joints and bushes, fuel lines and filter housings, boost hoses, some of which were remarkably expensive, but by then it was in semi retirement.


Comparing them all, the Cavalier was the cheapest, followed closely by the Mini. Parts for the more modern cars are hideously expensive. Today, looking at spares prices, the Mini would be the winner, as every essential part is available at reasonable cost, usually much less than for a modern car, and almost every maintenance task can be done at home. The Cavalier and Maestro would lose out on parts availability, and the Focus on expense and the need for garage attention for certain things.


And which would give more driving pleasure? On the motorway, no difference. None of these cars are sensitive to crosswinds, which can make certain allegedly superior vehicles highly problematic in bad weather. On a nice twisty country road, in clear conditions, the Mini wins. I think the Focus and possibly the Maestro could out-corner it in terms of lateral G, but the low polar moment of the short little Mini makes the turn-in much sharper and there is no power steering rack to mask the feel. Isn't that why we like Minis so much?

#27 Icey


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:34 PM

Parts for the more modern cars are hideously expensive.



Which is why you spend <£2k on the car and throw it away when it starts to need expensive parts. Bangernomics.


I very much disagree with all of the cars you listed being equal for a motorway journey. Nothing is fun on the motorway, so you want something that's comfortable and offers good safety. A Mini is most definitely not comfortable nor particularly safe.


While you can perform all minor and major service work at home - do you really want to? It's what put the nail in the coffin for me (driving a 'classic' daily). There is nothing that will put you off home servicing quicker than needed to do it in the snow, or the rain or even when it's just freezing cold.


Modern cars have 10k - 15k service intervals. You can can still do it at home, tooling isn't any more costly/complex if you pick a model suited to it or you just find a good local garage and not think about it.


Commuting/daily mileage isn't fun no matter what car you're in, so why double down on it by running a car that'll need significantly more effort than something for the same price?


I use a new Abarth 500 daily - fun car, rarely get to actually have fun in it though as the roads are in a shocking condition and traffic is terrible....but it's under an OEM warranty and on a service plan - I don't have to think about it, just drive.

#28 Rocket.


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Posted 07 March 2017 - 04:33 PM

All the "service" type parts listed above would quickly turn into a small restoration project on it's own! Not something I'd want to do if I had to rely on the car to get me to work in the morning

#29 maccers


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Posted 08 March 2017 - 12:29 PM

Not sure if its been said here, but you could get a longer final drive to make the driving more motorway friendly. I used mine as a daily driver years ago when I was in my late teens and 20's, went everywhere with it! I run motorbikes manly now, and have used 600's, 800's, 1000's and 1300cc bikes for motorway way, they can all do it but at different levels of comfort and speed. Same with a car really, more or less any car can do motorway work but will have good and bad points. Would I use my mini now for motorway work - if i had to yes, I had to move it 200 miles recently albeit for storage then 200 miles back, car coped very well, for me it was more comfy than a bike ride, less than driving the wifes E-Class....

#30 ings


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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:26 PM

This is how you arrive at work with a economical modern car...




This is how you arrive with a classic mini. :-)


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