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Buying a mini in 2020 Vs other options


Jigawatts
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Greetings Guys,

Back on the forum after many years (posted a question when looking for a car for my sister ages ago - can't remember my account). I've gone through the existing stuff re my question but most are a little old and bit vague.

I'll try to summarize: 

I'm currently car less having sold the parents family sedan a year back as we do not travel a lot.But with covid I'm really not to keen on public transport OR taxis. Given the current insane prices the idea is to spend as less as possible initially on a car. My budget is less than 1.5 Mil LKR.  I'm looking at a car with some character (no Maruti please)  I don't drive to work daily or anything mostly weekend medium-short trips.

I've noticed Minis for sale right in my budget and the prospects are tempting. BUT some background check I noticed the following:

Seems almost all Minis are listed as Year 1960s but seem to be newer with AC and EFI. How are the legal aspects of this? Am I asking for trouble buying one?

Are spares and components super rare? Any places bring them down etc. I'm from around CMB. So as long as there are joints in the Western province I'm ok

There seem to be EFI and Carb engines both...any specific infos about these?

How practical is the car for average usage in 2020? (think getting parts from abroad etc) 

Good places that handle repairs etc

Not looking for mega resale but not willing to sell at 50% off. 

Other options I considered are the ones mentioned by you guysin some similar threads Mazdas Station Wagons Peugeot etc but these cars are like my backup plans. 

Please suggest your opinions am I Asking for trouble or what other options do I have?

Edited by Jigawatts
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18 hours ago, Jigawatts said:

I'll try to summarize: 

I'm currently car less having sold the parents family sedan a year back as we do not travel a lot.But with covid I'm really not to keen on public transport OR taxis. Given the current insane prices the idea is to spend as less as possible initially on a car. My budget is less than 1.5 Mil LKR.  I'm looking at a car with some character (no Maruti please)  I don't drive to work daily or anything mostly weekend medium-short trips.

I've noticed Minis for sale right in my budget and the prospects are tempting. BUT some background check I noticed the following:

Seems almost all Minis are listed as Year 1960s but seem to be newer with AC and EFI. How are the legal aspects of this? Am I asking for trouble buying one?

Are spares and components super rare? Any places bring them down etc. I'm from around CMB. So as long as there are joints in the Western province I'm ok

There seem to be EFI and Carb engines both...any specific infos about these?

How practical is the car for average usage in 2020? (think getting parts from abroad etc) 

Good places that handle repairs etc

Not looking for mega resale but not willing to sell at 50% off. 

If possible, just forget the minis. One of the best cars I have ever driven, but in the lankan context, you're asking for trouble and it's a matter of luck really. Unless ofc you can splash out on a legal mini. 

Police these days are smart and they know the deal. I saw 5 minis parked in a line at our town station impound last year. Italian job shootout wage.

@fiat fan can elaborate more on the legal issue. 

Spares and all aren't rare, there are specialists too. It's a fairly simple car to fix, but the engine bay is quite cramped on the later models with ac/ps/efi, etc. Almost all minis on the road have rust on them, esepcially the later rover models due to their thinner metal. I've seen "restored" examples with rust too lol. Rust (and the book/unsafe cut and bud cars) are the only serious issues. 

Practicality wise, you can transport 4 adults around with its decent space. But don't expect any comfort with the rubber cone suspension setup. Good go-kart, bad family car. Boot space is not much. It's a good car for a couple or a family with a small kid or two. 

Even then you can't just pump petrol and drive. You need to spend your free time studying them, going thought the forums and clubs. Checking on the car once every few days before going on a drive. Know the common issues, know DIY. It's more of a love story really. 

But if you can get over the hurdles, nothing out there rewards you like a classic mini. 

As for the 1.5 mil budget, isn't it possible to find a pre-facelift Mazda BJ5W? Lovely car that (especially the facelifted ones) for the price, provided they still go for that rate. Almost perfect really, has the drive, practicality, reliability, looks, economy, resale, affordability, options, build quality. Why do our people import less Mazdas.

@Davy has a BJ5W SP20 version. 

As for the Peugeot options, you could buy a pre-facelift 306 and modify it and make it a cool fun car.

There was a time where your budget and some haggling would land you a 406 executive with sunroof, leather, electric curtain, heated seats, 2L engine, etc. But that ship has sailed and best you can go for now is a 1.8L manual (avoid the autobox) GLX which still has decent options like 4 airbags, power window, plushy seats and auto climate control.. And is way less troublesome than an executive. 

Again unless you're an enthusiast, don't go for a Pug of this age. They won't cost your kidney and are easy to maintain, but you should know the basics and inspect properly before purchase. 

As far your resale concern goes, all the above 3 hold value well and almost the same. Since even Mazda is considered "2nd market ne" by bigots. 

Edited by AVANTE
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4 hours ago, Jigawatts said:

Greetings Guys,

Back on the forum after many years (posted a question when looking for a car for my sister ages ago - can't remember my account). I've gone through the existing stuff re my question but most are a little old and bit vague.

I'll try to summarize: 

I'm currently car less having sold the parents family sedan a year back as we do not travel a lot.But with covid I'm really not to keen on public transport OR taxis. Given the current insane prices the idea is to spend as less as possible initially on a car. My budget is less than 1.5 Mil LKR.  I'm looking at a car with some character (no Maruti please)  I don't drive to work daily or anything mostly weekend medium-short trips.

I've noticed Minis for sale right in my budget and the prospects are tempting. BUT some background check I noticed the following:

Seems almost all Minis are listed as Year 1960s but seem to be newer with AC and EFI. How are the legal aspects of this? Am I asking for trouble buying one?

Are spares and components super rare? Any places bring them down etc. I'm from around CMB. So as long as there are joints in the Western province I'm ok

There seem to be EFI and Carb engines both...any specific infos about these?

How practical is the car for average usage in 2020? (think getting parts from abroad etc) 

Good places that handle repairs etc

Not looking for mega resale but not willing to sell at 50% off. 

Other options I considered are the ones mentioned by you guysin some similar threads Mazdas Station Wagons Peugeot etc but these cars are like my backup plans. 

Please suggest your opinions am I Asking for trouble or what other options do I have?

 

1 hour ago, AVANTE said:

If possible, just forget the minis. One of the best cars I have ever driven, but in the lankan context, you're asking for trouble and it's a matter of luck really. Unless ofc you can splash out on a legal mini. 

Police these days are smart and they know the deal. I saw 5 minis parked in a line at our town station impound last year. Italian job shootout wage.

@fiat fan can elaborate more on the legal issue. 

Spares and all aren't rare, there are specialists too. It's a fairly simple car to fix, but the engine bay is quite cramped on the later models with ac/ps/efi, etc. Almost all minis on the road have rust on them, esepcially the later rover models due to their thinner metal. I've seen "restored" examples with rust too lol. Rust (and the book/unsafe cut and bud cars) are the only serious issues. 

Practicality wise, you can transport 4 adults around with its decent space. But don't expect any comfort with the rubber cone suspension setup. Good go-kart, bad family car. Boot space is not much. It's a good car for a couple or a family with a small kid or two. 

Even then you can't just pump petrol and drive. You need to spend your free time studying them, going thought the forums and clubs. Checking on the car once every few days before going on a drive. Know the common issues, know DIY. It's more of a love story really. 

But if you can get over the hurdles, nothing out there rewards you like a classic mini. 

As for the 1.5 mil budget, isn't it possible to find a pre-facelift Mazda BJ5W? Lovely car that (especially the facelifted ones) for the price, provided they still go for that rate. Almost perfect really, has the drive, practicality, reliability, looks, economy, resale, affordability, options, build quality. Why do our people import less Mazdas.

@Davy has a BJ5W SP20 version. 

As for the Peugeot options, you could buy a 306 and modify it and make it a cool fun car. There was a time where your budget and some haggling would land you an executive with sunroof, leather, electric curtain, heated seats, 2L engine, etc. But that ship has sailed and best you can go for now is a 1.8L manual (avoid the autobox) GLX which still has decent options like 4 airbags, power window, plushy seats and auto climate control.. And is way less troublesome than an executive. 

Again unless you're an enthusiast, don't go for a Pug of this age. They won't cost your kidney and are easy to maintain, but you should know the basics and inspect properly before purchase. 

As far your resale concern goes, all the above 3 hold value well and almost the same. Since even Mazda is considered "2nd market ne" by bigots. 

Sadly the enthusiast in me nods to the mini being the best choice to OP

But Sri Lanka being well versed in cheating with minis, 1.5mil is likely to fetch you a con. 

My neighbour apparently used to have a mini parked in front his house, well done up, wide wheels etc

Despite both us being car fanatics he was very shady when he came to talking about the car.

It was on the curb for ages, a faily runner which he supposedly borrowed from a kingpin businessman in Kandy. 

Well it was all an alibi for the car had some dodgy paperwork and after about 2 years he finally got copped, and the legal proceedings are still in place. So unless its 100% clear or the documents match the car 100% stay clear. 

Will not talk about practicality and running expenses as they would be the least of the problems.

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Lost 25k cos of a shady mini I wanted to buy. 

Not worth it anymore. The rust and the cost involved is very high and it’s not even that worth it no more. 
 

I can go on and on. But the short answer is if you want one thats good, be ready to spend 2.5 million. Everything else is crap. Even the “original mini book” cars are cut and bud.

Get a manual kelisa. Even the top gear guys said it’s the closest thing to an original mini to drive. Drive one. You’ll love it. 1.4mil should get u a specimen with pleather seats,PS,PM,Central locking and remote. Spend 150k and get a good set of wheels and do a small tastefull customization. Best bang for buck. 
 

Auto is also fun, but the manual is just summa.

Also the “markat” is high for the kelisa. Can sell for more easily. Plus “thel karanawa” (12 city sure) and parts are cheap and plentiful. Go for it!

 

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Forgot- kelisa is truly a bi*t*h car. Run and park. Takes a good beating. Better beater than a alto.

on the mini’s legal aspect. You’ll have the cops as your best buddies in days. Might also have time to have a plain tea in jail. Even of the car is genuine, they still stop you in EVERY checkpoint. They will find a way to screw you.
 

Popo- “mahattaya potha nan ok wage, eth ac awe nane me aurudde?”

nilminis sugar daddy -“naa saar me apu widiya”

na na api dannawa nilmini gana. This a cut bud whore car,usawi danda wei mahattaya”

“ehma karanda epa ralahami. Api meka godin beragamu”

Apita sadarsnayak karanna mahattayo nattan itn mewa usawi dana case”.


Or even worse, some cops just take the car in, no questions asked. 

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Oh boy - Ok so two car's I've really liked but always kept in the no-no list is the mini and the RX-8.(Think of the hot-crazy scale - see below) There's just so much that can go wrong.  I didn't know that cops were that knowledgeable on model years though - but sounds like just too much pain. Kelisa's a good suggestion - we had one proper little runabout. And believe me it pulls. I once had to do a steep climb and was not sure if the puny 1 liter engine  could handle it. (Someone who went earlier in a diesel warned me)But the Kelisa was like - 'hold my beer' (well  in the case of a car like kelisa it would be necto I guess ).  Ad's show the Kelisa's go for 1.5 + but then again a bit of haggling might work. Also if the kelisa is too expensive try a Mira.

Some good options provided by Avante as well. 

Also - if you're just looking for a car for the interim might as well go for something bland(ish) you know forget the corolla's and get a good deal on a butterfly Mazda or the numerous Nissan's for that price. While those are not as colorful as the mini's - they're quite comfy and easy to live with. 

Illustration 1: Hot Crazy Axis 

image.thumb.png.ca46223fe1e8530dd1caf6024714c76f.png

 

Illustration 2:

Do you need more proof that the Kelisa is a 'markat' car than a possible buyya being stupid enough to post the same car with varying mileages?

image.png.c787ec5c5868a6d1799aaa70f560b4b5.png

Edited by matroska
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Super inputs gentlemen Thanks and it seems you have saved me a run in with the law. Sadly I see my mini dream fade 😂

I've driven a Kelisa yes nice car. But prices are now high 1.7-1.8 can afford but I wonder if it's worth almost 2 Mill.

Bigger cars seem reasonable priced. 

Will continue to look for options. BTW a mutual friend has a Corolla 2 hatch for sale(has a lease) - while I'm not really hooked on the car just want to know another legal aspect. The car has a lease: should the seller settle the lease OR is there a way That legally it can be agreed for me to continue paying?( Legally Transfer the lease)

Thanks for the information guys. 

Edited by Jigawatts
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13 hours ago, Jigawatts said:

Super inputs gentlemen Thanks and it seems you have saved me a run in with the law. Sadly I see my mini dream fade 😂

I've driven a Kelisa yes nice car. But prices are now high 1.7-1.8 can afford but I wonder if it's worth almost 2 Mill.

Bigger cars seem reasonable priced. 

Will continue to look for options. BTW a mutual friend has a Corolla 2 hatch for sale(has a lease) - while I'm not really hooked on the car just want to know another legal aspect. The car has a lease: should the seller settle the lease OR is there a way That legally it can be agreed for me to continue paying?( Legally Transfer the lease)

Thanks for the information guys. 

1.4 max for a Kelisa. No more. Thats the max it’s worth.

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On 12/18/2020 at 11:02 AM, Jigawatts said:

I've driven a Kelisa yes nice car. But prices are now high 1.7-1.8 can afford but I wonder if it's worth almost 2 Mill.

Bargain hard - those prices change. Also the Manuals are about 1 lakh less. 

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On 12/18/2020 at 11:02 AM, Jigawatts said:

Will continue to look for options. BTW a mutual friend has a Corolla 2 hatch for sale(has a lease) - while I'm not really hooked on the car just want to know another legal aspect. The car has a lease: should the seller settle the lease OR is there a way That legally it can be agreed for me to continue paying?( Legally Transfer the lease)

Thanks for the information guys. 

You can transfer the lease to your name if you desire. Talk with the bank or the relevant institution the vehicle is leased with. They'll walk you through the steps. 

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