Mark's 1999 Fiat Punto 1.2

Mark's first ever car, it was bought from a neighbour (a teacher) after he was given a diesel Ford Mondeo to better cope with his growing family. Mark needed a car to get between home to university and which he could sit in for those periods between lectures when he was on his own, wanted peace and quiet and shelter from the inclement British weather.

History: None supplied, but we know that a replacement engine was fitted roughly 5,000 miles before Mark bought it. That engine had done just 35,000 miles and was fitted by Sean (a friend of Andy's) after the original expired with badly scored bores. After a good valet removed all the signs of having been a family car (kids sick, spilt milk, melted sweets, etc...) the interior shows hardly any signs of use, scrubbing up as good as new. The exterior has a few car park dings and scratches and the paint is a bit faded, but, nothing major considering it's "cheap as chips" purchase price.
Purchased: Bought for just 385 it took a further 400 to get it sorted and issued with an MoT.
Servicing: To date all servicing has been done by big brother Andy.
Mileage on purchase: 72,000
Current mileage . . . : 79,700
Fuel consumption . .: 42 mpg

Faults/Problems to date:-
Winter 2009 - standing out in all weathers the very long cold snap that we experienced resulted in the battery running low. This was cured by leaving the battery on a trickle charge for a whole weekend and the problem has not reappeared.

It seems to have a liking for nails - having picked up three in the front tyres since Mark acquired it. Twice the tyre had to be replaced due to the location of the puncture.

August 2010 - disco lights show. Due to the ingres of water on one particularly long and wet journey (lovely British summer weather) the rear of the car turned into a disc lights show with everything flashing in all ways depending on what was switched on/off. The cure was found to require a complete set of rear lights and connectors due to bad earth connections. Total fix cost in the order of 40 using secondhand bits from a local breaker, including gas struts and door seal for the rear hatchback.

September 2010 - Failed MoT. Needs some welding to the floor near the o/s/f seat belt anchorage point. Not clever in view that the MoT expired in June.... Also an advisory that it needs another new front tyre, but due to wear this time. Welding cost 80 and anti-roll bar bushes 20 plus the cost of the MoT.

A brilliant little car
As a first, and importantly, cheap introduction to car ownership this is a brilliant little car. Equally happy on the daily commute between Derby and Nottingham University, weekend drives into the Peak District, visits to the girlfriend's place in Manchester or on the motorway - it just seems happy to be there, and Mark is happy in it. Acceleration is brisk enough to keep up with traffic and while noisy under acceleration the noise is not deafening or uncomfortable. The eight valve motor doesn't have to be revved in the way that the sixteen valve version does and fuel economy is 42 mpg. During the winter of 2009/10 it was the only car that comfortably made it home when all the bigger and more expensive cars in the close were abandoned due to the snow and ice on the slope that leads to the close (with Mark giving a cheeky wave as he drove past). Yes, it is basic but it is also comfortable, cheap, cheerful and but above all, cheeky and fun to drive - what more could you want from your first car?

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