“My name is Joan and I drive a Fiat Panda 1.1 Active Eco, which I have owned for two years now. These days all my driving is for pleasure and social reasons.
My hubby and I are retired and when we were both working we loved a bigger car; in fact our last car was a Mercedes C class.”
What features were you looking for in your new car?
“Our mileage is now a fraction of what it used to be and with a fixed income (and the uncertain state of the economy) we wanted something more economical to run. The Fiat road tax is just £30 per year which I particularly like (as opposed to around £250 for the Mercedes) and we are getting much better fuel economy too which is a big consideration in our choice of car.”
What made you choose a Fiat?
“We looked seriously at other makes but in the end it came down to a Kia (we liked the extended warranty) or this little Fiat. We took the car for a short drive and I was really happy with it.”
“Previously a neighbour of ours had bought one who then told a friend of ours who then bought one who then told us how good it was and then we bought one! It’s good to have that sort of recommendation…
The car is nippy, easy to park and easy on the wallet. It has four doors and a reasonable space for shopping or luggage in the rear.
The only thing I don’t like is that you cannot see the front of the car when driving it, but you do get used to that. Also, although the back seat folds down it does not lie flat.”
How did you get on when you bought it?
“We went to a local car dealership that sells several different car makes at different locations and saw this car. It was already registered and had been reserved for a lady who then changed her mind. We got a good deal and I imagine the dealer was keen to move it on. I thought they offered us a good price on the Mercedes, even though it needed new tyres and would soon need taxing.
I was going to take it back to the dealer for servicing but then heard (via our friends’ grapevine again…) that I could get it serviced at another local independent garage that has been approved by Fiat. They charged a lot less money so that’s where I go now. However, I should point out that you need to check that your warranty will not be affected if you take this option.”
Good point Joan and we can confirm that your warranty is safe providing your repairs are carried out by a good independent garage, especially one that Fiat know and approve. We like this car too and are impressed by Fiat’s efforts to improve our driving to ultimately save us money and reduce our carbon emissions. They are offering an Eco-Drive service and their video explains how this works. It’s not for everyone of course, especially if you aren’t technically minded, and although they say the data collected is anonymous, their system does enable others to know where you are and when, as well as the roads you drive and the speed you take them at.
All in a good cause of course and FOXY is looking at the many ways black box/telematic technology is being used at present before reporting back to members.