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Possibly making the jump to a Ford Focus - Advice?


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Hi all, 

I have been looking for a car to replace my 56 plate clio, which is starting to age rapidly. I've been seriously looking at a Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Titanium at a local garage. I appear to be getting a good deal on it - 61 plate (registered feb 2012), 13000 miles, £8k

The main thing that is slightly worrying me is the very low mileage for its age. I'm not sure if it has been used for very short journeys, or if it has simply not been used very much at all. Is there anything I should check in either situation? Are these cars perfectly happy at doing very short journeys all the time?

Also, it has suffered some damage, which looks parking related to me rather than actually been hit by something. Down the passenger side both door hands are badly scuffed/scored. The offside front bumper and wing panel has also been dented and scuffed. Would these cause any issues other than cosmetically? I was only able to take it for a short test drive as I had another appointment to go to. It certainly appear to drive straight, no pulling to the side that I could detect. The dealer I would be buying it from is also a Ford body shop, so I have no real issues with them repairing it. 

Is there anything you would be checking/asking the dealer about this car if you were buying it? I'm not exactly experienced in buying cars, this will only be my 2nd car, and my dad done most of the talking when we got my Clio.

Thanks for reading my worried/excited/scared ramblings ! :-) 

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How did the clutch feel?

Often cars with that low mileage are driven by the "older" generation.

We test drove a car which was previously owned by an old couple and they had obviously ridden the clutch as it was slipping.

I personally wouldn't touch a car that was badly dented/scuffed as it gives me the impression the previous owners didn't give a wotsit, so how well have they looked after the rest of it...

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I found the clutch to be quite "snatchy" in 1st to be honest, fine in other gears. But then my Clio's clutch is probably needing replaced soon - still on the original and its at 105k miles, and I can be quite bad at riding the clutch... Think I'll ask to take it out on another test drive before I sign for it to test everything as best I can.

I forgot to ask about how many owners it has had, but it does have full service history. Didn't get a chance to look at it though as all it's documents were in the workshop. I'll ask to look at it tomorrow when I go back. As for warranty, typical Arnold Clark 60 warranty, unless you pay £500 for 2 years "warranty" with loads of get out clauses. However consumer rights give you 6 months minimum.  I will however be trying to get them to give me a 12 month warranty at least, and demanding it for the repair work at a minimum.

I'll ask how the damage got there. I suspect it might have happened in their own lot as it looked fresh. It is rather large, tight and lots of cars. 

Am I right in thinking that these cars do not need their timing belt changed until 10 years / 125k miles? 

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I find 1st gear in newer cars is often difficult to get a smooth take up, no idea why though!  New clutches on old cars aren't as bad, something to do with less control on a hydraulic clutch maybe. 

I bought my car on low mileage having been owned by elderly people for a few years, but no clutch slipping or parking scrapes surprisingly lol.

I wouldn't buy a car of that age and cost with scrapes, if it's a bodyshop, why haven't they repaired it before putting up for sale?  Also, have you checked it's not an insurance write off, a large scrape across many body parts can easily make a car Cat D write off these days.

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fords like rust so any paint damage will rot with 8k budget why not look at other makes with 5 yr or 7 yr warranty since the focus will be out of warranty now if you want a focus the theres plenty on the market ide walk away from that one. as for warranties I've had warranty direct which is a good one it covers everything from wheel bearings to springs keys and audio and covers wear and tear on all the items as well and any issues found on a service or mot its only worth it though I the cars under 8yr old and 70k miles

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