FloatingFatMan, on 05 February 2013 - 07:40, said:
I'm thinking maybe something like a Renault Megane, a Ford Focus or possibly a Vauxhall Astra, but I'll welcome any suggestions!
Having being a big fan on the Astra as a hot hatch over the last several years, yesterday I picked up a Megane for something slightly bigger with plenty of leg room in the back seats, even with the front pushed back. Being 6'2 I haven't really had any problems with the car's I've driven as they've all had rake on the steering wheel. I'm very pleased with it so far, but I'm aware of problems with the car that could arise such as the key card's becoming dead. Quite a cost to have them replaced (around £150 a go), so do try and do a bit of a check on common problems that you might
be faced with and try to factor that in.
I highly recommend that you visit a few places and take the cars you're interested in on a test drive. Simply things such as the clutch they use can be a real big turn off for a lot of people, and generally across the range of same year the likes of Vauxhall is going to be using the same technology where it can so you'll know pretty much what you're looking at when you think about cars. I prefer the slightly harder clutch on the Astra, but still prefer the Megan's over a Volvo's S60. One of the biggest things that won me over with the Megan was the ride height was quite high, it feels almost mini-van style. I took a KIA Sportage for a test drive and while that was a tall 4x4 car the ride height felt quite low and I found it quite worrying that I couldn't see over the sides properly.
For most test drives from a dealer (even used cars), you won't even need your own insurance to cover it just a valid driving license. So go have some fun in the cars, see what you like and then go from there.
As for cost of insurance, the base line is where you
live so as long as you've got a lot of extra points on your license, the only real issue is the size of engine. Of course there are other factors such as if its a hard sports car or import etc but the family/business cars you're generally looking at you shouldn't have to worry too much.