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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am an 19 year old girl who has just past her driving test (UK) and I was wondering if anyone had any views or knowledge on what it is like to own a 124 as a first car.
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2019 124 Spider Abarth
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I don’t think many here are on their first car. That said - as long as you’re good with the monthly payment and tax/insurance you should be good. The car is easy to fix and maintain since it uses common Fiat and Mazda parts.

I know you have different standards on what a “small car” is vs us in the US. Does this car have enough cargo space for you - will you need to take more than one person with you ever? Will you ever need to drive yourself and another to the airport with carry-on suitcases - trust me - two suitcases don’t fit :)

Other than the things above it’s a great choice - awesome car in general, and a really nice first car.
 

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The 124 was my first car actually. My only regret was not knowing to get ceramic coating with a new car. The 124 especially needs it, being so low to the ground.
 

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Many moons ago Miata was my 1st New Fun car. The Spider 124 has same sort of traits. Great gas mileage, reliable, safety features, decent sized trunk, fun.
 
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Hello and Welcome Squirrel.....Hmmm, 19 yrs old, first car, insurance cost will be BIG me thinks, Car Tax £145 pa so no problems there, running costs are Great, as is reliability and the 124 Spider is a stylish and wonderful piece of engineering. Depending on income.....Parents / family assisting you then Great but make a clear plan / understanding agreed by all parties should you be expecting to repay within a certain time frame and go for 0 % interest as it is family.
Bank loan....Have you built up a good credit score as a Bank Loan usually is best way forward borrowing and the rate you pay (if you do not already know this) is APR annual percentage rate, so if it's 10% the is the rate each year, however...if you buy on a dealership finance scheme (usually Lloyds) and it's 10 % FIXED rate then that is doubled to 20 per annum, so be very careful that you fully understand before signing.
Have you actually test driven a 124 Spider ?......They are great to drive but in heavy City / Town traffic with Trucks and Busses all around you and maybe not quite seeing you so low down you may struggle so take a drive and see how you feel. MPG is fantastic, use PREMIUM grade fuel only and you will see 45 mpg+ on a 124 Classica or Lusso, a 124 Abarth has more engine power output so insurance costs will be higher and fuel consumption slightly less. So, if cash is sorted without struggling and you love the drive then a 124 Spider could be a dream first car as long as you don't want to go camping with a mate and two lots of kit......... Alternative, the Mazda MX5 actually on cost you could pick up an older one at a good price or the Fiat 500 to get you going fairly cheaply with a reliable little car. Where about are you in the UK as most "squirrels" are London or Cheltenham based............maybe a local member could show you around his / her 124 Spider, if that doesn't appeal then make sure your chosen dealership give you a GOD tour and long test drive of whatever first car you are considering......Best Wishes and hopefully...we will see you back here with photographs of your New 124 Spider.....Cheers
ron
 
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My first car was a '79 124spider, I loved it soo much that I bought an '18 and love it just as much or more. What a great first car and what a great age to own such a great car,
 

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Welcome @squirrel you are very fortunate to be in a position to consider a nearly new 124, many are leased typically for 3 years so you'll see many 2017 and 2018 ones out there. Now is a good time to buy but don't wait too long, the prices may edge up a little in the spring. As a first (and only?) car think about all the things you will use it for, will it be practical enough, and if you are using it year round and especially if not garaged, will you be OK cleaning it regularly (two bucket method, or keep rinsing your wash mitt, and be careful of the soft/thin paint). Parking is easier with reversing camera

Not sure what your budget is but in UK you start with Classica (body coloured windscreen surround, 16" wheels, cloth seats, 3" text display "radio" unless upgraded to 7" touchscreen, halogen headlights) - then Lusso with silver windscreen surround, 17" wheels, leather seats, 7" touchscreen) and then Lusso Plus adds LED headlights (definitely worth having) and Bose sound system (maybe not). The Abarth has extra Abarth badging, different seats, red rev counter, different brakes, suspension and exhaust, with LED lights were an option. There are more detailed differences than that (including keyless opening, reversing camera) but that's a summary of the key ones. There is also the S-Design, a Fiat with the Abarth wheels.

Have a look at the colours available and see which combinations of body colour (red, white, blue, black, brown or bronze, silver or grey, pearl white) and seats (black or tan) you like. You didn't mention auto or manual, a lot of youngsters these days only pass their test for auto.

Finally, arrange some test drives at dealers to help decide, but don't discount private sellers for a lower price but no warranty that you'll likely be offered by a dealer.

I'm sure you'll decide that the 124 Spider is a great first car, so drop in again with pics when you have got one ;)
 
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2020 Fiat 124 Abarth, manual, Chiaro Silver, visability, navigation, convenience packages, brembos
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My first car was a used 1975 Triumph TR7 which is very similar to the Fiat 124 you are considering. I can confidently say that you will not regret your decision.
 

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My first car was a Fiat Uno - would have bit your arm off for something like a Spider. If you don't need the extra practicality (who does at 19 :) ), go for it.
 
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Wow... a 124 Spider as a first vehicle. I wish I knew someone like you when I was a lad. lol

My first car, and folks... try not to bash me too hard on this... was a 1979 Lada 1500S. It came OEM with a pint of body enamel, an engine repair kit, and a crank that fit in the hole in the front bumper. It was a beast of a little thing, but also a Fiat from another mother (my understanding is that Fiat made a deal and set up a factory for the Soviets, which is why the Lada sedan was for all intents a Fiat 124 Special). But one of the differences was that the Lada had body panels about the same thickness as an oil drum. It was rugged, and in later years greatly prized as rally cars. And no joke when I said it was heavier than it's Italian sibling. The Lada 1500s weighed well over 200 lbs. more than the Fiat 124 Special, and that was body metal.

But I digress. So long as you can afford the vehicle, it's a joy to own. But as a first vehicle, and given your locale, I'd suggest looking at a 500 Abarth instead. If you really want the top off, they make a cabrio model. The only reason I'm saying this is that the Spider, though a joy to own, is pretty low to the ground, and with the top up my assessment is that is has some serious blind spots which could be problematic in congested driving conditions. Top down you have a 360 degree unimpeded view of everything, including the spinning lugnuts on the wheels of the lorries beside you. :)

As others have suggested, the best thing is to take one for a test drive... in locations and traffic conditions similar to what would be your normal drive. Cars are always such a personal choice, so just like picking out clothes, price, style, fit and comfort are all considerations to be taken into account. Whatever you choose to go with, make sure it's a car that makes you smile. Drive safe.
 

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Wow... a 124 Spider as a first vehicle. I wish I knew someone like you when I was a lad. lol

My first car, and folks... try not to bash me too hard on this... was a 1979 Lada 1500S. It came OEM with a pint of body enamel, an engine repair kit, and a crank that fit in the hole in the front bumper. It was a beast of a little thing, but also a Fiat from another mother (my understanding is that Fiat made a deal and set up a factory for the Soviets, which is why the Lada sedan was for all intents a Fiat 124 Special). But one of the differences was that the Lada had body panels about the same thickness as an oil drum. It was rugged, and in later years greatly prized as rally cars. And no joke when I said it was heavier than it's Italian sibling. The Lada 1500s weighed well over 200 lbs. more than the Fiat 124 Special, and that was body metal.

But I digress. So long as you can afford the vehicle, it's a joy to own. But as a first vehicle, and given your locale, I'd suggest looking at a 500 Abarth instead. If you really want the top off, they make a cabrio model. The only reason I'm saying this is that the Spider, though a joy to own, is pretty low to the ground, and with the top up my assessment is that is has some serious blind spots which could be problematic in congested driving conditions. Top down you have a 360 degree unimpeded view of everything, including the spinning lugnuts on the wheels of the lorries beside you. :)

As others have suggested, the best thing is to take one for a test drive... in locations and traffic conditions similar to what would be your normal drive. Cars are always such a personal choice, so just like picking out clothes, price, style, fit and comfort are all considerations to be taken into account. Whatever you choose to go with, make sure it's a car that makes you smile. Drive safe.
Yep...We had one of those once "CD" it was the top of the range model, " A Skip" painted yellow, but we only had it for a short time whist we were clearing out the house we had just bought.
On the much more serious note of advice to our "Squirrel" I concur that most probably she would be better advised as a first car, with all the height, traffic, vision stuff to go Fiat 500 unless she is totally confident and in love (you can't help that bit) with the 124 Spider....a Red one would help as other drivers would see you better Squirrel, and....it's the best colour !! Cheers
ron
 

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My first was a Spitfire. Your biggest issue will be insurance. The other major problem is that you will be forever hooked on open top roadsters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello and Welcome Squirrel.....Hmmm, 19 yrs old, first car, insurance cost will be BIG me thinks, Car Tax £145 pa so no problems there, running costs are Great, as is reliability and the 124 Spider is a stylish and wonderful piece of engineering. Depending on income.....Parents / family assisting you then Great but make a clear plan / understanding agreed by all parties should you be expecting to repay within a certain time frame and go for 0 % interest as it is family.
Bank loan....Have you built up a good credit score as a Bank Loan usually is best way forward borrowing and the rate you pay (if you do not already know this) is APR annual percentage rate, so if it's 10% the is the rate each year, however...if you buy on a dealership finance scheme (usually Lloyds) and it's 10 % FIXED rate then that is doubled to 20 per annum, so be very careful that you fully understand before signing.
Have you actually test driven a 124 Spider ?......They are great to drive but in heavy City / Town traffic with Trucks and Busses all around you and maybe not quite seeing you so low down you may struggle so take a drive and see how you feel. MPG is fantastic, use PREMIUM grade fuel only and you will see 45 mpg+ on a 124 Classica or Lusso, a 124 Abarth has more engine power output so insurance costs will be higher and fuel consumption slightly less. So, if cash is sorted without struggling and you love the drive then a 124 Spider could be a dream first car as long as you don't want to go camping with a mate and two lots of kit......... Alternative, the Mazda MX5 actually on cost you could pick up an older one at a good price or the Fiat 500 to get you going fairly cheaply with a reliable little car. Where about are you in the UK as most "squirrels" are London or Cheltenham based............maybe a local member could show you around his / her 124 Spider, if that doesn't appeal then make sure your chosen dealership give you a GOD tour and long test drive of whatever first car you are considering......Best Wishes and hopefully...we will see you back here with photographs of your New 124 Spider.....Cheers
ron
Thank you, I am a little worried about the insurance will cost me however with not having the opportunity to travel the world this year due to Covid, I think I have saved enough for the next few years of insurance on it. I am pretty set on a 124 Spider as the majority of my friends drive Fiat 500s and I'm looking for something a little more individual, and that will stand out from the crowed. Cheers for the advice on getting the dealership to give me a good look round it and a good test drive. Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My first car was a Fiat Uno - would have bit your arm off for something like a Spider. If you don't need the extra practicality (who does at 19 :) ), go for it.
Exactly my thought, when else can I own a 2 seater roadster and really get the most out of it!
 

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Go for it Squirrel !!!! Just out of interest, where approx are you in the UK ?... I'm in South East Wales.
And he's married...do you like cats Squirrel ? But seriously Squirrel.....If we do have a member who lives somewhere within reach you could also ask them to go see 124 Spiders with you as they will know what to look for (no problems with them,just if they are modded or worst the money or not, also....someone like Arthur... will NOT pay one penny more than he needs to so would help you get the best deal as would a Scotsman or a Yorkshireman, I am a Scouser by birth so I would just "Nick it" and let you have it for a bag of fish and chips !
 

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Thank you, I am a little worried about the insurance will cost me however with not having the opportunity to travel the world this year due to Covid, I think I have saved enough for the next few years of insurance on it. I am pretty set on a 124 Spider as the majority of my friends drive Fiat 500s and I'm looking for something a little more individual, and that will stand out from the crowed. Cheers for the advice on getting the dealership to give me a good look round it and a good test drive. Thank you so much!
Got it.....Gocompare, compare the market and money supermarket with go compare my favorite will all compete for your business. Don't be too worried about insurance as the engine is only 1368 cc (you will need that figure), if you carry an excess (in event of claim) then it reduces amount and keep your miles down then that will also make it cheaper, DON'T add any mates / partners to insurance as that bumps the premiums up. You can go on gocompare, sign in / join up and gets / edit quotes all day long so...unmodified 124 spider cost to insure. A Number Plate (something off ebay uk you fancy for instance) tick not bought yet, is it modified NO, It will then ask you about excesses, convictions, where the Spider lives (now, if you have use of a garage choose that, Driveway still good, parked on road or elsewhere not quite as clever. Your postcode will have an effect on cost as if you live in the City / high theft area expensive, countryside usually cheaper. I would guess that it will cost you hundreds rather than thousands to insure a 124 Spider, anyway...when you have filled in the online form click to access rules and wait and the quotes start coming up. DON'T always go for the cheapest as "on occasion" they also are the worst for service but most are very good indeed. You will then be armed with what your likely cost for insurance will be.
When you get your Spider (and I now think you will) report back here and we will all help as much as we can or course, Cheers again
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Last bit of advice Squirrel....Should you wish one of our members to meet up then POST it here NOT by private message so WE WILL KNOW who he / she is and pass comment / warnings if it's someone just joined for instance.
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Because of your age, experience and the vehicle you may be outside of the scope of on-line insurers for example GoCompare. You should also check with a specialist broker like Adrian Flux Insurance Broker as they often have underwriters that are more off the wall.
 
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