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My mate Floyd's brother had one.
One night some chavs turned it over.
My MIL has a Fourfour (or whatever it's called) and she likes it. Prior to that she had the little two seater thing which I drove occasionally. She liked them both, they don't seem to have given any trouble. She's also got an MB SLK.
I don't really like them and reckon for the mileage I'd rather have a small diesel or a hybrid. Just how desparate for the last few MPG can you be ?
Try checking this link for mpg figures.
My next door neighbours daughter has a smart car, she loves it and her husband sells cars so she could have any other she wanted.... Test drive the Fiat, its great fun, mine is the 1.2 lounge so a bit higher spec'd than the pop version (alloys, blue tooth connectivity for hands free phone, mp3 hook up and AC). Feels chunky, etc. I took a bit of getting used to as my last car was a 2 litre Alfa. I did it for the same reasons you are... fuel/insurance/road tax costs.
We have a smart car and it's fab! We bought it last year using the scrappage scheme, so it ended up not being too expensive and it is a great little car for the two of us. I think that the newer models - 2008(?) onwards - are far superior to the early ones, performing much better in crash tests etc. We get around 300 miles from a tank, which still costs under £30 even if it's gasping and most of our driving is London-traffic-jam stuff. We bought the petrol passion which has aircon, European sat nav and start/stop technology - all of which are fairly useful!
The insurance is really cheap and it costs £20 to tax for a year. The diesel model, and I believe the new petrol, also come in under 100 wotsits per mile of CO2 and are therefore exempt from the Congestion Charge.
It's great fun to drive too - as it weighs practically nothing it can really move, and whilst I thought I'd have issues with an automatic it's just so easy! They're also a lot more comfortable than you'd think. We drove ours down to the Dordogne last year and it was far more pleasant than similar journeys were in our Volvo. They've also got capacity for loads of luggage. We had a little disaster on the way back as the fuckwit who fitted our (smart) bikerack (at considerable expense) had failed to fit the brackets properly and it fell off. Breakdown cover (even from smart) doesn't cover your bike rack failing, so we managed to get 2 bikes, clothing for 2 people for a fortnight and 2 people in the car.
Honestly, I absolutely love it - it's a great car! We have a new (properly fitted) bike rack and we manage perfectly happily as a one car family with it.
Thanks for everyone's advice. I think a test drive of a few of the cars mentioned will make up my mind. It's good to hear to the good & bad points though.
We've got a Hyundai i10, being one of the few really economical small cars that has rear doors (which in fairness doesn't seem like a requirement here). £35 tax, quoted 62mpg which is good for a petrol engine, cheap to buy and five year warranty. We've had ours for nearly three years now and I'm very happy with it for what it is.