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Daihatsu Charade, 1990, full mot, cheap insurance, great first car

Portsmouth, Hampshire £499.00
45 days ago
Seller type
Body type
Fuel type
Engine size


For sale is my 1990 Daihatsu Charade, 1300 carb model. The car went straight through it's MOT on Thursday, and has over a years MOT to run. Cheap to tax. I found the car to be cheaper to insure than a Corsa/Suzuki Alto/Renault Megane, so cheap insurance too.

I only bought the car in June and absolutely love it. Unfortunately I have decided to go "back to school" and have started an apprenticeship and my wife and i can't afford to run two cars now.

I bought this car as i wanted the newest small car i could find that still ran a carburetor and had less electrics to go wrong as i wanted something i could fix myself without too much aggravation (i have had several classic cars and find them a lot easier to work on than a modern!).

This car is fantastic. I absolutely love it, the way it drives reminds me so much of an old Mini, in that small nippy car way. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't have the charm of a Mini, but the way it drives really brings a smile to my face.

The 1.3 engine pulls really nicely, has a ridiculous red line (7000rpm), so you really use the revs if you want to get the speed up. All 5 gears select easily and the clutch is good.
It is starting to get into that Classic car status and could probably be insured as such (which seems mad to me!), and the JDM look of this car is good too. I was deciding between this and a K10 Micra, but the spec of this car is significantly better and the price similar (including insurance).

Since owning this car, i have used it to get me to and from Coventry on a regular basis (140 miles each way) and now to get to and from work. As such, i have had a good opportunity to give it a good shake down and replace parts to ensure that it wouldn't let me down. These include:
Front discs and pads (last week)
Drivers track rod end (tracking was done afterwards too, so it drives straight and true)
Points, rotor arm, distributor cap
Spark Plugs
Radiator cap
Air filter
Oil and oil filter

Going through the car, it was obviously well loved. There is a folder full of receipts totalling hundreds of pounds with MOT certificates going back to 1994. Service book is stamped until 1999 and the mileage is very low for a car of this age at 87000 miles.
All four tyres are absolutely fine, lots of tread, the spare wheel is also a full size matching alloy wheel and appears to have never been fitted, it is mint condition.
The interior, as seen in the pictures, is pretty good. No rips or tears, some marks and small stains. It's 27 years old and has held out great though.
The exterior, it could do with a good polish. It has suffered as all old red cars suffer. I have tried a bit of G3 (it's like T-cut on steroids), and it comes up much more red. So a bit of elbow grease or a mop and it will really shine up. There are marks here and there, and a small patch of work has been done to the passenger side rear arch, as seen in the picture. I figured i wouldn't be able to colour match it, so was planning to sticker bomb this section, but thought i would leave it up to the new buyer, as it may not be their taste.

Please understand it is a 27 year old car, so is not perfect, there will be some imperfections that i haven't mentioned, but please also note that it is a fantastic car! I haven't enjoyed driving a car this much since my last classic. This though benefits from decent brakes, a solid engine and sound deadening!
Fuel economy is also very good, for the era. On the runs to Coventry it gave me 47mpg, around town it is giving just under 40mpg. So is frugal. BUT, it is quite quick if you want it to be. The twin choke carburettor, being sequential, means that if you're just running partial throttle it uses very little fuel, but if you put your foot down you can feel the extra power created by opening the second venturi.

It is a great basis for a first car if you want something other than a dull euro box. Lowering springs are cheap on ebay, has 4x100 stud pattern on the wheels, so lots of alternative wheels can be found, and instantly you have a great looking car for not a lot of money.
Or, keep it is as it is and just drive it.

I have gone on a bit about it, apologies! Whoever buys it won't be disappointed.

I am still using the car, viewing is recommended as your opinion may be different to mine.

Thanks for looking.

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