Originally Posted by EPM
Plus the diesel will sell easier and for a better price when you come to sell it. The Avensis is a heavy car and the 1.6 really isn't enough for it. Maybe consider going back a year and getting a diesel
That would be my advice too - I got an Avensis diesel (99) as my first car and I f***ing love it.
ok the tax sucked but I had savings, and I could have paid in 3 or 6 month increments if I needed to do so.
Remember that diesel fuel is cheaper and you tend to get more MPG - remember also that fuel taxes are likely to be increased seriously in the next budget.
Beyond that my best advice would be that if the car is over 4 years old make sure it has an NCT, get a mechanic to give you a list of things you should look for in your examination and test drive, and check the cars history as well on Cartell. Cars 6 years and younger are generally new enough that a previous owners financing might be a problem so be sure to do a Finance Check as well.
Edit: one last thing, if you can afford an 08 Avensis, get a diesel that was first registered after July, you'll pay tax based on carbon emissions rather than engine size and I'm fairly sure you'd pay less tax.