There’s no doubt the Fabia S is very well-equipped, but for most air-conditioning will be important and for that you’ll need to choose the SE model instead. It’s a sweetspot of the range, and we’d suggest taking it with the 1.2TSI 90PS petrol engine, which offers the best balance of economy, efficiency and real-world performance – the 1.0 MPI 75PS is just too slow for anything but the inner-city crawl.
You could go through a broker to buy this car, but Skoda dealers are famed for their service and customer care so we’d be inclined to find a friendly local dealer instead. Haggle hard enough and you might even net yourself some discount, or find a well-specified dealer demo with thousands of pounds off the original price.
Be wary of the new Colour Concept option though, allowing you to choose contrasting colours for the roof, mirrors and wheels – the Fabia has traditionally been bought by older more conservative buyers and this could prove trick come resale time if you’ve gone wacky with the paint chart.
Don’t be surprised to find a Fabia with high miles on it; the engines are known to be reliable and thanks to impressive levels of standard kit it could find favour with fleets looking for smaller and lower-budget cars. That means there are bargains to be had, just ensure that it’s been well-looked after – cars from hire companies may not have been so well cared for, or bear some battle scars.
That said, many will be bought privately, most likely by young families or empty nesters. Either the back seats will never have been sat in, or will have endured the harsh realities of little Timmy and Jemima kicking the back of the front seats for what seems like – to the parents at least – endless miles.
Those cars that live in the city could show signs of their surroundings too, with scuffed wheels and lightly damaged bodywork so budget for any repairs required. Make sure, regardless of who owned it before, that the service booklet is fully stamped up, though don’t worry too much about consumables (brakes, tyres etc) as these should be cheap enough to replace.
Whatever you do though, invest in a Parkers Car History Check to weed out any possible hidden histories not immediately obvious when viewing the car.
We know the Fabia’s perfectly suited to city life, and as such it could be subject to the daily rigours of such – scuffs on the wheels or scratches to the paintwork should be taken care of before advertising the car to ensure you achieve the best price.
Likewise, if you’ve carted your kids around in your Fabia for months on end, then that interior will likely need a good vacuum and wipe down; there should be no debris in sight when potential buyers view the car. It goes without saying, but if you’ve spent any money on maintenance or consumables the more receipts you have to show this – along with a fully stamped up service booklet – will entice buyers into spending their hard earned easier.