Thursday 19 April 2018

Advice desk: No idea what I'm doing when buying cars, what should I buy?

Nissan Juke
Nissan Juke

Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying

Long story, but basically I've no one I can ask car questions to in my life. No idea what I'm doing with cars and would really like your advice on what's best to do. I'm commuting 130km every day. Budget: €10k/€13k; annual mileage: 35,000km. Need 4 seats. Current car: Nissan Juke diesel 1.5, 141 reg, 130,000km. Should I just run it into the ground? If so, how many miles do you think I could clock up if I get it serviced religiously? Does it make sense to change given the miles I'm doing? Have no idea what my trade-in value would be. Really hope you can help.

Aidan: Running a car into the ground is more complicated than it sounds. You need to be able to recognise when enough is enough. Wear and tear items will require replacement but there will come a point when it simply becomes uneconomical to keep the car going. I think keeping your car until it is terminal could cause headaches.

You will take a hit on your car's residual value because of its mileage. But that will be the case even if you decide to sell it with 280,000km on the clock. Either way you will pay for driving more than average.

I think you should consider shouldering a little more depreciation than normal by ensuring that you are always in something with a warranty.

I recommend looking at a brand with an extended warranty period or something with unlimited mileage warranty. Hyundai and Kia are good starting points.

Eddie: In your case, with your mileage I would make it my policy to change to a new/newer car every three years.

That way most cars you'll own will be covered against major breakdown, running costs are kept low and you don't have to worry as much.

So yes I'd change for 2018 definitely. And I'd buy another, newer Juke diesel. Just for simplicity and ease for you on your budget.


We love getting your enquiries and try to reply to as many as possible here or via email. The ones dealt with here often represent a cross section of individual questions. You can help us help you with our free, independent, advice by including the following in your queries:

* Budget (including trade-in).

* Annual mileage (in kms).

* Size of car required (number of seats).

* Present car (make, model, year and mileage) if relevant.

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