'Am I mad to think of buying a hybrid or should I stay the way I am?'
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'
I am driving a 131 Skoda Octavia estate, 1.6 diesel with 210,000km. It had 85,000km when I bought it at two years old. My daily mileage to work is approximately 106km. Every 2-3 months I take a round trip of 300km to the west. We have one child. I am considering trading in for a hybrid to cut down on diesel costs and for environment purposes. I was hoping to buy a secondhand hybrid (Toyota?) - 2012 to 2014 - my budget is tight (approx €2-3k with my Skoda). Am I mad to think of doing this? Would you recommend a hybrid or should I stay the way I am.
Aidan: Your budget is extremely tight. I am not convinced that it is worth your while changing and yet you seem to have a requirement to do so.
Any move is likely to be quite lateral and you might soon find yourself in a very similar position.
Ideally, you need something with low mileage but that comes with a price tag.
If you can hold off and add to your savings you should be able to broaden your choices with clean, low mileage diesels.
Eddie: It would be easy for your limited budget to fall between the cracks of a deal.
I realise you have big mileage and I sympathise with your situation.
I think your best bet might be to go back a couple of years in the age of car you can buy in the hope of getting a used Toyota Prius with low mileage and a dealer prepared to take yours in for a reasonable amount.
I would not be madly optimistic about that happening but it is worth a try. If there was any prospect of having €7,000 to go with your Skoda in a year's time I'd nearly hold on.
I'm just fearful for you losing the few euro you have and ending up with little better to get you around. Please give it a lot of thought and maybe approach a dealer with a view to buying an older Prius.
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Welove 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.