Wednesday 21 August 2019

'Am I mad to think of buying a hybrid or should I stay the way I am?'


The Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius

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.

Help us help you

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.

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