Advice desk: My Polo must go... I am driving on a wing and a prayer
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 have a 2007 Volkwagen Polo 1.2 with (340,000kms). It is used five days a week to commute. I drive an average of 35,000kms annually. I visited a few garages recently and the most I was offered as a trade-in was €1,500. I can only afford a budget of €11k. I would appreciate any advice you can give me. I am driving on a wing and a prayer, there are so many things wrong.
Aidan: There is nothing measly about a budget of €11,000, so do not be too disheartened. You need a sensible diesel which is safe and frugal. Opt for a Kia cee'd. Look for something with a comprehensive service record.
Tell your local dealers you are in the market for something with low mileage and in good condition. Just because something is not advertised on the net does not mean it isn't out there. Dealers are now ordering new cars for customers who are trading in, so get ahead of the market and see what is in the pipeline.
Look, too, at a Toyota Auris 1.4 D-4D in Luna trim. Ideally, covering your mileage, you will be better in something with a bit of bulk. There should be plenty of Ford Focus models on 2014-plates too. Look for an Edition model as the cheapest option. It still has decent specification.
Eddie: The Toyota Auris that Aidan mentions would be my pick. Another would be a well-minded Skoda Octavia. It might be roomy for you, but I wouldn't let that worry me. Make sure anything you buy has a full service record.
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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.