Advice desk: We will be relocating to Ireland... and we need a bigger car
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'
My wife and I have been in Australia for the last six months for work reasons. We still have two cars in Ireland in storage, declared off the road since July. We have a new baby and will be relocating to Ireland in early February. Neither of our cars is large enough to suit our increased needs (pram etc). Both are old and not worth much. There is a 2005 Alfa GTD (210k kilometres) and a 2007 Mini Cooper (John Cooper Works) with 130k kilometres. Both are in average condition. We will be hoping to buy a car on our return but would appreciate advice on what would suit us and how best to avail of scrappage deals or trade-ins. We like the idea of a VW Tiguan or equivalent and automatic transmission. We'd be happy with a secondhand. We would possibly keep the Mini as a run-around but might get rid of both and go with one car and an electric bike as our second transport (work is bike-commutable). Our budget is €20k as well as any trade-in deal, but could stretch a bit.
Aidan: Scrappage offers typically involve buying a new car. There are so many deals, myriad conditions and stipulations we cannot deal with them all here. Plus, some might stretch your budget a too far.
It will be difficult to find a used, automatic SUV. Most are manual. But the Tiguan is a good start. The popular spec was Sport on the runout Tiguan, but if you see something called 'Life and Leisure' (L&L), that is perfectly fine, too. Your budget should get you a 2014-plate, Sport DSG (auto) model.
You might have more luck in a Skoda Octavia or VW Golf. If you can downsize to a SEAT Arona you will get close to a brand-new SE 115 DSG model when you get whatever you can for your own cars. On that topic, don't dump both at once. Settle before you decide you only need one car.
Eddie: I'm thinking Toyota Prius hybrid for you. Seats fold, plenty of room, good economy, tried and tested. Also thinking Ford C-MAX people carrier (diesel). On your two current cars, keep the Mini for six months until you see how you get on with the bike, but ditch the Alfa asap.
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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.