Sunday 18 August 2019

Advice Helpdesk: My wife needs a new car and I need some advice

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'

Mazda 6
Mazda 6

My wife needs a new car and I need some advice. She drives a Fiat Bravo '08 petrol with 240,000kms on the clock. She has an 80km commute, mostly motorway, five days a week, so on average 550km a week. We will have a budget of between €13k and €16k, including her car for trade-in. Ideally, she'd like an estate as we have children and a big dog.

Aidan: Your wife would be better served by a diesel. Look for a Mazda 6 Tourer from a reputable dealer. The new model came out in 2013 and the top end of your budget will just about stretch that far for a Sport model (it later became known as Executive SE in case some are listed as such). Alternatively, if something slightly smaller such as the Skoda Octavia Combi is spacious enough for you then look for a 2014/2015-plate with as low an odometer as possible. I encourage you to concentrate on a standard Ambition model with a low odometer rather than buying something with extra kit but which has already racked up a sizeable clock. Look, too, at the Skoda Superb and the Ford Mondeo, with the 2.0-litre Mondeo being the pick of the Ford range.

Eddie: I think the obvious here is the Skoda Octavia estate. However, if you want a new estate that maybe lacks a bit of refinement but comes with a three-year warranty, have a look at the Dacia Logan. It's bargain basement and might just suit you.

Help us help you

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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